Ask Kuba


Ask Kuba

This is a forum in which Kuba the Giraffe answers questions about Niger and the schools we support.

Please send us your question by email to Kara, at

I have heard “Niger” pronounced in two ways. How do you pronounce it?

Because Niger was a French colony, we use the French pronunciation, nee-zher.

What is the hottest month in Niger?

Niger, one of the hottest countries in the world, has three basic climatic zones: the Saharan desert in the north, the Sahel to the south of the desert, and the Sudan in the southwest corner.

The EERN schools are located in the Sahel zone, but the desert is encroaching and affects everyday life.

The rainy season is from May through September, with most rain in July and August. At Niamey, the average maximum daily temperature fluctuates from 76° F in January to 106° F in April. During winter, temperatures can dip into the 60° range , which feels very cold to our Nigerien students and colleagues.

Is their school system like ours?

The educational system is based on France’s system, but with changes to meet the needs of a country like Niger. The school year usually starts in October and ends the following June.

The curriculum is the same for public and private schools, and is developed by the Nigerien government. Students must pass an exam to graduate from sixth grade.

To increase the literacy rate, schooling was made compulsory for children between ages 7 to 15 years. But the reality is that many children still don’t attend school for many reasons. You are helping to change that! Thank you!

How were last year’s Rally for Niger funds used?

The 2013 Rally for Niger raised more than $30,000 for the food program, teacher and administrative training, and school construction for Niamey and Aguie. We were able to complete the last details of the second school building at Aguie, including connecting electricity and providing desks and supplies!

In addition, “Movin for Meals”, a rally put on by an elementary school in Minnesota, raised $2,600 more for meals for students in Niger! In fact, because of you, more than $7,600 was raised for the Food Program. At 0.25 per meal, that is more than 30,000 meals!!

Kuba_rThis year’s Rally will focus on food & health and equipping schools! I’d love to see the gardens filled with fruit trees, more garden plots, money for lots of meals for the kids, and desks and supplies! Can you help?