The best way to communicate with nomads is to have a party and they will come. Tamesna is very centrally situated on their migration route and the programs there can benefit all nomads. We hold a festival each year in November–for them to present their cultural traditions, both Wodaabe and Tuareg, and to present to them the programs available to them at Tamesna, these programs are run by the nomads themselves who have previously been trained by the experts who have come to visit from the US. The adult education programs include: Midwife training, Earth bag building, Solar panel fabrication and installation, vegetable dehydration. The facilities include: Solar powered health clinic, boarding school, vaccination corals, solar powered adult education and meeting center, garden and latrines.
The Tamesna Center for Nomadic Life is centrally located in a vast area along the migration route ideal for festival grounds which require large flat areas to accommodate nomadic dancing, camel races and the essential Tuareg guitar concerts at night.
The first festival was held in 2013 with approximately 500 in attendance. In 2014 the attendance was over 2,000. Our dreams for the future are to continue to present traditional cultures, expand the international music, attract nomadic and international visitors and in this way present the programs available to nomads to both the nomads themselves and potential funders of the programs: international visitors, local and international NGO’s, government officials.
In 2014 we were under the patronage of Mohamed Anacko, the president of the regional council of Agadez, the highest elected official in the north and a well known Tuareg leader. Among our guests were the Sultan of the Air, the vice president of the regional council, the prefect and mayor of Ingall and many traditional leaders. It is through them that we can promote and have approval of our projects.
Among the guests was a crew from Tele Sahel: Niger’s national television. Their reporting was aired the day after the festival.