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EstroGenius Festival Presents Voices Of Africa

Partnership With Peace Corps Niger And Friends Of Niger Supports Young Girls Scholarship Program

The Estrogenius Festival’s Voices Of Africa (VOA) is a collaboration with Peace Corps Niger. This unique collaboration, featuring stories, poems and songs written by young Nigerien women, will be held on Saturday, November 1, 2008.

Ginger O’Neill, a former Estrogenius Festival volunteer, created the Pangea Festival in Niger along with co-creators Michelle Stoner and Sheena Washington while serving a two-year Peace Corps appointment in the country. Pangea brings together people from diverse villages and features events for girls and teens that help them to express their voices through music, poetry, prose, yoga, dance and other creative disciplines.

During the Pangea festival, young Nigerien women wrote poems, stories and songs that were translated into English and sent to New York City to be performed as part of Voices of Africa. 100% of the funds raised from the performances will be donated to the Young Girls Scholarship Program, which sends girls in Niger to school and the Pangea Festival in Niger.

The event will be held on Saturday, November 1st, at the Manhattan Theatre Source. Please visit their web site for tickets, or to make a tax-deductible donation:

Tickets are $15, and you can also make a tax-deductible donation here:

All proceeds benefit the Young Girls Scholarship Program which provides academic scholarships to Nigerien girls.

Taking Action on Climate Change

NPCA Profiling Volunteers

Help Take Part By Contributing Your Own Submissions

The National Peace Corps Association is looking for Peace Corps volunteers, returned or current, who are taking action on climate change. The goal is to show how climate change affects their country of service, and to spotlight the activities that they are involved in to help reduce humanity’s effect on the environment.

The advocacy team at the NPCA is calling for submissions in the form of videos or testimonials that you would be willing to share with others showing how climate change affects communities in Niger. This is a great opportunity to showcase how this important issue affects the fragile environment that so many Nigeriens depend on.

You can contact the NPCA advocacy office by email:, or through the NPCA web site.

If you don’t have videos, you can also contribute by submitting a Climate Change Profile, to highlight the work you do on a professional or personal level to fight climate change.

Please visit the NPCA’s web site to submit your own profile:

You can see the profiles that have already been submitted here.

Thank you for helping to raise awareness of this critical issue!

NPCA Launching MorePeaceCorps Campaign To Increase Support for Peace Corps

100 House Parties Across United States
Targeted For September 6, 2008

MorePeaceCorps is a campaign launched in 2008 by the National Peace Corps Association with the goal of increasing support for the Peace Corps, eventually doubling its budget and worldwide volunteer base by 2011, the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps.

MorePeaceCorps will begin by throwing 100 House Parties across the United States to rally support for this crucial goal.

You can help out by hosting a party, arranging for donations, coordinating publicity, writing letters and/or op-ed pieces, or simply attending your local house party!

If you are interested in becoming an official MorePeaceCorps local organizer or simply learning more about 100 House Parties, please contact May Wilkerson at MorePeaceCorps, or visit the official MorePeaceCorps web site.

Full URL:

Niger Documentary Filmmaker Wins Golden Giraffe Award

Ingrid Patetta’s documentary, At The Center Of The Earth – Of Wells and Men, has recently won a Golden Giraffe award at the International Environmental Film Festival of Niamey.

Honoring the traditional know-how of the Hausa well-diggers of Niger, the film reveals the pride, the tradition, and the determination of these Sahelian men who dig the earth with their bare hands in order to access water.

The film has also been chosen as an Official Selection the represent the African continent for the International Water and Cinema Events World Water Forum, taking place in Istanbul in March of 2009.

We congratulate Ingrid and hope she continues to produce more wonderful and educational films about Niger.

Nomadic Festival August 9 in Ojai, California

Leslie Clark and the Nomad Foundation are putting together a festival on a ranch in the hills above Ojai, California to help raise money for the Center for Nomadic Life.

The Center for Nomadic Life is designed to meet the basic needs of nomads living near Ingall as their life becomes increasingly challenging. Tickets are still available at the Nomadic Festival web site.

Come spend the day enjoying art, exhibitions, food, music, and more, all for a great cause!

Full URL:

Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers Get Online Memorial

The Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers Memorial Project is a non-profit corporation created by the sister and mother of fallen Niger Peace Corps volunteer Jeremiah Mack to honor volunteers who died in service.

The site was created in 2004, and has grown to include fallen volunteers from many countries, including five PCV’s from Niger. In all, 271 volunteers have died while serving as volunteers.

In addition to the site, the organization seeks to create a permanent physical memorial honoring all fallen volunteers.

Full URL:

Peace Corps Week 2008

February 25 through March 3

Peace Corps Week is an opportunity for returned Volunteers and their extended Peace Corps family – staff, friends and family of Volunteers, as well as friends of the Peace Corps – to partake in promoting cross-cultural understanding, world peace, and friendship by shining a spotlight on the important work of our Volunteers around the world and the continuing service that returned Volunteers bring to communities in the United States.

Go to the official Peace Corps Week web site:

FON Petitions Congress to Save Surface Mail

In May of 2007 the USPS eliminated International Surface Mail which was used by many organizations and individuals to support important grass-roots humanitarian projects around the world.

Friends of Niger has joined the movement to petition the US Congress to reverse this change. Click here to see our open letter to the House Committee overseeing the Postal Service, pleading with them to reconsider this unfortunate change that will affect many small but important organizations.

Full URL:

EstroGenius Festival Presents Voices Of Africa

Partnership With Peace Corps Niger And Friends Of Niger Supports Young Girls Scholarship Program

On Friday, September 28th, and Saturday, September 29th, the EstroGenius Festival will present Voices Of Africa, a cross cultural collaboration with Peace Corps Niger, and Friends of Niger, to benefit the Young Girls Scholarship Program (YGSP). Voices of Africa features stories, poems, and songs written by Nigerien young women and performed by New York City teenagers at Manhattan Theatre Source.

The program was created by Ginger O’Neil, a former EstroGenius Festival volunteer currently serving a two year Peace Corps appointment in Niger, along with co-creators Michelle Stoner and Sheena Washington. Ginger teaches reading and writing along with music classes to young women in her village, Birni N’Gaoure, and throughout Niger. She has transcribed her students’ words, poems, and stories and sent them to New York City to be performed by teenage girls.

Voices of Africa performances will be held Friday, September 28 at 6:00 pm and Saturday, September 28 at 2:30 pm at Manhattan Theatre Source (177 MacDougal Street, between Waverly Pl. & W. 8th St; Subway: A/C/E or B/D/F/V to W 4th St.). Tickets are $15 at or (212) 260-4698.

All proceeds benefit the Young Girls Scholarship Program which provides academic scholarships to Nigerien girls.