The Prem Rawat Foundation Helps Children of Nomadic Tribes in Niger

Sep 13, 2010, 10:17 ET from The Prem Rawat Foundation

TPRF Grant of $30,000 provides food for malnourished school children and affordable feed grain for nomadic peoples in Niger

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A $30,000 grant from The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) will feed schoolchildren and establish a grain bank to nourish herd animals for people currently facing famine, drought, and political instability in Niger, West Africa.

The grant, which was awarded to the nonprofit Rain for the Sahel & Sahara (RAIN), will provide meals for one year to 135 school children and discounted animal feed to help an estimated 50,000 nomadic people return to self-sufficiency in the Agadez region of Niger.

Last year Niger was ranked as the world's poorest nation (U.N. Human Development Index). More than half of its children are chronically malnourished and 12 percent suffer from acute malnutrition (WHO 2009). The TPRF grant focuses on Niger's nomadic peoples who are particularly at risk since they typically receive few, if any, services from the government or other assistance organizations.

"TPRF is deeply moved by RAIN's efforts and appreciates this opportunity to assist it in its programs," said TPRF President Linda Pascotto. "Its goals to foster self-sufficiency are very much in line with what TPRF seeks to advance."

"Our goals," said Bess Palmisciano, executive director for RAIN, "are to address hunger and access to education by providing food at schools, and through animal-feed programs to keep alive the herds that are the basis of nomadic life for these people."

The herds, she said, are the people's source of milk, meat, and income. The TPRF grant will allow RAIN to establish a program where animal grain can be sold at cost and restocked from the income those sales generate.

Palmisciano said this year's drought has meant further loss of pastureland available to the nomads and has driven them farther afield in search of acreage to graze their animals, forcing them to leave their children at school for ever longer periods. If food is provided, parents will send their children to school instead of keeping them home to help. The children then have stable nourishment as well as the chance to learn.

About The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF)

Created in 2001, TPRF promotes Prem Rawat's vision to address fundamental human needs so that people everywhere can live their lives with Dignity, Peace, and Prosperity. For more information, visit:

SOURCE The Prem Rawat Foundation