Artisan Cooperatives on the Road to 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 support their families and fund local schools, providing books, medicine, food and uniforms for students. This past winter, the women of Albaye and FAHRA pooled their earnings to purchase French books for local primary school students about to take the important government exam that will determine if they can progress to middle school.
The goal of all of our programs is self sustainability leading to new paths that are independent of RAIN. With your help, the Wodaabe artisans of Foudouk have achieved this goal, with the Albaye and FAHRA artisans close behind.