Nomadic Notes

The new tote bags from the Wodaabe artisan cooperative are here!

Posted in Women Artisans by rain4sahara on May 24, 2011
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RAIN is excited to announce that the bright, beautiful, colorful tote bags featuring hand embroidery by Wodaabe women in our “Metier Chance Vivre” cooperative are now available to buy! 

The tote bags sell for $40 each.  100% of proceeds go to the women, who donate 50% to the care, feeding and education of their children in school.

Contact us to order!

Some members of the Wodaabe co-op


Article: “In Libya you face bombs, but in Niger you face death”

Posted in Niger Food Security,Niger News by rain4sahara on May 20, 2011
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IRIN Africa | NIGER-LIBYA: “In Libya you face bombs, but in Niger you face death” | Libya | Niger | Conflict | Economy | Food Security | Migration | Urban Risk.

Communities across Niger already vulnerable to food insecurity after a devistating drought and rising food costs are facing the new burden of thousands who had left to work in Libya fleeing the conflict and returning to Niger.  Click the link above to the article by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs learn more.

Please post your thoughts and reactions on this new development.

Mentoring and Scholarship Program Receives Boost from Segal Family Foundation

Posted in Uncategorized by rain4sahara on May 16, 2011

The Segal Family Foundation, headed by Barry Segal,  focuses on efforts to eradicate poverty, empower women, and reduce child mortality, primarily in Sub Saharan Africa.  The Foundation has made a gift of support for RAIN’s Girls Mentoring and Scholarship Program for nomadic communities in Niger.  We’re honored to be chosen as a partner among the many important projects the foundation supports.

For more information, visit

RAIN Awarded $5,000 Grant from the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund for Niger Mentoring Program

Posted in Announcements,Girls Education,Women Artisans by rain4sahara on May 5, 2011

The Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (VGIF) has awarded RAIN a grant for $5,000 for a Girls Scholarship and Mentoring Program to be implemented in a partner school of the Tilaberi region of Niger, West Africa.

The grant is one of 30 awarded to projects around the world by VGIF. RAIN’s mentoring program will include five mentors and thirty-five at-risk students, who will receive guidance, practical skills training, tutoring and health education, as well as tuition and books. In addition, the funding will support the formation of a women artisan’s cooperative in the community, where women come together to learn and earn for their families and school.

Virginia Gildersleeve’s vision as an educator and her lifelong advocacy for women’s rights are captured in VGIF’s mission to provide support to grassroots projects that empower women and girls in developing countries. For over 40 years, VGIF has been supporting women with over 350 projects in 72 countries. For more information, visit

RAIN is proud to partner with VGIF in helping girls in Niger succeed and stay in school!

Bess to be honored among 2011 “Remarkable Women of the World” by NH Magazine

Posted in Uncategorized by rain4sahara on May 3, 2011

Bess has been selected by New Hampshire Magazine as one of 2011’s “Remarkable Women of the World.”  Bess, along with six other New Englanders who are making the world a better place, will be honored at a special breakfast on May 18th, at the Bedford Village Inn in Bedford, New Hampshire.

Over breakfast, the women will reveal their points of view on a world of challenges and solutions. Guiding the discussion will be Annabel Beerel, an expert on ethical leadership and founder of the N.H. Women’s Leadership Summit. The public is welcome, and tickets are $27, including breakfast.

If you’d like to  attend, click here:

All of us at RAIN in the US and Niger are excited for Bess to receive this well deserved recognition, and hope it helps to bring more awareness about the work we do along with our nomadic partners and dedicated supporters!

Eleanor Briggs Bess Palmiscaiano Sy Montgomery Gretchen Wallace Jackie Eastwood Jeanne Shaheen Sara Jayne Steen

Click here to read the article:

Celebrate Earth Day and download 1% for the Planet benefit compilation!

Posted in Uncategorized by rain4sahara on April 22, 2011
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Happy 41st Earth Day! Our partner, 1% for the Planet, is sharing “1% for the Planet: The Music, Vol. 1”, a benefit compilation featuring 41 rare and exclusive tracks from artists like Jackson Browne, Josh Ritter, Grace Potter, and Jack Johnson—simply visit and enter code EARTHDAY11.

Bombino Interviewed on PRI’s “The World”

Posted in Uncategorized by rain4sahara on April 18, 2011

Check out the interview here:

Also watch this clip from Ron Wyman’s film AGADEZ: 

RAIN Spring 2011 News

Posted in Uncategorized by rain4sahara on April 14, 2011
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Recently, RAIN partnered with Rotary Clubs around the seacoast of New Hampshire to create a sustainable garden in Bonfeba, a village located on  the Niger River. The garden aims to provide villagers with a source of clean water as well as crops. Also included is an interview with Fatima Rhissa, a woman whose daughter has benefitted from RAIN’s mentoring program.

And don’t forget to catch RAIN at the Portsmouth Farmer’s Market!

RAIN will be selling authentic Taureg jewelry along wih hand made crafts from our artisan cooperatives- including purses, cell phone cases and more! Dates for this event are May 21, June 18, July 23, August 20, and September 10. You can also purchase RAIN items by visiting us on eBay! Check back as new items are added!

Click here to read Spring 2011 News

RAIN friend Brigi Rafini new Niger Prime Minister

Posted in Niger government by rain4sahara on April 12, 2011
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 The new President of Niger, Mohamadou Issoufou, has named Brigi Rafini, a Tuareg, as Prime Minister. M. Rafini is a former member of the Niger National Assembly, as well as the former Mayor of  Iferouane, in the Air Massif.

Brigi Rafini, pictured here, at right, meeting with RAIN’s program assistant, Mohamoud Mouta, is a good friend of RAIN.

This picture was taken in 2009, when Mr. Rafini was Mayor of Iferouane.  I took the photo during one of the regular meetings between the Mayor and RAIN, discussing ways to collaborate to improve development in the region.

We are pleased to congratulate Mr. Rafini on his new post and look forward to continuing our fruitful collaborations.

-Bess Palmisicano

Bombino’s Latest Album “Agadez” Featured on NPR’s First Listen

Posted in Nomadic Culture by rain4sahara on April 12, 2011
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