Aichatou Abani is the Integrated Food Security Project Coordinator working on our latest Hands On project in Doutchi, Niger.
My role in the project is to coordinate and manage all the activities: from the preparation, to implementation and evaluation.
The biggest challenge for people in Niger is food security and hunger. It has unfortunately become an ongoing problem in the last few years and is affecting a lot of people.
Involving the community
There has been a strong involvement of the community right from the start in terms of planning this project. We have held awareness-raising sessions to help everyone develop ownership of the goals.
Following these sessions we have now begun the project and we have carried out certain activities, notably holding meetings with community members to share information with them, and at the same time to get information from them about how we can improve the plans.
We feel that the community knows where it is and where it wants to go. The awareness raising work we have done has really helped the community understand the importance of everything that they have received in support. It’s been a really important piece of work.
Strengthening bonds and gathering wisdom
We feel that the project can really strengthen the bonds between people in this village. We’ve already seen just how much the community comes together. From here on, we think that food insecurity could become something of the past.
Only yesterday we were discussing one of the activities planned for the project: tree nurseries, where people will plant trees and when they reach a certain stage, will replant them near the fields. People can’t wait to start this as they were telling me that the desert is encroaching, their fields are bare and they really want to protect their fields. That shows how they understand the danger of climate change and want to fight against it. They are ready to plant and protect these trees. It was the people themselves who told us what species of tree they wanted to help to restore the soil.
What keeps me going
The work that I do every day, my reflections, the way I work with the community are always guided by my faith in God. It gives me the courage and the strength to work and to work well.
Our new Hands On project needs support. Find out how you could make the difference to this special community