Group of young boys reading books at the Barbara Kirker School Library.
MAP Shipment being unloaded in Niamey, at Kirker Foundation Office
MAP shipment being sorted and dispatched.
KAMRA - Established in 2007
Thanks to all of our Donors!
Since its inception, KAMRA facilitated delivery and
distribution of more than $206,000,000 worth of assistance in Niger., West Africa; including $32,000,000 in 2019.
In 2019, a donation of $10 to KAMRA generated $80 in donations from major donor organizations and thus directly supported the shipment of $21,300 in medicines.
Donations are urgently needed to support shipments in 2020.
BARBARA KIRKER SECOND CHANCE SCHOOL:
FIRST REFUGEE CHILDREN ARE ENROLLED
On January 2nd, 2015 the Barbara Kirker Second Chance School admitted 96 refugee children who fled Boko Haram attacks in their villages in Northern Nigeria. This first set of students are temporarily attending classes in two tent classrooms. Construction of two cement classrooms will start soon thanks to a support provided by UNHCR. UNICEF provided school kits and supplies needed to start the school year. In the district of Maine Soroa, more than 2,000 refugee children aged 9-14 years await such opportunity. Read more
The KIRKER AFRICAN MEDICAL RELIEF ASSOCIATION works to improve the quality of life through good health and education
KIRKER HOSPITAL, A MEDICAL FACILITY IN URGENT NEED FOR SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT DUE TO A DEVELOPING HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
The situation in Niger’s southeastern region of Diffa near the border with Nigeria has become extremely volatile. According to official in the region, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 150,000 people have taken refuge in the region so far, following repetitive upsurge of violence from Boko Haram in Nigeria. The district of Maine Soroa, with a population of 200,000 inhabitants is one of the three districts in the Diffa region hosting these displaced people. Read more
Boko Haram Violence put thousands of children out of School in northern Nigeria; The Barbara Kirker Second Chance school plans on expanding its library to provide some of the refugee children some opportunity to read. Learn more on library expansion project.
VIDEO: Barbara Kirker Second Chance School in Maine-Soroa and village of Ali Ambouram, July 2020
August 21, 2017:
The first MedShare shipment which we announced on June 14 has arrived in Niamey, been cleared through customs, and is now at the Kirker Foundation office/warehouse in Niamey. The Kirker Foundation is arranging transport of the supplies from Niamey to Maine. There were 1285 boxes in the first shipment, which included 109 boxes containing 58,529 pairs of gloves. The value of the medical supplies in that shipment was $281,554. The second MedShare shipment has 1341 boxes valued at $366,380 and includes 200 boxes containing 128,325 pairs of gloves. Those who are familiar with providing medical care in Africa recognize the urgent need for gloves, but each box of supplies serves an urgent need at the hospitals.
The medical supplies in these two MedShare shipments will be shared by the three hospitals in southeastern Niger (Maine-Soroa, Diffa and N’Guigmi) which serve the region of 700,000 Nigeriens and 300,000 Nigerian refugees. Additional donations are urgently needed to help fund the Niger clearance and transportation costs of these two shipments.
June 14, 2017:
KAMRA is pleased to announce that the Reed Family Foundation of Atlanta and Conscience International together are funding not one, but two shipments of medical supplies from MedShare of Atlanta to the Kirker Hospital in Maine-Soroa, Niger. Read more
MESSAGE FROM VINCE FARLEY, PRESIDENT OF KAMRA
Since we established the Kirker African Medical Relief Association (KAMRA) in early 2007, I have been honored to serve as its President and pleased to work with some remarkable partners and donors as we have mobilized support for shipments of much-needed medicines and medical supplies to Niger. In late April 2021, a new MAP shipment with medicines valued at $7,366,784 arrived in Niamey, bringing the total value of MAP shipments to Niger to $111,492,943 since April 2016 and nearly $200,000,000 since 2007. In May 2021, we are launching a major effort to enlarge our donor base so we can expand shipments to Niger.
In 2017, I reconnected with JoAnn Lewis and Phyllis Forbes, two amazing Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, whom I first met in 1970 when they were PCVs in BIlma, in the far north of Niger, after having served for two years in Maine-Soroa in eastern Niger. They, along with Karen Brenner, a wonderful RPCV who served in Bande in central Niger 1987-1990, have just sent out a fund-raising email to previous donors to KAMRA, many of whom are RPCVs who served in Niger. My first overseas assignment with the U.S. Foreign Service was 1969-1971 at the U.S. Embassy in Niamey. I got to know many Nigeriens throughout the country and share the affection these RPCVs have for the Nigerien people, who are among the kindest and most welcoming people in the world, but are faced with some of the most difficult living conditions in the world.
