US Postal Service Eliminates International Surface Mail

Grass roots organizations impacted by rate changes; sign the petition to bring back Surface Mail!

On May 14, 2007 the USPS eliminated International Surface Mail which was used by many organizations and individuals to support meaningful, humanitarian projects around the world.

A movement is underway to petition the US Congress to reverse this change. Please join us and sign the petition so that our collective voice can be heard.

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

Welsh Teen Siriol Teifi Inspired Into Action After Visit To Niger

A welsh teenager was so moved by her experience in visiting a Médecins Sans Frontières project in the world’s poorest country that she has set up an online account with so that people can finance the project.

18 year-old Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi sixth-former, Siriol Teifi visited Niger in February of 2007 to see for herself the situation 16 months after the terrible famine of Autumn 2005.

Back in November 2005, Siriol raised 2000 UK pounds for Christian Aid’s Niger appeal by fasting for a week at school.

Now Siriol has set up a web page and an online account with so visitors can make donations online toMédecins Sans Frontières with all the funds raised going to the Project in Maradi in the name of the people of Wales.

Click here to read more and donate to the cause: (Click the “English” link on the new page to read it in English.)

Fund Raisers planned for San Francisco and Washington DC to Support Boarding House

Virginia Emmons is the co-founder and director of Educate Tomorrow, an international non-profit organization seeking to provide equitable access to education for all people

Virginia is also a Niger RPCV, and is helping to organize fundraisers in San Francisco and Washington DC whose main goal is to raise money for a boarding house in Kirtachi, Niger.

When the Peace Corps left the Kirtachi region, the Peace Corps and the Nigerien government agreed to donate the former Peace Corps hostel and land to the project. Now, money is needed to convert and operate the hostel so that middle-school students from the region who live in far away villages can stay in the hostel, enabling them to attend school regularly. Students from Kabey Fo, a village 25 kilometers away from the nearest middle school, will be the first beneficiaries of the project.

The fund raisers will include wine tasting and silent auctions. Items to be auctioned include a cruise, a week at a beach house, art work, wine, and more. Organizers are still accepting donations for the silent auctions.

Event Dates:

  • San Francisco: August 18, 2006
  • Washington DC: September 8, 2006

To volunteer, make a donation, or for general information, please contact Virginia Emmons

FON Supports Micro-credit Projects in Niger

At the March 12, 2006 meeting of the Board of Directors of Friends of Niger, the board voted to allocate the sum of $500 to a newly formed NGO, Tin-Hinan. In the past year FON members have contributed over $1000 earmarked for micro-credit projects. RPCV Sue Rosenfeld will present the check to this organization on behalf of FON when she returns to Niger in late April.

Tin-Hinan is a non-profit registered with the government of Niger. The founder and president of this organization is a Tuarag woman, Habsatou Aboubacar. Rural women in Niger encounter enormous difficulties, among others, the lack of sources of revenue because of lack of means and time to take part in activities that will generate revenue and permit them to be financially independent. Our donation will help finance the micro-credit operation for the women of Goroubi in the Tillabery Region to enable the women of this region to provide for their needs and the needs of their children.

Project Information

Title: Micro-credit projects for women
Global Objective: Improvement of living conditions for women
Location: Village of Goroubi
Department: Say
Region: Tillabery
Country: Niger
Budget: 9,630,000 F cfa (14,705 Euros)
Number of Beneficiaries: 20 women
Duration: 14 months
Expected Start Date: January 2006
Project End Date: March 2007
Organization Name: Association Tin Hinan
Official Contact: Mme Habsatou Aboubacar
Tel: (00227) 88 42 04
BP 11470 Niamey Niger

For more information on this project, contact Gabriella Maertens at

Niger Fundraiser a Success!

Lamine Touré

On February 25th, The Homegrown Coffeehouse in Needham, MA, a suburb of Boston, presented A Night of West African Music as a fundraiser for Niger. Three West African musical groups came together to play to a standing room only crowd.

The groups included the Agbekor Society playing high energy polyrhythmic traditional music from Ghana and Togo, The JAG Drum and Dance Ensemble featuring special guest Mohammed Kalifa Camara performing traditional music from his homeland of Guinea, and Lamine Touré and Group Saloum fusing Senegalese mbalax with elements of jazz, funk, reggae and Afro-pop. Drumming and singing filled the room as more than 250 people enjoyed the show and were moved to clap, sing and dance in the isles.

All of the groups donated their performances and 100% of proceeds, over $4300, were donated to Oxfam America.

Niger RPCV Sheri Kennedy Raising Money for Oxfam

After reading about the food crisis in Niger, Sheri Kennedy, a Niger RPCV currently working as a professional artist in the Boston area, was inspired to create a painting as a fundraiser. “The painting is done from a photo of my villagers outside Dossey, north of Birni n’Konni”, Kennedy says, “and is called Tilling the Soil, Dossey, Niger.”

High-quality giclée reproductions of the painting are available for $40 (plus shipping). Approximtely $10 of the proceeds of each print will be forwarded on to Oxfam. “The more prints are ordered, the more the printing costs drop, and therefore the more will go to Oxfam. Please pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested in buying art to feed Niger.”

Prints can be ordered at Sheri’s Art-Think web site:

Website of the Friends of Niger