We talk about disparities within the US, we talk about disparities between countries, but we don't often talk about disparities within "developing" countries.
All of the issues faced in Niger (see below) are exacerbated among rural and nomadic communities.
But the situation is not hopeless. With access to opportunity, people succeed.
Just 2% of Nigeriens complete high school and almost all of those who do are from urban areas. One of RAIN's programs, the Agadez Learning Center, helps support youth from rural and nomadic communities to ensure they have access to secondary education.
This fall, Maoude began his freshman year at the University of Agadez, where he is studying Biology and Environmental Studies. Maoude and his friend, Alabouri - both graduates of RAIN's Agadez Learning Center, are the ONLY TWO Wodaabe Fulani students at the university. Without outside support, they would not have made it there at all.
Maoude recognizes the role the learning center played in his life and this year Maoude helped recruit a new class of middle school students. The parents in the communities he visited were blown away to see someone who looked like them, dressed like them, and spoke their language visiting to recruit their children. Representation matters.
Maoude is helping to address disparities by addressing the opportunity gap. I am committed to helping him succeed in that endeavor. I hope you'll join me.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE AREAS OF NEED WHERE RAIN INTERVENES IN NIGER:
Niger ranks LAST on the UN's Human Development Index. #189 of 189 ranked countries.
Safe Drinking Water & Sufficient Food
With 80% of the country covered by the Sahara Desert, Niger is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change -- expected temperature increases are 1.5 times higher than the rest of the world. With these changes, Niger is faced with higher inter-and intra-annual variability in rainfall, resulting in more frequent and extreme droughts and floods. This significantly impacts Niger’s already fragile soil, crop production, and availability of potable water -- exacerbating pre-existing issues in a country already prone to food crises.
2 Million Nigeriens are chronically food insecure and 64% of rural Nigeriens lack access to clean water. Waterborne illness is the second biggest killer of children in Niger.
Income loss associated with Niger’s gender gap is estimated to be 32 percent of GDP.
Extreme poverty hits women and children hardest and research conducted all over the world suggests that improving a woman’s economic situation will carry through to improve her family’s quality of life long-term, from ensuring food is on the table, to ensuring her children are enrolled in and attending school.
Primary & Secondary Education
The UN’s Education Index ranks Niger last – 187th of 187 countries. Niger has one of the fastest growing populations in the world and a landscape that has resulted in significant geographic gaps in school coverage. Over 50% of all Nigerien youth ages 7-16 do not attend school. The reality for RAIN’s target demographics is even more severe – only 15% of rural students attend middle school and less than 2% complete high school.
The need is enormous but it's also not evenly spread. Please join with me to help close the gap.