Bess Palmisciano


Bess Palmisciano's picture
Name: Bess Palmisciano
Organization: Rain for the Sahel and Sahara
Title: Executive Director Rain for the Sahel and Sahara

Challenge Entries

RAIN partners with women in Niger, West Africa to create various cooperative enterprises. RAIN provides materials, equipment, marketing assistance and training. Each cooperative agrees to set aside a significant percentage of their profits, generally 50%, fpr their children's schools. The members earn, become involved in education, gain confidence and enter RAIN literacy classes.

Bringing simple technology - rulers, knives, gridded cutting boards - and modern designs to nomadic women artisans moved them from selling their handcrafted goods for paltry sums to local merchants to being able to access, through RAIN, western markets and prices. They gain independence, widen their world and donate 50% of their earnings to support their local schools, earning community respect.

May 26, 2009 / 0 Comments / in


RAIN’s  literacy loop brings women and girls together in a mutually supportive pursuit of education. Women, most of them illiterate, mentor school girls. The training the mentors receive and their contact with education nurtures their self-confidence and desire to learn. The women are then offered bilingual literacy classes.