Last year, when we visited the school in Iferouane, Niger where we had helped them repair the roof which had blown off, we found the kids doing their studies kneeling on the ground–they needed desks.
We applied through the Rotary Club of Ojai for a grant to supply them.
The desks were made by a local carpenter who hired young apprentices to teach them the trade as they made 80 desks which will serve 240 students.
Now the 240 students at Iferouane grammar school no longer have to sit on the floor–they have desks.
When I closed Nomad gallery last year the artisans of Iferouane who had for years depended on my purchases were distraught. Then when COVID hit, they had no possibility of traveling to Europe to sell their jewelry. They came to me desperate for help to feed their families. I explained that it wasn’t our policy to just hand out money for food, so we came up with a solution.
We hired a mason to teach them how to repair and replaster their museum and artisans center.
So now their building is repaired and they have some help feeding their families.
Assalama, pictured above with her family is our hardest working traditional birth attendant in Iferouane. She trains and supervises our 24 trainees and delivers babies at the Maternité in Iferouane. She is not paid except for the training sessions and what we have encouraged her to request from her patients so she can replenish her supplies. To help her with her family’s needs, we bought her a small herd of goats. These will provide milk for her children, ready cash, and keep on reproducing for their future needs. We now have 48 working matrones.
Last year we visited the shop of a tailor in Iferouane. She was training young women in the business, but their families could not afford to buy them the necessary equipment to start on their own. So they asked us–and this year we did.