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 http://www.theatresource.org or (212) 260-4698.

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

Niger in the Movies

Independent filmmaker Daniel Balluff, a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger from 1986 to 1988, returned to Niger in 2005 to make three films.

You can see a four minute preview of one of the films, Niger: Living on the Edge of Survival, in this clip hosted byYouTube.

Visit our movies page to see more previews of Dan’s movies and find out how you can see the entire movie.

Peace Corps Wiki is Up and Running

The Peace Corps Wiki is a collaborative project whose goal is to create a free, interactive, and up-to-date source of information about serving as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps. Anyone is welcome to edit, add, or change any entry, or start a new one. So far there are a total of 260 pages that have been written and edited by (R)PCVs and Friends of Peace Corps from around the world.

Note that the contents of the Peace Corps Wiki are generated by the public, and do not reflect any official position of the U. S. Government or the U. S. Peace Corps. Nevertheless, the wiki has the potential for becoming an invaluable source of information for anyone seeking knowledge about the Peace Corps and the countries of service.

Check out the new wiki here:

Celebrating 45 Years of Peace Corps in Niger!

The Peace Corps staff in Niger is preparing to celebrate the 45th year of Peace Corps in Niger, including a series of activities and events taking place in September.

Please visit our Peace Corps/Niger 45th Anniversary Celebrations page for more information about the celebrations, and how you can participate.

For questions or more information, please contact Christopher Burns in the Niger Peace Corps office at cburns@ne.peacecorps.gov.

NPR Explores Niger’s Climate and Culture

National Public Radio has produced a few short but informative videos on climate change, with one video featuring Niger, and focusing on a recent well-known story about how trees are finally returning to the desert:

Another feature on NPR‘s web site looks at the effect of climage change on Tuareg nomads in nearby Mali:

Mercy Corps focuses on Niger’s “Silent Disaster”

Mercy Corps is giving special attention to Niger’s ongoing cycle of hunger in their fundraising efforts, calling it one of the world’s “Silent Disasters”.

From their web site, http://www.mercycorps.org :

Long months of hunger between meager harvests hold Niger’s families in a brutal grip. Mercy Corps is helping them break free.

Successive poor harvests put more than 3.5 million Nigeriens – about 20 percent of that country’s entire population – at risk for chronic malnutrition and other dire health problems. Children, already Niger’s most vulnerable population, have been most affected of all. Today, Mercy Corps is working to help determined Nigeriens build locally sustainable, resilient health and nutrition networks so that communities can cope with crisis – and mothers can provide a healthier future for their young children.

Please take some time to look at the work Mercy Corps is doing in Niger and around the world.

See Mercy Corps’ focus on Niger here:

Nigerien Film Maker Seeks Niger RPCVs for Video Documentary

A Nigerien who was a language teacher for PC Niger (1990) is currently in the US on a fellowship for foreign journalists. He sends the following message – please contact him if you are interesting in helping.

Since 1990, I’ve been a journalist and a communicator, owning a communications agency called Les Echos du Sahel, and dealing [with the] rural world and development (printing, broadcasting, training, advising, etc.).

I arrived in the U.S. last June on behalf of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. One of the aims of this fellowship funded by the State department of the USA is to allow mid-careers professionals from the developing world a year of rewarding experiences and studies in the U.S. so that they can benefit academically and professionally.

One of my projects is to make a video documentary about RPCVs who are still involved with Niger in one way or another. But all my attempts to reach these folks have been unsuccessful.

The idea is: after 45 years of a successful presence in Niger, some RPCVs have kept contact with their host country, in the spirit of the program created by President Kennedy. Whether they work in civil society or as individuals, I want to portray them in their daily life and show how they continue to impact and improve the reality or the image of Niger.

My host university is the Philip Merrill school of Journalism (University of Maryland – College Park) where I am currently enrolled in Broadcasting and International Development studies. I will be staying in the US until next June. Please feel free to contact me for questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sai An Jima!

Ibbo Daddy Abdoulaye
Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow
Philip Merrill School of Journalism
1117 Journalism Building
University of Maryland-College Park
Maryland, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-2003
Fax: 301-405-9385
Email: ibbo_daddy@yahoo.com

Website of the Friends of Niger