Thursday, October 11, 2007

Back to school in Fak !!!

It's time for the 25 students
of the primary school of Fak
to open their notebooks.

On October 15, official date for school reopening in Niger, the school of Fak will open its doors.
Abdou Harouna, the teacher is ready and eager to start teaching again.

Thanks to the work of association Timidouwa, to the Club Humani-Terre of Collège Henry Matisse in Issy-les-Moulineaux and to the generous donors, we have been able to collect the the funds that will serve to cover the school functionning costs.

All in all, 1 800 EUR have been collected
and will be affected to the school.

Unfortunately this amount is not enough to cover the entire school year. As a matter of fact, the cost of food items has rised, as a consequence of the insecurity in the north of the country. We will the only be able to supply food for half of the year only, while we wait for new donations.

We have mandated Aghali Sidi Mohamed, a Tagaste worker, to go to Abalak where he will buy the food supplies and then convey them to Fak. During his mission he will inspect the school infrastructures and hold meetings with the students' parents and the school management comitee.

Order of the day: the formation of a school herd (each parent has been asked to bring a goat as a matriculation fee)

Thank you for your support....

More info on the situation of school of Fak as soon as Aghali comes back from his mission.

Make a donation
to support the school of Fak:

through the Sunflower Children non-profit foundation

or by contacting Association Timidouwa:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

With the WATA, drinkable water the nomadic population of Tamaya

The Belgian Technical Cooperation in Niger will be funding NGO Tagaste so that the organization can realize its WATA project. The project consists in putting in place a water disinfection system in the rural locality of Tamaya.

The project was initiated in collaboration with Antenna Technologies, a franco swiss organization, that invented and distributes the system.

The WATA is a device that produces active chloride using only salted water, thanks to the electrolyse phenomenon. It is very easy to use, resistant and durable. Active chloride is a component that destroys or disables pathogene micro-organisms.

In 1 hour, the WATA can produce 1 liter of active chloride.

With 1 liter of active chloride, after dilution, one can obtain 4 000 liters of drinkable water.

The project will make drinkable water affordable for everyone, because the liter of chloride will be sold at 100 FCFA (about 20 cents).

The community radio of Tamaya, already equipped with solar panels, has been chosen to produce and commercialise the active chloride.

The project will start in May 2008, just before the rainy season and the transhumance, so that the populations will have an affordable solution to make drinkable water (in that season people usually drink water from the ponds formed by the rains).

To learn more about the project, write us at or visit Antenna Technologies website

Artists from Niger support NGO Tagaste

Since June 2006, Minate, a tuareg jeweler from Tchinta-Baraden who travels very often to Europe to sell his pieces, has been supporting NGO Tagaste projects by donating 1% of his sales to the organization.
Minate's last sale in France was a success partly because he was helped by our partner Timidouwa.
Minate is planning to go back to France in October. He will then organize another exhibition of his jewelry during a benefit concert given by Koudede.

Koudede and his band will be on tour in Europe during that period.

To learn more about Koudede's tour dates, visit

To watch Koudede's video clips, visit
To learn more about Koudede's benefit concert and Minate's jewelry sale, visit Timidouwa's website

The school of Fak and the club "Humani-Terre"

Since the beginning of scholl year 2006, the little primary school of Fak is supported by a solidarity project from the grade school Henry Matisse, Issy-Les-Moulineaux, France.

The goal of this project is to have exchanges between the students of Issy-Les-Moulineaux and the students of Fak.

The French students have created a club, called club "Humani-Terre" (a play on words on "humanitarian club"), in which the students have assisted to chats about Niger given by members of Timidouwa,our partner association. They have also made several arts and crafts activities, producing items that will be sold to collect funds for the school of Fak.

The open day at the Henry Matisse grade school, on june 23, was the culmination of the club's activities. The students had put together an exhibition about Niger, and they exhibited and sold their artifacts to their parents and teachers: lamps, pearl jewelry, plants...

At the end of the day, the members of the club "Humani-Terre" had collected more than 600 euros that will be used to ensure the school of Fak will open its doors for the 2007 school year.

In order to make this project durable and to establish a real exchange between Fak and Issy-Les-Moulineaux, NGO Tagaste will implement school activities: among other things, the students of Fak will take part in a photography workshop and put together a photo album about their daily lives that will be sent to the french students.

