Since 2011 Spirit of America has been providing assistance in support of US efforts to prevent conflict in West Africa. In coordination with US troops, Spirit of America has:
- Supported a training and livelihoods program in Mauritania that provided training and basic equipment to locals to setup veterinary businesses, treating cattle in remote villages. As a result, food security and incomes went up as herd health and milk and meat yields increased, making people less susceptible to extremist recruiting. Watch the Armed Forces Network video of our project below.
Provided dirt bikes and additional salaries so that livestock ministry officials in Niger could reach herds in rural areas. This, in turn, increased the number of animals vaccinated and the reach and influence of the Nigerian government; resulting in more food for the communities, and ultimately lessening vulnerability to extremism. Read more here.
Under threat from Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other extremist groups, Niger is the focus of Spirit of America’s current support in West Africa. Our active projects include:
- Providing assistance such as metal detectors, tourniquets and stretchers to US partner forces in Niger, giving them the tools they need to put a stop to Boko Haram.
- Scholarships for local youth to attend veterinary school, improving economic opportunities and giving them the skills they need to treat their tribes’ cattle, camels, and goats. This has provided a much needed service to remote communities, enabled the graduates to earn a consistent income, and ultimately made them less susceptible to radicalization and recruitment by violent extremist organizations.
- A counter-Boko Haram summit in southern Niger to discuss how to combat Boko Haram recruitment in local, at-risk communities and how best to assist Nigerian refugees that fled to Niger because of the violence. Read more here.
Spirit of America is the only 501(c)(3) non-profit working alongside US servicemembers and diplomats to improve their safety and success. In 2018, Congress recognized us as a partner in “supporting the missions of deployed United States personnel around the world.”