On social media, new mothers can bake bread in their skinny jeans whilst blissfully nursing their newborns, who also sleep through the night. Volunteers on medical missions can miraculously save lives on shoestring budgets staffed by highly skilled, selfless providers in dangerous environments. As a mother and obstetrician on many missions, I see these boast-posts […]
Iferouane, known as the gateway to the dunes has been a very important community to the Nomad Foundation–we have worked remotely with them for years, but never done a training there. They asked us and we responded–the bright side of driving two exhausting days over rubble and craggy, tire eating rocks is that the return […]
On Graduation day for the matrones we called together 15 jewelers chosen in advance and distributed 15 sets of jewelry tools generously donated by Toolbox initiative. And then they threw us a party ALL THIS JUST FOR US….WOW!
Nomads move around alot–the camel was always the best means of transportation in their desert land–then for the “wealthy” the Toyota Land Cruiser took its place. For the average nomad a 4WD Toyota is way beyond their means, but a motorcycle costs about the same as a camel–and moves a lot faster–of course the down […]
We are headed soon to Niger with a full schedule and many suitcases full of materials to make all our programs happen. Right now a program is taking place which is training 20 young nomads how to repair motorcycles–their camels, I guess, are too slow. The motorcycles are very useful–last year one of our students […]
It is time to prepare for our next mission to Niger in October. Dr. Becky Jones and midwife Pat Manzon will recertify our existing traditional birth attendants at Tamesna and expand the program to Iferouane–a remote community known as the gateway to the dunes. We have worked with them for 20 years, helping with artisanal, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 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 […]
The three earthbag buildings that we built last febuary were not yet occupied when I arrived, as school has just started. There is some leeway in the start of the new school year for nomadic schools. When the rains are good and they have to extend their migration time to maximize herd survival through the […]
Since my first trip out to Tamesna I have gone through such internet frustration that I cannot even begin to describe since it would take me as long to describe as it took me to solve–about a week. One day it took me four hours to upload one of the new students photos to the […]
Agadez had some bad luck today and so did we. At 4am the vegetable market burned down. We had our supplies for feeding the dignitaries at the festival already paid for — so it was a loss of $500. Insurance, or a merchant prosperous enough to reimburse us is not a reality so we […]
Today was another day about education, but in a different place: Agadez. Nomadic kids rarely have an opportunity to go beyond grammar school, but when there is the will of the parents we like to help where we can. The village of Aouedenine we have worked with for many years. It is the hometown of […]
I arrived at Tamesna School in the car with M. le maire (Mr. mayor) of Ingal known to us as Sidi. This car,(the one the government let’s him use) is a very nice new one—with televisions in the back of the headrests—that of course don’t work). It had a flat on its nice new tires […]