The Camel Express, a.k.a the CEX, began 37 years ago as a newsletter typed and photocopied in Niger, then distributed to volunteers around the country. These were the days long before the Internet made it easy to get any kind of information delivered to your banko hut.
We recently posted the first issues of the Camel Express in our CEX Archives. Beginning with the first issue from January of 1979, we have 14 issues scanned into PDFs in all their original glory.
News, stories, health tips, Hausa lessons, humor, recipes, artwork, puzzles, and games: it’s all there.
Over the years the CEX, and then our web site and FON Facebook page, has turned its focus to communicating with the entire membership of the Friends of Niger, but it’s fun to stop and look back at where it all began.
Friday, February 19 at 6:30 PM at the NYC Seminar and Conference Center, 71 West 23rd Street (6th Ave & 23rd Street)
Economic Prosperity, Human Rights, and the Role of Free and Fair Elections – Case Studies Haiti and Niger
A country’s economic development depends on its institutions: its system of government, property rights, land tenure, civil service, and justice. The Inter-Parliamentary Union notes that “In any State the authority of the government can only derive from the will of the people as expressed in genuine, free and fair elections held at regular intervals on the basis of universal, equal and secret suffrage”. What are causes, consequences, and lessons of a breakdown in the electoral system?
Elections are scheduled in Haiti and Niger in the very near future but the campaigns are far from free and fair. In this seminar Dr. Gladys Melo-Pinzon reviews the situation in Niger, and Kim Ives considers the case of Haiti.
Dr. Gladys Melo-Pinzon is the Senegal / Niger Country Specialist of Amnesty USA (AIUSA), the Amnesty International’s Section in the US and part of the global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights.
Kim Ives is a journalist, broadcaster, documentary filmmaker, and an editor with Haiti Liberte.
Wells4Wellness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing safe, sanitary water wells to the people of Niger, Africa, is holding a spring walk event fundraiser. The Moline-based organization is hoping to raise enough funds to add to the drilling of the next group of 6 wells.
The fundraiser kickoff event is scheduled for Sunday, March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Milltown Coffee, 3800 River Drive, Moline. Guests will sample American and Niger food and desserts, as well as enjoy entertainment and a silent auction. Walkers and walk teams may obtain walk information there. The event is free.
Wells4Wellness is encouraging Quad Citians to walk 10,000 steps per day and pledge pennies towards accumulated miles. Teams are challenged to cumulatively complete a 6,000 mile walk to Niger. Faith Lutheran Church, Moline, and the Reverend Mark Gherke and Parish Nurse Barb Marlin are the first walk team to sign on.
A former nurse turned Executive Director for Wells4Wellness, Pat Herath, Moline, says her many health missionary trips convinced her to help the people of Niger. “There, a child dies every 20 seconds from the effects of contaminated water. Drilling modern wells has a dramatic impact on the health and commerce of the people living in these rural desert communities,” she said.
Wells4Wellness is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving the health of rural Niger, Africa by drilling modern water wells. The organization has a goal of drilling 33 wells to help the people of Niger gain access to clean, safe drinking water. For further information, please visit www.wells4wellness.com or phone 309-236-1301.
He talks about being deeply disturbed by the recent chorus of negative and aggressive speech targeting Muslims and refugees in our countries. He urges us to reach out, in large ways and small, to Muslims, refugees and other minorities in our communities.
Now is the time for us to rededicate ourselves to this third goal of the Peace Corps, to commit ourselves to education and constructive dialogue – to the open hand of America, rather than the closed fist.
A great reminder for the new year. Thank you and best wishes for 2016!
A small company led by Jehiel Oliver in Anacostia, D. C., is bringing small, versatile “Smart Tractors” to Nigera and Niger
He devised a business in which farmers send a text to Hello Tractor’s U.S.-based dispatchers, who locate the nearest GPS-embedded Smart Tractor and ping the service provider. The tractors typically arrive within three days.
Read about how this new tractor and business model are bringing increased efficiency to the farmlands.
As reported in the latest Camel Express, President Mammadou Issoufou of Niger joined us for the opening of L’Archive de la République du Niger, or AREN, on April 3 this past spring. AREN is a new archive in the African Studies department at Boston University dedicated to storing Niger-related media, giving easier access to a wide variety of materials dating back more than 50 years.
From the archive’s website:
The Archive of the Republic of Niger at Boston University (AREN) is designed to serve not only as an archive but also as a bridge between Nigerien and American stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic.
We are pleased to share with you the full text of five of the speeches delivered during the opening ceremonies of the Archive:
Memorial Day is about remembering those who have sacrificed their lives in service of this country. Let’s not forget that there is another kind of service for our country, and take a moment to remember the nearly 300 Peace Corps Volunteers who lost their lives during their time abroad: the Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers.
Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers is a web site dedicated to these volunteers, with the ultimate goal of honoring their memory with a memorial in Washington, DC. Take a moment to read about these individuals who gave it all: