International Focus - Niger, West Africa

Envisioning a world where access to education is equitable for all people

  Mission: To make education an attainable goal for the most disadvantaged in our world, so that all may be afforded the possibilities that can be achieved through learning. 

Perhaps no where on earth is the need for education more acute than Niger.  Literacy rates in the country are the lowest in all of Africa , and women’s literacy rates are the lowest in the world. During her Peace Corps service in 2000, Co-founder of Educate Tomorrow, Virginia Emmons, helped the village of Kabey Fo realize a dream.  Although devastated by famine that year, the villagers’ first priority was education.  Virginia worked with the village and the local government to develop the budget for construction and operation of a primary school. Together they outlined curricula and staffing plans, and solicited funding, as well as government recognition for the school. An Adult Literacy Program was also developed to support the community's adults. Funding was raised by Co-founders Lucy Spoerk of Muskego, WI, and Melissa McCarthy of Washington, D.C. Additional funds were also granted by the U.S. Ambassador to Niger.

In 2007 through a $21,000 donation from Devon Esrick and her father Steven Esrick, co-founders of Hope Through Education, the village of Kabey Fo was able to construct a four classroom education site, with latrines and a health clinic. The education quarter was named the Devon Esrick Education Center in honor of Devon, the 16 year old young woman who had the courage and determination to start a non-profit. Devon was also the recipient of Educate Tomorrow's 2008 Inspiration in Service Award.

Established under the same principals as the Miami-based efforts, these educational programs are designed to provide inspiration, guidance and support to lead the children and adults on the path of life-long learning.  The Niger education program started with one first grade class in 2001 and is now a full elementary school with three educators. In 2007, when the youth began to graduate from the elementary school, the US Peace Corps in Niger arranged for their previous property to be deeded over to Educate Tomorrow to begin a boarding house in the town of Kirtachi where a Nigerien middle school already existed. This boarding house provides room and board, as well as tutoring and meals, to 15 secondary school students from Kabey Fo.

In 2014, Educate Tomorrow, through support of generous donations, provided medicine for over 500 community members through a rural health center, supported over 100 students ranging from first grade to college by providing school supplies, meals, medicine, transportation, school fees, tutoring services, and shelter so that students could focus on achieving their education and constructed two new permanent classrooms.  

The vision for 2015 is to continue providing medicine for the health center and supporting students, while also expanding services by piloting a micro-finance lending project and an entrepreneur start-up venture.  

These programs continue to be funded by generous donations to Educate Tomorrow’s International Outreach Program.    

 


 Educate Tomorrow, Corp is an international not for profit certified 501 (c) (3). We believe that the best way to stop the cycle of poverty and neglect is education. Currently, Educate Tomorrowis the only NGO operating anywhere within this region of Niger. We are committed to the people of the Kirtachi region and respect their desire to progress independently. We stand by them in their efforts to develop a long-term solution.   



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