Bess Palmisciano went from West African tourist to partner when she founded RAIN in 2001. Previously an attorney, Bess has spent the last decade dividing her time between Niger and the Seacoast area of New Hampshire. She was named by New Hampshire Magazine as one of the state's "Remarkable Women of the World" for 2011.
Brian obtained a B.A in Anthropology from Boston University and an M.A in Education from Long Island University. Brian's strong passion for Niger was first kindled as a BU exchange student. He is a certified elementary school teacher with five years of teaching experience in NYC public schools. In 2005, Brian returned to Niger where he lives in an adobe, solar-powered house on the outskirts of Niamey. He has taught at the American International School in Niamey and for Boston University's Study Abroad Program in Niger, and has consulted for Red Cross and Red Crescent, International Relief and Development, Plan Niger, and OXFAM. He has conducted informal research on urban street children, folk music, spirit possession, and pastoral communities. Brian is working with RAIN's programs targeting adult literacy, gardening and nutrition, mentoring and animal husbandry.
Gaston has served as the Director of the Health Program with the Peace Corps, for which he has also been commissioned as a Language Instructor and Training Director. From 2001 to 2008 he implemented more than 60 development and humanitarian projects in the Sub Sahara region. He has served as the Special Assistant to the Director of USAID/Niger in Policy and Programming; he has also served as Secretary General for the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Technology in Niamey, Niger. He speaks English, French and Hausa. He's married with three children.
A native Nigerien Tuareg who resides in Ingui, Akhmoud has worked RAIN as a master teacher in the RAIN adult bilingual literacy program and presently works as an on-site field agent with our partner communities.
RAIN for the Sahel and Sahara is a nonprofit 501(c)3 working to make a lasting difference in Africa.