As the floral henna design fades from my feet, thoughts of Tamesna and Niger sneak into my consciousness. It is cool here on the east coast which I have been enjoying as a pleasant change. The heat of the desert can at times seems all enveloping, annoyingly, relentlessly, hot. It is difficult for me […]
I departed the US on October 3 and up until that date, was repeatedly required to explain the location and importance of Niger to anyone I could engage about my mission. Forty-eight hours later, when I arrived in Agadez, Niger had catapulted into American consciousness with the tragic loss of US special forces agents and […]
We made visits to the Agadez maternity—where by chance a baby was born while we were standing there, the Agadez hospital and the American military base (who asked us not to post our photos). They live isolated in air conditioned tents surrounded by concrete barriers, razor wire and a huge ditch. They are frustrated because […]
Our work at Tamesna was not yet done. We got the community together to create a management committee for the clinic. We have a very good reputation and as a result, are turning a profit beyond the cost of replacement meds and supplies so this money needs to be managed and the decisions as to […]
Having finished the matrone training we got ready to go to a big Wodaabe festival. This was supposed to happen last year and got postponed, so I was anxious for the new team to see this remarkable thing. We had a morning to kill since it was windy and we knew the dancing would not […]
All ten of our top class graduated from grammar school and were accepted in junior high school, but there are none available in the “bush” where the nomads live so we thought long and hard to find the best solution for the kids and their parents. At first we thought to create a location in […]
Our grammar school at Tamesna started earlier than most bush schools because we have a committed director in Assadek (back left) There were already 27 kids present and we expect 15 more. 10 graduated to junior high for which they had to go to Ingal and Agadez.
Eyes on Africa once again comes through with hundreds of pairs of readers and sunglasses which we distributed all through our mission. We left 100 readers and 100 pairs of sunglasses at the clinic for Rabi to distribute as needed. We are working on a mission to do cataract operations next year, but maybe these […]
After four intense days of training on the last day Dr. Becky and Pat went over complications at birth, administered exams to verify the level of comprehension—and happily everyone passed. We were visited by the Prefect of Ingall, who is the governmental leader of the commune and the Tuareg traditional chief over all the communities […]
The traditional birth attendants we have been training since 2012 with Dr. Bob Skankey and now for that last two missions, with Dr. Becky Jones are known in Niger as matrones. The previously trained matrones brought their medical bags and their reports. Fatima again is in the lead with 70 deliveries since May. Tinzere […]
Although I am now back in Agadez having completed our mission I am now able to post with photos–so here we go from the beginning. We arrived at Tamesna midmorning and started packing pills, preparing the matrones medical bags and matrones began to arrive. Following in Dr. Bob Skankey’s footsteps is not an easy task—given […]
Dr, Becky and her midwife sister Pat arrived with the many bags of meds, donated by Amani at Medicine shoppe Ojai, Direct Relief International and Sunglasses and readers by Eyes on Africa, plus supplies they (and we)had purchased.
Today is a big day for the top class at Tamesna school. Most nomad kids stop school at the end of grammar school if they even go at all. This is because the only junior high schools are in towns and many have never even been to town. We are constructing a new elementary school […]
So many old friends and new got together to celebrate the US premier of Benedicte Schoyen’s film Roadtrip Niger. The event raised $23,912 for the Nomad Foundation…Thank you to all who supported it. Hope you enjoyed the event.
GET TICKETS A film about the adventures of the filmmakers in a country as far from home as imaginable, to discover the nomadic tribes of Niger, the vast, unforgiving and breathtaking Sahara desert, and the work of the Nomad Foundation. Film, music, appetizers, no host bar & silent auction to benefit the Nomad Foundation.Special Tuareg guests from […]
Two years into what my sons describe as a lackluster retirement from a hectic career in midwifery and nursing education, I was delighted and excited to be invited as a volunteer on a mission with the Nomad Foundation in Niger, Africa. My obstetrician sister, as the new medical director, invited me to travel and work […]
Since returning from Niger, I have shared photos and stories from the trip with many people. These encounters have helped me appreciate the importance of the mission while at the same time alerting me to questions in the minds of people unfamiliar with Niger and nomadic peoples. The Project: I have had the good […]
Benedicte Schoyen wanted me to show the film she had made to the people who were in it and those most interested–who live in Niger. The film is about the Nomad Foundation’s work in Niger and the voyage of the American filmmakers, new to Niger, in 2013.
The second day of our trip we were invited to a wedding at the Wodaabe community of Foudouk. So even though we all work like slaves, we have a lot of fun too!!!