Mathilde and Sarah, from Timidouwa, present the students realizations.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Amiriguiz FM, the messenger of Tamaya

A radio for – and by - the community

The village of Tamaya is a rural community of the department of Abalak. It was born after the droughts of 1973 ans 1984, that decimated the breeders’ stock. From this moment on, populations started to establish themselves along the “uranium road”, the road that crosses the country to join Arlit, the mining city of Niger. Until 2003, when the radio was created, the vilage of Tamaya did not have access to any information source.

In 2001, the idea of creating a community radio is launched by Youssouf Alhaji and some friends, Mohamed Hamed and Kidik Inzigarene.

Two years of waiting...

In Niger, to create or install a community radio, the iniators of the project must organize in an official association, then obtain a broadcsating authorization with a specific frequency that only the High Council of Communication can deliver. All these formalities can really slow the process down. Moreover, everything is played out from Niamey, the capital , which is very far away from Tamaya.

The Association for the Promotion of the Tamaya Community Radio was created and got the technical and financial support of the United Nations Development Program , through the dutch NGO SNV-Niger.

The team still had to wait for two years before the community radio « Amiriguiz » (the Messenger in Tamajaq) could finally emit its first program, on Januaery 1st 2003, at 9 :00 AM.

Sensibilizing and informing

When i twas created, the Tamaya radio had 14 employees, out of which 9 were women.

The radio emits on a radius of 30 km, which enables it to reach a population of nomadic stockbreeders. The Tamaya radio has payed an important role in sensibilizing and informing the population on important themes:

∑ health concerns,
∑ schooling of nomadic children and in particular of nomadic young girls,
∑ early marriage,
∑ environmental concerns.

More recently, in October 2006, the Tamaya radio allowed NGO Tagaste to launch a campaign against plastic refuse.

Amiriguiz FM today

Today the radio encounters numerous difficulties (lack of technical equipment, lack of financial means, lack of employees), but hope is still here.

Radio Nomade, from Agadez, will collaborate with Amiriguiz and some of its programs will soon be broadcast on Tamaya’s radio frequency.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Little herd - Big herd

Remember them? The 12 ewes bought in October 2005 thanks to the donations of our friends in New York...

At the time we had planned to distribute them to nomadic families who had lost most of their animals, but the plans have changed. As a matter of fact, we have decided to gather a herd for the NGO. The herd will allow us to distribute sheep not only once, but every year.

So, the herd is doing well.
It now amounts to 22 sheeps,
out of which 10 are cute little lambs!

we will dsitribute 8 of the 10 lambs next year to women's groups; and the remaining 2 will take part of the Tagaste herd...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Opening of the school of Fak

Since November 13 2006 the primary school of Fak is open.

We wish to thak our partners:
Sunflower Children (USA)
Batimat (Niger)
Association Timidouwa (France)

and all our friends
who have contributed, through their donations,
to the project’s success.

Meeting with Hawad

23-25 November, 2006

During the cultural evenings on the theme of Tuareg poetry, organized by Hawad and his wife in Agadez, Youssouf has debated with the famous Tuareg poet/painter/calligrapher.

The future of the young Tuaregs, modernity, adaptation to the profound changes of the society and the new definition of Targuité are among the themes that were debated.

Tamaya reacts to the danger of plastic refuse

The community and in particular the women of Tamaya reacted positively to the radio broadcast about the plastic refuses.
A few weeks ago, when Youssouf was visiting the village, several groups pf people came to him with questions about the dangers of plastic refuse.

Our first radio program about environmental concerns, broadcasted on the community radio’s waves since October, has thus been a success.

As a matter of fact, after several weeks of broadcasting, a debate has born among the Tamaya community and the population has raised many questions about the management of plastic refuse.

As an answer, Youssouf has recorded a second radio program, in order to clarify the issues raised by the population.

We are currently looking for partners to help us in our mission of conscientization, prevention and management of plastic refuse and garbage.
We are planning to organize cleaning teams in the village, to install waste containers in the streets and manage the garbage adequately.

A big village debate about waste management will be organized soon.

