Niger Create opportunity through education: a long term approach to stability in West Africa

Spirit of America and Army teams give vulnerable Nigeriens a chance for a better life

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$0 $23,362

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense or its personnel is intended or implied.

SUPPORT THIS PROJECT

$3,480

buys basic veterinary supplies for all previous graduates of the scholarship program to establish practices in their villages

$2,150

fully funds one Veterinary Scholarship

$348

buys on Veterinary Starter Kit

$27

pays for one additional vaccinator for one day

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

Niger, a country of 17,000,000 people sandwiched between Nigeria, Libya, Mali, and Chad—in the heart of the Sahara Desert—is one of the poorest countries in the world, plagued by endemic poverty, high birth/mortality rates, and a lack of economic opportunity. The UN recently ranked Niger as second to last (187 of 188) in its annual Human Development Index rankings.

Groups like Boko Haram, ISIS, al Qaeda, and others seek to exploit Niger’s vulnerabilities so that they can radicalize, recruit, and carry out attacks in the region and beyond. This extremist threat was highlighted recently by the tragic ambush of US Special Operations Forces working along the Mali-Niger border.

US Army teams are working to stabilize the most vulnerable regions of the country, striving to provide opportunities for progress to take root and thrive. In the northwest portion of Agadez, a place that is host to a US airbase aimed at countering terrorism in the region, US teams have focused on the issues local tribes identify as most important: human and animal food security, youth unemployment, and marginalization from the Nigerien government. Without assistance in addressing these challenges, tribal elders warned that tensions and unrest were building. In the under-governed spaces of West Africa, that can have disastrous consequences.

SoA Field Rep, Chris, meets with SoA supported graduates during a recent visit to the town of Ingall in Niger's Agadez Region
SoA Field Rep, Chris, meets with SoA supported graduates during a recent visit to the town of Ingall in Niger’s Agadez Region

Spirit of America will continue to support this event, building on past success and tailoring that support to the evolving situation and US objectives in Niger. This year, Spirit of America plans to provide:

  • Five additional scholarships for local youth to attend the national veterinary school, giving them the skills they need to take care of their tribes’ livestock and to build an economic future for themselves, their families, and their tribes. Selected from among the villages surrounding the US airbase, these youths will bolster community relationships and further develop goodwill.
  • Funding for ten additional veterinarians –all previous SoA scholarship recipients –to participate in the annual vaccination campaign which will considerably increase the number of animals treated, improving herd health, livelihoods, food security, and the Nigerien government’s influence across the most remote portions of the country.
  • Kits of basic veterinary equipment and supplies for all previous graduates of our scholarship program to help them establish small businesses and veterinary practices in their villages. These kits are in direct response to feedback we received from both graduates and Ministry of Livestock leaders during the 2016 vaccination campaign.

With your help, SoA can continue to support the US military and the government of Niger in the Agadez region, a critical effort in a country that the former commanding general of Special Operations Command Africa, BG (Retired) Bolduc, recently called “a lynchpin country in West Africa.”

Annually, the Cure Salée provides a unique opportunity for nomadic Fulani and Tuareg herders from across the Sahel to gather in Niger’s Agadez region.
A young boy drives his family’s cattle toward a vaccination site on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
Young Tuareg and Fulani boys race their camels during the Cure Salée Festival in Ingall, Niger
A young herder and a SoA-supported veterinarian vaccinate a herd of goats with hundreds of animals waitingtheir turn in the background.
Herders, along with thousands of goats, cows, sheep, and camels, gather at a large watering hole in central Niger. Gatherings like this one pose an invaluable opportunity to vaccinate herds and engage a usually disparate and vulnerable population.

100% of your gift will be used to purchase what is needed for this project. Donations in excess of the project's needs will be offered a refund.

 

NO ENDORSEMENT OF SPIRIT OF AMERICA BY THE US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF STATE OR THEIR PERSONNEL IS INTENDED OR IMPLIED.

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