It is sometimes difficult for nomadic parents to send their children to school because it takes them away from their work as herders. We, not only do not want them to lose this skill, but want to bring new ideas to traditional herd management through the children at school. To this end we proposed to try a […]
Tamesna school is rare in Niger because we support extra curricular programs that bring new opportunities for the students. Music, particularly guitar is an important tradition to all Tuareg who have lived through recent rebellions, but now that there is peace, the older rebellion musicians are no longer teaching the Tuareg guitar tradition to the young. […]
Tamesna school continues to thrive under the direction of Assadek. As advised by the inspector of schools, nine students are skipping fifth grade to become candidates to go to junior high school next fall 2017. This will be a challenge. It is at this stage that most nomadic children drop out because there are no […]
Corrector glasses and sunglasses are a rare commodity in Niger and largely unavailable to nomads. Nomadic women do very fine embroidery and leather work which they would be fully capable of doing after they reach 40 years of age, if only they could see. Everyone’s eyes are damaged by the brutal sun and cataracts are […]
In its third year, our microcredit program is designed to promote peace and stability. The loans are made to young men at risk of leaving their home to seek opportunities elsewhere: usually Libya or Algeria, prosperous, but highly unstable countries. If they have no way of earning a living at home they may be tempted by […]
The program began with visits to the remote mobile camps of the traditional birth attendant trainees (matrones) in order to introduce the new medical team to the population and for the team to observe the conditions under which our matrones work. Our next stop was Tourgite where we talked to Rahamata and Malou and proudly […]
Niger is no stranger to catastrophe and this mission was no different—maybe somewhat more extreme than most. Arriving there I got news that there was an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever—no cases yet in our area, but it caused the government to react by forbidding the export of livestock (Niger’s second largest export after uranium)) […]
One of our favorite communities, because they are so hard working, is Iferouane. We have started women’s co-ops and worked for many years with their jewelers to produce the jewelry available at Nomad Gallery. This year they proposed a new venture: raising poultry. Thanks go to Rotary and Tom and Cathryn Krause for funding this […]
After some serious shopping for nomad gallery in Togo, a lovely meeting with the us ambassador to Niger, who was very complimentary of our work, I arrived in Agadez to be greeted with enthusiasm by Djado. We must cancel our annual tamesna festival this year because of an outbreak of Rift Valley fever. The authorities […]
A new team is headed out to Niger to continue our work with the nomads. Dr. Rebecca Jones, with her midwife sister Pat Manzon will continue Dr. Bob Skankey’s midwife training program and medical work at the Tamesna clinic. We are very grateful to Ventura Global Health Project who helped fund Dr. Jones participation in this mission. […]
Second grade best in class For first composition: 1. Moussa Ahmed 2.Ghoumar Moussa 3. Mohamed Ahmed For second composition 1. Moussa Ahmed 2. Hamadi Moussa 3. Alhassane Ahmed This is really exciting since # 1 Moussa Ahmed and #2 Hamadi Moussa are sons of our guardians at Tamesna. Third grade best in class For […]
It is so fun to be with the kids and do the things with them that really interest me like painting and music and theater, but there is of course another side to their education that you all—especially you sponsors and future sponsors of kids need to know. I have had a suspicion that our […]
The generation of young nomads heading into adult life with no education, skills or opportunity pose a distinct threat to the stability of the region. The only skill they possess other than herding is their knowledge of the desert. If they have no way of earning a living at home they may be tempted by a […]
The Tamesna Festival, held annually since 2013, is dedicated to young nomads: culture, peace and security. The most vulnerable population in northern Niger are the young people who are heading into an adult life with few possibilities for earning a living. They love their home and rarely want to leave, given the risks: crossing the […]
Assadek, the director of Tamesna school suggested that the kids prepare a theatrical performance i.e. skit for the Festival. He decided on the subject of education for girls. The story is: A nomad father returns to his house to tell his wife he wants to enter their daughter Zeinabou in school. His wife complains: how can I send […]
Since we have worked so long with musicians–since 1995 when we brought the first African artist, Prince Sissokho, a kora player from Senegal to the US, we have sponsored five music tours of Tuareg musicians. One of our drivers, Alhassane, was part of the group who toured. He loves to work with children so will […]
I have had great fun in the past years organizing educational projects which I knew nothing about; solar panel fabrication, medical and midwife training, earth bag building. I learned a lot from the experts we brought in. While I was working on these jobs, I turned over the art program to another artist, Linda […]
I have been making a lot of jewelry while I’m here. The jewelers come to my house—grand central– and I place orders, buy beads at the market and string them. I suppose it is more elegant to say I design them. With our jewelry gala coming up Nov. 29 and having a booth at Mandalay […]
I finally got around to painting the new signs to direct people from the highway to Tamesna. Dr. Bob was not happy that I hadn’t added my decorative touch so here you are Bob. This is for you. Hasso stopped by to say hi with his daughters. Since he is one of the invited musicians […]