News RSS

Girls education, Women's independence -

Artisan cooperatives provide a way for rural women to draw upon their rich heritage that generates income and preserves nomadic culture. The women who make up our cooperatives start without knowledge of how to measure, follow a pattern, or conduct basic accounting. RAIN provides seed money, skills training, design, as well as marketing consultations and opportunities in both Niger and the U.S. With this, these artisans hone and refine their abilities to become true professionals, able to trade with the modern world while preserving the traditions that define each group's unique identity. The women are able to pool their earnings together to...

Read more

Artisans, Niger, RAIN, Women's empowerment -

The 16 Tuareg women who make up the Albaye leather cooperative in Agadez have recently teamed up with other women artisans in Ingall who primarily work in straw. This collaboration has led to beautiful leather & straw tote bags, a product not possible for these two groups on their own. The collaboration continues with new products this summer with some help from a true master artisan - Illiah Addoh, Director of Artisans at the National Museum in Niamey. Organized by Albaye co-op president Oumma Amma, Three artisans from the Ingall straw cooperative joined the 16 members of Albaye to learn ways...

Read more

Artisans, Niger, RAIN, Women's empowerment -

Embroidery is naturally a social activity Niger’s Wodaabe cattle herders remain one of the most nomadic groups in the world today. They experience many difficulties related to their marginalized status in Niger, however this same status has allowed for many ancient traditions to remain intact, including the legendary tradition of women’s embroidery. Women play an important role in Wodaabe society. One aspect that expresses this is ownership of the family milk and of the calabash gourds that hold it. The gourds are passed down through generations of women, carved and decorated in special motifs that are covered up with palm fronds...

Read more

Artisans, Niger, Niger nomads, RAIN -

  Wodaabe artisans take the prize for RAIN At the yearly Cure Salee Festival in In'gall, the Wodaabe women artisans who create products based on their legendary embroidery heritage joined Bess in proudly displaying their unique wares for sale. Though there are many throughout the year, September is the "official" nomadic festival marking the end of the wet season and the start of the dry season. For centuries, pastoral people have brought their herds to the salt licks and to take part in salt cures for themselves as well. It's time for reuiniting with other clans, planning for the upcoming season, and...

Read more

Niger, Niger nomads, RAIN, Women's empowerment -

            Andrea Williamson Niger’s nomads are skilled craftspeople; the artistry trade is traditional to certain castes of people and has long supported them. Traditional skills have eroded over time, and fewer young women learn the skills their mothers and grandmothers knew. Keeping traditional culture alive is part and parcel of what we do. Members of our artisan co-operatives act as cultural ambassadors to the next generation. As they earn more, learn new designs and expand their markets, interest grows in the community.  With help from RAIN, co-op artisans play a key role in designing products...

Read more