Carbondale Rotary Club partners to Fund a Women’s Tree Nursery in Niger


The Rotary Club of Carbondale is helping to tackle poverty, hunger and malnutrition through its support of the Farmers of the Future program. The goal of Farmers of the Future is to help impoverished farmers of Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, escape the poverty trap of subsistence farming. It teaches modern agricultural practice to primary school children and creates profitable farming businesses for their mothers. The project, now in its pilot phase in three villages in Niger, is being implemented through the non-profit organization, Eliminate Poverty Now, which was founded by Carbondale Rotarians John and Judy Craig to promote economic opportunity in Africa, especially for women.



The Carbondale Club has made a $10,000 grant to Eliminate Poverty Now to commercialize a tree nursery for mothers at one of the three pilot schools. This will complete the Farmers of the Future site in the village of Galbal, combining the income-generating project for mothers with the children's programs already in place. The women in the village will fruit trees for sale in the local market, creating a profitable and sustainable business. The revenues from the business will generate about $500 per mother, a substantial increase in income for people who live on less than $1/day. The revenues will also cover the operating expenses for the tree nursery, and pay school fees for all 600 children in the village. The change this will make in the lives of everyone in Galbal is profound, with the ripple effect having the potential to improve thousands of lives.




In short, as a result of this generous grant:;

• one sustainable business will be created; 

• 20 women will be lifted out of extreme poverty and be able to feed and clothe their families;

• and primary school will become free for all 600 children in the village.


But that's just the beginning. The Carbondale Club is taking the lead in organizing a World Service project with multi-club support and matching funds from the District and Rotary International. The project will commercialize another tree nursery at one of the original pilot schools, and create water access and a vegetable garden to expand the Farmers of the Future program to a 4th pilot school. Carbondale will be drumming up support from other clubs in the Roaring Fork Valley and the broader 5470 District.



In Niger, the project will be hosted by the Niamey-Croix-du-Sud club, and Gaston Kaba. Gaston is founder and past-president of the club and national chairman of the Polio Plus Committee. He has sponsored dozens of international projects during his many years of Rotary service and provides a highly reliable and experienced partner for the project.