Founded in 2001, Rain for the Sahel and Sahara (RAIN) forges partnerships with rural and nomadic peoples of Niger to enable enduring and relevant livelihoods through access to education and opportunity. Based in New Hampshire and working primarily in Niger, among the poorest countries in the world, RAIN focuses on educating and empowering women and girls as the key to transforming rural poverty.
An important aspect of what we do is developing new livelihoods based in cultural tradition. The nomads of the Sahara and Sahel have centuries old artistic traditions working with leather, straw, and textiles. We work primarily with Tuareg and Wodaabe people. Some communities we partner with approach RAIN to start an artisan cooperative made up of talented nomadic women. RAIN provides materials, training, and marketing in Niger and the U.S. Your purchase directly supports livelihoods in a place where there are no job opportunities and education for children in communities where the literacy rate is less than 10%.
Tuaregs are well known not only for their stunning leatherwork, but for their jewelry as well. You will find one of a kind authentic pieces handcrafted in Niger by Tuareg silversmiths. As making jewelry is primarily a pursuit of men, the jewelry we have is not produced by a RAIN artisan cooperative. However, your purchase will directly support all our programs in Niger, including artisan cooperative along with sustainable agriculture projects, wells, mentoring programs and savings and loans groups.
The RAIN Team
Katherine Kolios - Executive Director
Freya Hoffman-Terry - Office Manager
NigerBoubou Aw - Program Director
Salifou Kountche - Director of Administration & Finance
Brian Nowak - Director of Special Projects