The major role of KAMRA, a U.S. 501-c-3 non-profit established in Columbia, SC in 2007, is to raise funds to support the Kirker Foundation, an NGO established in Niger in 2007 and governed by an all-volunteer Nigerien Board of Directors. KAMRA is an all-volunteer organization, and we send nearly all the funds we raise to Niger – our only U.S. expenses are fees to send money to Niger and paying for the professional preparation of the annual 990 report for the IRS (I can send copies of the annual report to those interested in donating). Since 2007, the Kirker Foundation has made all arrangements in Niger to clear and process and then arrange transport to hospitals throughout Niger the medicines and medical supplies in the shipments from the U.S. KAMRA funds are sent to the Kirker Foundation to support the work by the foundation.
We have been very fortunate to work with some remarkable partner organizations. International Relief Teams (IRT) based in San Diego has raised the funds to sponsor nearly all of the 22 MAP shipments since 2007. MAP has been key in raising funds and obtaining medicines for these shipments – before shipping, Nigerien health officials review proposed medicines and select those that can be effectively used. In response to the surge of refugees fleeing into Niger from the murderous predations by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, since 2016 IRT has sponsored nine MAP shipments to Niger. Also since 2016, the Glen Reed Family Foundation of Atlanta has funded the Brunswick, GA to Niamey transport of these shipments. The Friends of Niger (FON), a group of RPCVs and others who support Niger, has provided major support for the April 2021 and the two previous MAP shipments. Medicines in these MAP shipments have been shared with hospitals throughout Niger, wherever the need is greatest.
Since 2017, Conscience International, a US NGO based in Alpharetta, GA, has partnered with KAMRA to support shipments to Niger. In November 2018, the President of CI and a CI team made an assessment trip to Niger to lay the groundwork for a program which will enlarge the capacity of the major teaching hospital in Niger to train Nigerien medical personnel in surgical procedures to treat fistula, which is a major problem for some women in Niger. During that visit, the Niger Minister of Health told the CI team that up to 30% of all the medicine stock in Niger hospitals came from MAP shipments (two major MAP shipments had arrived in May 2018 and and August 2018). In 2017, CI partnered with the Reed Foundation to send two shipments medical supplies from MedShare to Niger and also CI had supported KAMRA in funding the internal costs of an earlier MAP shipment. In January 2020 (pre Covid days), CI and the Reed Foundation supported sending a MedShare shipment with the equipment and supplies needed to expand the surgical rooms at the teaching hospital. This shipment, which arrived in Niamey in April 2020, included over 150,000 masks which were shared with hospitals throughout Niger. A CI team of doctors and medical personnel are planning to travel to Niger to begin the surgical training program once covid restrictions are lifted.
In early 2019, KAMRA began a partnership with Rise Against Hunger (RAH), based in Raleigh, NC, to send high-nutrition rice-soy packets to Niger. For the 2019-2020 school year, RAH packets were used to prepare a highly-nutritious noon meal for the 150 students at the Barbara Kirker Second Chance School in Maine-Soroa (articles on the school are on our website). In addition, RAH packets were used in 12 villages near Maine (check out a film on the website showing children enjoying a meal at the school in Maine and in the village of Ambouram, which is 5 kilometers from Maine). For the 2020-2021 school year, this nutrition program supported the school in Maine (200 students) and was expanded to the school in Wambouzou (150 students), a very small village in north-central Niger, and a school in Bande (200 students) in south-central Niger. In addition to finding donors for the shipments and the cost of Atlanta to Niamey sea freight, RAH also provides budgets to buy locally spices and ingredients to prepare the meals to suit local tastes and to buy firewood for cooking. These RAH shipments have included MAP medicines and MedShare medical supplies that are shared with hospitals in Niamey and eastern Niger, including rural health clinics in the Maine region, and also backpacks filled with school supplies not available locally.
On this website (www.kirkerassociation.org), you will find many articles describing the shipments to Niger over the past ten years. The medicines from MAP shipments have been shared with the hospitals in Niamey, Zinder, Tillabery, Dosso, Tahoua, Maradi, Agadez, BIlma, and the four hospitals in eastern Niger (Maine-Soroa, Diffa town, N’Guigmi, and Goudamaria) – these four hospitals in eastern Niger provide medical care for 700,000 Nigeriens and approximately 200,000 refugees from northeastern Nigeria. There are photos from many of these hospitals on the website. I hope you have read this message to this point and now encourage you to donate to KAMRA and also spread the word to other potential donors. While we have supported almost 2 MAP shipments a year since 2016, our goal is to find additional funding to cover 4 MAP shipments a year, which would provide perhaps up to 40% of all medicines used in the Niger hospital system, which serves a country of 24,000,000 people.
