Bridging the Gap: Empowerment and Education in Niger’s “Husband Schools”

by Hannah Lichtenstein An interesting tension exists in the socio-cultural plane in Niger as it does in many West African countries. Nigerien men generally operate outside of the household as the “breadwinners,” making a living toiling in economic spheres such as agriculture or mining. Women, on the other hand, are the nurturing caretakers, responsible for… Read more »

Professor Antoinette Tidjani Alou: Voice of Nigerien Women

by Elsa Sichrovsky Looking only at statistics, it is easy to misconceive that Niger is a nation that cannot produce great literature. Literacy rates among young people aged 15-to-24 years old are 36.43% and 17.15% for males and females respectively[1]. Literacy rates are especially low for women; just 11.04% of the adult female population. But… Read more »

Niger’s Ancient Rock Art

by Elaine Wallace The Sahara Desert is one of the driest, harshest environments on Earth. With sparse vegetation and very little rain, only the hardiest, drought-adapted plants and animals survive there. But the Sahara was not always a desert. 10,000 years ago, it was a lush grassland with rivers, lakes, trees, and abundant wildlife. It’s… Read more »

Education in Niger

by Mehreen Quadri According to a UNICEF report from 2013, 23.2% of women in Niger are literate. Factors such as culture, family and societal pressures, and the fact that Niger’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, perpetuate some of the highest rates of illiteracy and the lowest rates of formal education in Africa. Most families in… Read more »

Empowered Women: A Force for Economic Growth in Niger

by Kristopher Coulston Access to clean water is not only essential for life, it is also essential for a thriving economy. When a nation’s citizens do not have ready access to clean water, every aspect of the country is negatively impacted, especially the economy. Women and girls are the citizens who are most affected by… Read more »

Educating Girls: A Key Part of the Climate Change Solution

By Barbara Goldberg Paul Hawken, a well-known author and activist recently published a book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever to Reduce Global Warming. In it, he identifies the 100 top solutions to reducing global warming. I was shocked and delighted to learn that number six on the list is educating girls. It is something… Read more »

Empowered by Water

by Kristopher Coulston Illness and family emergencies are typically the cause for school absence in developed countries. Unfortunately, this is not the situation in drought-stricken countries, such as Niger. Water is scarce and girls spend hours walking miles just to satisfy their desperate need for it, even if the water sources they are gathering from… Read more »

Gratitude of a Graduate

by Shelton Owen As I soak up the bittersweet last moments of my senior year of high school, I sense my departure for college inching closer. The school year has been packed with applications, scholarship essays, and an abundance of rigorous preparations for the next chapter of my educational career. It wasn’t until recently, when… Read more »

Monthly

by Michelle Wolf It happens every month and every month I forget to grab a few tampons from under the bathroom sink. Thankfully, there is a gold basket in the ladies’ room at work with a few sample packs for me to use. And I can always find an ample supply of tampons in one… Read more »

Why Education Matters

On the front page of Saturday’s Los Angeles Times was this: “Former students in Nigeria hunt down teachers.” Just across the border from Niger, West Africa, where Wells Bring Hope drills wells is northern Nigeria. It is the place where Boko Haram has been waging a vicious campaign against innocent people, focused on eliminating secular education, especially for girls.