The Power of Hope

by Elaine Wallace Psychologists have long been aware of the importance of hope in helping us achieve our personal goals, but hope isn’t just a feel-good emotion that prompts us to work towards a promotion or try to lose a few pounds. According to economists, hope also plays a vital role in reducing world poverty…. Read more »

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 »

Voting Power: How Women Leaders in Niger Changed History

by Shayna Watson There are approximately 3.8 billion women on Earth. As roughly 50% of the world’s population, women are a powerful force across the globe – but what about in national-level leadership? As of January 2017, women accounted for only 23.3% of all national leaders globally. And these figures get even more disproportionate when… 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 »

Guérewol, a Celebration of Love and Beauty in the Desert

by Lilia Leung September marks the end of the rainy season in West Africa. Some West African nomadic tribes, such as the Tuareg and the Wodaabe, commemorate this event with festivals and rituals. One of these festivals is the Guérewol, a week-long courtship ritual that takes place at particular gathering points in West Africa. The… Read more »

Omara “Bombino” Moctar: Musician of the Desert

by Elsa Sichrovsky The world outside Niger has come to recognize and enjoy Nigerien Tuareg music because of a musician from Niger, called Omara “Bombino” Moctar. Bombino, a member of the Tuareg Ifoghas tribe, was born in 1980 in Tidene, Niger. The Tuareg, nomadic Berbers who travel in the Sahara Desert in North Africa, have… Read more »

Turning Over a New Leaf: Land Regeneration in Niger

by Lilia Leung In 1960, Niger gained independence from France after a nation-wide referendum, and the country celebrated its 59th Independence Day on August 3rd, of this year. Freedom and self-governance weren’t the things being celebrated on August 3rd, however, as Niger also observes Arbor Day on the third of August. In 1975, the Nigerien… Read more »

Charity versus Solidarity

by Jennifer Dees It’s safe to say that Wells Bring Hope is charitable. But I don’t think charity is the best word to describe what’s being done. Charity is akin to pity, to feel sorry for someone. While pity can be benevolent, it can also stem from negative perceptions. When you take pity on someone,… Read more »

In the Sahel, Strong Women Create Strong Communities

by Elaine Wallace When we hear about the Sahel in the news, it’s often in connection with a humanitarian crisis. Droughts and other disasters regularly push the region into a state of crisis, and the international community usually responds with a large-scale emergency relief effort. In 2012, USAID recognized that these repeated crises occur because… Read more »