I want to brag that this has been the most ambitious mission ever—and we pulled it off!
Here’s what we did.
- Trained 23 nomads to build using earthbags giving them a new skill set to build their own or their community structures and giving us three new buildings at Tamesna: boys dorm, girls dorm and new teacher’s residence.
- Trained 11 new midwives
- Provided 27 microcredit loans to at risk nomadic youth
- Continued turning over operations to the local staff by appointing Achicha Harouna director of the matron (midwife program)
A big thank you to our team:
James Golub and Fox McBride of United Earthbuilders worked non-stop braving wind and cold and blazing sun. Repeated challenges threatened to stop the job—well broke down—no water, truck broke down—no earth, ran out of bags—sent out Moussa on a motorcycle who miraculously found another 1,000, even though they were caustic soda bags—wear gloves! They always found something to do or another way to do it and never threw up their hands in dismay—as I did on numerous occasions—but then I always do in Niger for a million valid reasons.
They said the nomad crew was one of the best they had ever taught and worked so hard they finished all three domes three days early—just in time for a monumental sand storm to drive us indoors.
Visit their website United Earthbuilders.com
Dr. Bob Skankey Tireless volunteer—how does he keep going? Never complains, but we sure missed his wife Louine this trip. Eleven new mid-wives have life saving skills that Dr. Bob has given them and he appointed a proud successor to direct the program: Achicha.
Larry Beckett, Rotarian, Nomad Foundation Board member and third time Niger volunteer was always there when needed this trip. Packing pills, showing the matrones how to plant moringa, mixing clay, overseeing the hydraulic study, but most important to me was his advice and support—his willingness to brainstorm the problems and always moving toward a solution. We have taken huge steps toward increased independence of the projects—all with the goal of the nomads doing for themselves and sustaining what we have built. This trip with Larry’s ideas we have taken our biggest steps ever.
And a huge thank you to Rotary Club Ojai West for funding the midwife mission Ojai Rotary for helping with the earthbag building mission helping with the midwife mission.