Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More About Niger: Introducing the Eden Foundation and Esther Garvi

If you read Monday's post about Niger (Learning About Niger) and watched the documentary, you saw a bit of the Garvi family. Josef Garvi is the coordinator of the Eden Foundation, which "has been working with hundreds of farmers in one of Niger’s most arid zones to disprove the reigning logic that the desert is a tough place to nurture plant- and human- life..." He says that nature has abundant answers to Niger’s perennial food insecurity problems, but "people are not looking close enough. They look for quick answers, handouts from international aid agencies, big expensive hard-to-maintain irrigation projects, or programmes that help politicians look good, but do little to help farmers.” These quotes come from the report, Niger; Fighting Hunger One Tree at a Time (from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).

The Eden Foundation was founded in 1985 in Sweden, and has been active in Tanout, Niger since 1987. Their website states the aim of their project in Tanout as "helping the farmers and their families achieve a sustainable life with the means available to them." Their solution is "to bring them trees and bushes that can grow naturally in this dry area and give food, even in times of need."

You can watch a slideshow by the Foundation, entitled Life in Tanout.

To meet another member of the Garvi family, please go to the delightful blog, Esther Garvi aka Ishtar News. Here you will learn all about life in Niger, and you can ask questions, too. This is what Esther has to say about herself: Born in Sweden, but came to Niger at the age of six. Still around. Am the greatest Niger fan you can find and cannot think of a better way to live my life than working for Eden Foundation in the Tanout zone. This blog is about living life as an unpaid volunteer and trying to make the best out of every day (sometimes possible, sometimes not) while helping the people of the least developed area of the least developed country in the world achieve a sustainable life.

No comments: