Alphadi: Giving Niger the Chance to Create

By Elsa Sichrovsky Source: Flickr-UNESCO Headquarters Paris For Nigerien fashion designer and children’s rights advocate Sidahmed Alphadi Seidnaly, fashion is about more than clothing: “Young boys and girls can find in fashion a form of identity, dignity, a way to express themselves, to be heard, recognized and respected.”  Alphadi strives to use fashion as an… Read more »

Fadji Maina: A Nigerien NASA Scientist Fighting Water Scarcity

By: Omair Ali Source: Awojdyla  Dr. Fadji Maina (left) with Dr. Eva Nogales (right) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2019.  Growing up with water scarcity inspired Fadji Zaouna Maina, Ph.D., to undertake the extraordinary journey from Nigerien schoolgirl to NASA earth scientist.  Maina was born and raised in Zinder, one of the largest… Read more »

Build It for Ourselves: Interview with Magaajyia Silberfeld

By Elsa Sichrovsky Source: FreeCorp “I grew up watching films and wanting to not only be in them but make them too,” is how Magaajyia Silberfeld describes her passion for filmmaking. She is the daughter of French journalist Antoine Silber and Rahmatou Keita, a Nigerien journalist, writer, and film director, whose work includes “The Wedding… Read more »

Women in Niger Empowered to Initiate Divorce

by Barbara Goldberg Source: willemstom In January of 2019, NPR’s Rachel Martin interviewed Dionne Searcey, West Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, about a startling change in the social fabric of Niger:  women now feel empowered to initiate a divorce. Prior to having safe water well in their rural village, Nigerien women walked… Read more »

Interview With Aminata Salifou Mody

By Elsa Sichrovsky Aminata Salifou Mody is a cultural ambassador whose passion is sharing the culture and beauty of her country, Niger, with the world. To find out more about her cultural celebration of Niger, I contacted her on Instagram and she graciously took time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions. Below… Read more »

Hamsou Garba: Breaking Barriers

By Elsa Sichrovsky In the 1980s, Niger underwent massive economic restructuring initiated by the aid requirements of the IMF and the World Bank. Young women who worked clerical jobs were hit hard by massive layoffs. Among them, a young Nigerien woman named Hamsou Garba faced being laid off from her job as a typist at… Read more »

Rahmatou Keïta’s The Wedding Ring: Celebrating Niger’s Beauty

By Elsa Sichrovsky Source : Rahmatou Keïta Do you know what Niger’s first entry at the Academy Awards was? It was Rahmatou Keïta’s 2016 film The Wedding Ring (Zin’naariyâ!), and it was entered in 2018[1].  It follows the adventures of an aristocratic young woman named Tiyaa (starring director Rahmatou Keïta’s daughter, Magaajyia Silberfeld) as she… Read more »

History Repeats Itself

By Nick Baldry In an effort to encourage you, dear reader, to part with hard-earned cash for a water system for the Kelloum Bawa Health Care Facility in rural Niger, I’m going to take you to… Vienna General Hospital in around 1846. That seems like a logical route, right? Around this time, medicine was progressing… Read more »

Rethinking Womanhood: Childless in Niger

By Elsa Sichrovsky In a nation where the fertility rate is 7.5 children per woman[1]–the highest in the world–being childless is considered the mark of failure for a woman in Niger. Nigerien movie director Aicha Macky, herself struggling with infertility, bravely tackles the sensitive and painful social and psychological issues surrounding fertility in her first… Read more »

Causes of Child Marriage and the Bigger Picture

By Michelle Nelson von Euw A great deal of research has been done on child marriage in an effort to understand the causes, and effects, of this damaging practice. Child marriage refers to both formal and informal unions in which children under the age of 18 live with partners as if they are married. According… Read more »