The path to the Ethagas nomadic school leads you through wide pastures, which wildly thrive at the foot of the barren Aïr mountains in the Sahara region. For as long as anyone can remember, wondering caravans have come to this isolated spot to find water and life after hundreds of trudged kilometres through the desert sand and oppressive heat.
The incredible beauty of Agadez unfortunately hides so many troubles. Due to fierce political tensions, the region has been pushed aside and forgotten. Trade routes to Algeria and Libya are almost closed. The Sahara desert, which once attracted many of tourists from all over the world, is becoming a deeper and deeper grave for thousands of migrants who risk their lives escaping to the north. Just close to the uranium mining areas of the French multinational Areva the local population still live without electricity and running water. School education is accessible for only a lucky few.
The elementary school Ethagas was built in 2012 for Touareg children whose parents live a quiet, nomadic lifestyle. Since its inception the school has developed into a lively place where children, teachers and families learn, share and enjoy together. Before Little Suns were delivered, there used to be no light after sunset except for the glow of the fire and the moon.
The Agadez community are very fond of their solar lamps, they call them “Toufouk Mitchikut” which means Little Sun in Tamashek. Currently 50 children and their families in Agadez share the 20 Little Suns donated to the school. The Little Suns can be borrowed by families for cooking, reading and playing in the evenings. Finally, the women, children and teachers can do their activities after sunset. From now on, Little Suns will be shining in Ethagas alongside the moon and the stars!
If you want to help donate more solar lamps to the Ethagas children, the NGO Tamakrast who brought the lamps to the nomadic community would be very grateful. Little Sun education projects will also be implemented at the nomadic school in the near future. To access our Little Sun free solar education downloads please visit: www.littlesun.com/education. For further information, please check out Tamakrast’s website: www.folioblog.org/iferouane.html or contact Eva Brandt, Little Sun’s head of Humanitarian Projects, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to Mohmoud Mouta & Cosima Jentzsch for journeying with the donated Little Suns, and sharing their story.