Timidouwa at the Solidarity Market

The association Timidouwa Amitié Niger, our partner in France was present at the Solidarity Market, on November 18, 2006, that took place Place d'Italie, in Paris.

The Timidouwa team had a booth about Niger and the projects of Tagaste.

Mathilde B. had a huge success with her Tuareg tea!

The projects of Association Timidouwa:

"We are also planning to participate in the Internationale Solidarity week of La Sorbonne, at Clignancourt.
We are hoping to sell Nigerien craftmanship and Tuareg jewelry for Christmas. Most of the sales' benefits will go to the school of Fak.
Least but not last, after a meeting with a History and Geography teacher at the Magnanville high school, who invited us to present Niger and the activities of our association to one of his classes, we are planning to organize more presentations in schools and high schools..."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Timidouwa and Tagaste, a franco-tuareg friendship

A French association becomes Tagaste’s voice in France

The association Timidouwa Amitié Niger (Niger Friendship) is a young association, created in July 2006 by four friends, Mathilde, Cécile, Julie and Mathilde, after one of them traveled to Niger in 2005 and met the members NGO Tagaste and the tuareg communities of the Azawak Valley.
The association’s objectives are to be the representative of NGO Tagaste in France and to bring a financial support to its projects, starting with Fak school project. The association will also work to promote Niger, the tuareg culture, etc…

Timidouwa will be present at the « Marché solidaire » (the Solidarity Market) that will take place in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, France, on October 18 2006 during the International Solidarity Week.

If you wish to contact Timidouwa :
- E-mail :
- Phone : Mathilde B. : 06 76 17 36 43
Cécile : 01 34 77 00 56
Mathilde C. : 01 45 88 53 79
Julie : 06 17 18 67 48

The association’s office is located in Mantes-la-Ville (Yvelines), France
Address: 15, rue Camélinat, 78 711 Mantes la Ville, France

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunflower Children and NGO Tagaste, working together to develop the Fak community

Sunflower Children, a non-profit foundation headed by Czech fashion model Helena Houdova and based in New York City, is partnering with NGO Tagaste in order to raise funds to develop the community of Fak, a community of nomadic stockbreeders in the Northeast of Niger.

Sunflower Children is providing their non-profit status and their online donation tool to help raise funds in order to reopen the school of Fak, rehabilitate the well and create a cereal bank for the community.

Sunflower believes that education is the key to a better life for disadvantaged children. Accordingly, Sunflower focuses on providing vital support - including healthcare, nutritional and other basic needs - that enable children in Sunflower Project communities to pursue educational growth.

To learn more about the Fak project, and if you wish to make a donation, please visit the Sunflower website:

October 5th: New York fundraiser for the school of Fak

Once again, our friends in New York are mobilizing to help us achieve our goal: to reopen the school of Fak.

Jiri Boudnik, our NGO representative in New York, and Sabine Scheckel, a New York based photographer, in association with the non-profit foundation Sunflower Children, are organizing a fundraising event on October 5th.

Please join us on October 5th in New York for an evening of sahelian music, drinks and great food.

Where: Above Fanelli's
94 Prince street, 2nd floor
(corner of Mercer street)

Life music from Niger: Abdoulaye Alhassane will play typical desert music

Art auction (from 6-10PM)
Sabine Scheckel will auction off her pictures from Niger (
Jiri Boudnik will auction off some of his paintings (

Silver Tuareg jewelry from Niger will be on sale.

Appetizers courtesy of Chef John Light
Drinks courtesy of Pilsner Urquell and Glacier Vodka

Suggested donation: $20 at the door

The school of Fak will open its doors

The Tagaste team has secured a schoolteacher for the school of Fak with the Nigerien academic inspection of Abalak.

The school should open at the end of October, and allow the 25 children of the community to resume their basic education.

In the next few weeks, the Tagaste team will have a meeting with the community leader of Fak, purchase the food supplies for the school, replenish their didactical materials and set everything in place for the arrival of the schoolteacher.

Coming soon…
Stay tuned for some great videos of the school reopening!

NGO Tagaste and The Nomad Foundation: a possible partnership

On September 12, in the mud city of Agadez, at the doors of the great Sahara desert, Youssouf and Ingrid of NGO Tagaste, had a meeting with Leslie Clark and Sidi Mohamed Mamane Illo, from the Nomad Foundation.

Leslie Clark, founder of the Nomad Foundation, is an artist whose career has always incuded travel.

The Nomad Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of artistic and cultural traditions. Helping people support themselves using skills they already possess. Starting with cultural exchanges bringing African musicians to the US to increase awareness of the beauty of the music and art forms. The foundation has always tried to work with the local population to decide what it is they need and want to improve their lives. Today the projects include nomadic schools, wells, women's co-operatives, microcredit, cereal banks, health and nutritional issues for people and animals.

Sidi Mamane is the Nomad Foundation representative in Niger. He is the elected councillor for the Ingall region which is the most important region of nomadic people. He is the director of Nomad Expeditions, the Niger arm of Nomad Adventures and a founding member and president of the Agadez Rotary Club.

Talks turned around the general situation of the Fulani and Tuareg nomads of Niger and specific projects of both structures were discussed.

NGO Tagaste and the Nomad Foundation are considering a partnership to develop the commercialization of sheep by the women’s groups of the village of Tamaya.

Please visit The Nomad Foundation's website:

Tamaya is mobilizing against plastic waste

NGO Tagaste is starting a media campaign against the plastic refuse that is plaguing the village of Tamaya.

The first stage of the campaign will be a series of radio programs aiming at heightening the villagers’ awareness of the dangers of plastic waste for the environment, the animals and the population.

The radio programs, designed and produced by Youssouf from NGO Tagaste, will air on the Tamaya community radio airwaves and reach people in a radius of 30 km around the village.

The first radio program will be recorded next week in the facilities of the Tamaya community radio and will air immediately.

Youssouf and Ingrid have already started the campaign with a test on the children of Youssouf’s nomadic camp. Through play activities they have taught the children to pick up the plastic waste left behind by the camp. The test has proven to be positive: the children are now picking up plastic everyday and bring it, first thing in the morning, to Ingrid.

The second stage of the campaign will be to put in place a cleaning team that will pick up, store and properly dispose of the plastic waste.

NGO Tagaste is looking for partners in order to execute the second stage of the plastic waste project.

Coming soon…
Stay tuned for some great video of the children of the camp cleaning up plastic waste
and… the recording of the first radio program of the plastic refuse campaign

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The transhumance: a reason to live

The period between July and September is a capital moment in the life of the nomadic cattle breeders.

Living in one of the harshest environment of the planet, the Fulanis and Tuaregs, who constitute the pastoral class of Niger, are confronted to great difficulties in their daily life once the rainy season is over, but...

Right after the first rains start, as soon as the grass starts to grow, men and animals converge towards the salted marshes of the region of In-Gall, full of minerals indispensable to the animals. Some stockbreeders cover more than 400 kilometers to reach the salted marshes.

The men lead the convoy and are in charge of herding the animals (camels, cows and sheep), by foot or on camelback. Women, who are in charge of the tent, the traditional nomadic shelter, follow them on their donkey and transport the domestic equipment.

The abundance of water and pasture makes the stockbreeders' work easy and they take advantage of this prosperous period to organize big festivities at the first opportunity.

"Tendé" (evening of chants and traditional dances to the sound of the drum) and camel races are organized.

For young people, it is the moment to dress up. It is time to show off one's beautiful clothes and precious jewelry and to richly harness one's camel.

The three stages of the transhumance:


It is the trip to the salted marshes. The stockbreeders move their camps daily and it is during this time that the festivities are organized, because water is everywhere on the way and people are happy.


After three weeks of daily displacement, the stockbreeders establish their camp in the Ighazer, the salted plains, for a bout a month, so that their animals can replenish their strength and benefit from the salted water and pasture.

At this time the different nomadic populations organize the event know today as "The Salted Cure".

The official Salted Cure, organized in september in the city of In-Gall, is inspired from the traditional festivities celebrated in the wilderness by the stockbreeders.

To take part to one of these huge nomadic gatherings, you just have to happen on a Tuareg encampment. You will be a spectator of spectacular camel races, chants and dances, all day and all night long.

At the end of September, "Gerouels" are also organized. These are the festivities of the Bororo fulanis, or Wodaabee, during which beauty is celebrated. In fact, the goal of the festivities is to choose the most beautiful man of the yar. the candidates to the prize must chant and dance during several days to let the jury make its choice. The most beautiful young women of the community are in charge of this task.


It is the return of the stockbreeders to their land. This trip is very difficult because water is becoming scarce on the way. The nomads must travel twice a day and cover long distances in order to reach their well as soon as possible.

For the Tuaregs the transhumance is not only an asset for the social and cultural balance of the community, but it is also a reason to live, the most awaited event of the year whose thought helps them through the difficult stages of their lives.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Help us to reopen Fak's school

In 2005 the nomadic school of Fak closed its doors

...because there is no more food supply for the canteen.

25 children, age 7 to 10, are deprived of education.

Niger has an illiteracy rate of 84% and a low schooling rate (globally 35% but only 12% of girls).

The region of Abalak, located in the pastoral zone in the northeast of Niger, has one of the highest illiteracy rate of the country.

In fact, for an area of 20 000 km2 and 100 000 inhabitants, the region counts only 98 primary schools.

Most of the population of the area are nomadic cattle breeders, who live far from urban centers, and consequently far from schools.

In the bush, the only opportunity of education for the children of the cattle breeders are the "nomadic schools".

The budget of a nomadic school is 1 759 500 CFA,

equaling $3 200 for the entire school year...

NGO Tagaste has set the goal to reopen the canteen, in order to reopen the school at Fak and give back their chance to 25 children.

If you wish to help, contact us at:

Tel: 00-227-96-57-90-73 / 00-227-94-24-32-90

10 EUR = 20 kg of pasta

25 EUR = 100 kg of millet

35 EUR = 48 l of powdered milk

45 EUR = 2 sheep

"He who opens a school door, closes a prison"

Victor Hugo

To receive the complete project proposal, write to:

Download the brochure (PDF format)

Help us to reopen Fak's school

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Alert: a school is closing in the Azawak Valley

The school of Fak has closed its doors for the school year 2006.
This year, 25 children will not have access to basic education.

Fak's well is located 40 km east of Abalak, in the region of Tahoua. About 200 families of nomadic cattle breeders live around this well.
The opening of the school in 2004 gave access to asic education to several nomadic children.

The way of life of the nomadic cattle breeders takes them away from the well a little more everyday, as they look for pasture for their animals. Sending the children to school would then mean sending them by foot everyday, several kilometers away from their families.
In these conditions, the children can only attend school if the State of Niger provides for them, feeding them and lodging them on premises.

At the start of the 2006 school year, the 25 students of Fak, ages 7 to 10, were present in the school facilities. However this year, they were not provided for: the school canteen had been closed. One after the other, the children had to leave the school to go back to their families.

Today the school at Fak is closed, depriving 25 children of their right to education.

NGO Tagaste recognized by the government of Niger

Since February 26, 2006, NGO Tagaste figures in the official journal of the Republic of Niger.
It means that Tagaste is now authorized to exercise its activities for a 4-year period.

We would like to thank the generous donors who have helped us obtain our status of official Non Governmental Organization.

NGO TAGASTE - Who are we?

NGO TAGASTE is a Nigerien non-profit organization,working in the field of grassroots development.

The NGO's goal is to contribute to the economical, social and cultural development of Niger, focusing especially on the Azawak region.

The Azawak is a sub-sahelian region with a semi arid climate, located between the Aïr moutains and the agricultural zones in the South of the country.
It extends from the North-West of Niger to the North of Mali.
In Niger, the azawak covers the counties of Tchin-Tabaraden, Abalak and In-Gall.

The region is inhabited mostly by nomadic Tuaregs and Fulanis who practice essentially susbsistance stockbreeding.

Since 1974, cyclical droughts are plaguing the region, weakening the situation of the stockbreeders.
Access to water, the rarity of cereals and the degradation of the environment are the principal preoccupations of the population.

The NGO's activities are essentially oriented towards:

1. the promotion of the agro-pastoral sector,
2. the development of the educational sector in the nomadic zone,
3. the creation of revenue-generating activities for women's groups,
4. the creation and rehabilitation of wells.


Tel: 00-227-96-57-90-73