RISE AGAINST HUNGER PROVIDES FOOD ASSISTANCE TO PATIENTS AND STUDENTS IN NIGER
The situation in Eastern Niger is characterized by volatile security conditions and precarious living circumstances. Boko Haram Islamists terrorize local populations creating unprecedented fear on residents, thus negatively impacting the economic and social well-being of the region.
Boko Haram fighters still launch sporadic attacks in the area, killing and kidnapping people. Despite this critical situation, the Kirker Hospital staff remained in place and continues to provide medical care to residents, internally displaced people as well as refugees.
It is amidst these terrible conditions that the Rise Against Hunger, MAP and KAMRA joined forces in June 2019 to provide food and medical assistance to local populations in Eastern Niger. Two shipments of food and essential medicines have already been sent to Niger under the terms of this new collaboration between KAMRA and Rise Against Hunger. Hundreds of patients at the Kirker Hospital and the Barbara Kirker Second Chance school benefit from the RAH nutritional rice-soy fortified packets each day.
Rise Against Hunger, Friends of Niger and KAMRA are working to expand the food assistance to other regions of Niger, with the nomadic c school of Wambouzou in the Tahoua region being the next beneficiary of the nutritional program.
The overall goal of the pilot project is to improve the health and nutritional status of inpatients at the Kirker Hospital by ensuring access to a hot meal a day. Specific objectives pursued through this project include among others
Contributing to the healthy recovery of patients by providing a caloric dense hot lunch,
Improving nutritional status of school-going children,
Reducing the prevalence of moderate malnutrition, especially among children 5 years and under and promote benefits of breastfeeding amongst pregnant and lactating women, and
Improving the consumption of micronutrient rich-foods locally available.
A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN KAMRA. INTERNATIONAL RELIEF TEAMS AND THE REED FAMILY FOUNDATION INCREASES MEDICINE AVAILABILITY THROUGHOUT NIGER
For the past 12 years, with the support from International Relief Teams, and MAP International KAMRA delivered 20 shipments of medicines and supplies to medical facilities throughout Niger. Starting in 2016, the Reed Family Foundation joined the effort and continues to support this medical relief assistance. Beneficiaries of the medical support include the Kirker Hospital of Maine Soroa, the Regional Hospital of Diffa, the District Hospital of Nguigmi, the National Hospital of Niamey, the University Teaching Hospital of Lamordé, The Gazobi Maternity Hospital of Niamey, the National Hospital of Zinder and the Regional Hospital of Tillabery.
The assistance in medicines and supplies provided through this partnership, worth more than $142 million reaches populations in all eight regions of the country, benefitting hundreds of thousands of people.
Kirker Foundation/Niger, KAMRA’s in-country partner works with the Ministry of Health and MAP International to select medicines and supplies that best respond to the needs in Niger, and to determine where they can best be utilized. Supplies that are best suited for use in larger medical centers are sent to the National Hospital in Niamey, the University Teaching Hospital of Lamordé, and the hospital in Zinder.
Through this multi-stakeholders collaboration, KAMRA seeks to provide critically needed support (medicines, medical supplies) in areas of Niger that are dealing with the overwhelming burden on the health care system resulting from the refugees fleeing terrorism in northern Nigeria and Mali, as well as elsewhere in Niger where these supplies can best be used. KAMRA also strengthens the organizational relationships of Kirker Foundation/Niger to play a larger role as an advocate for health care resources in other areas of Niger affected by the refugee influx and other crises, building on its track record in the Diffa Department, and through expanding is partnerships with new organizations, both international and local.
In October 2019, KAMRA and Kirker Foundation partnered with Friends Of Niger (FON), a Returned Peace Corps Volunteers' association to deliver more than $20,000,000 worth of medicines. The medicines were provided by MAP International, and transportation was funded by the Reed Family Foundation, while the shipment was sponsored by International Relief Teams.
The KAMRA/MAP/IRT/Reed Foundation partnership undoubtedly increases availability, accessibility and utilization of critically needed medicines and supplies in one of the world’s poorest countries.
2018 Shipments of Medicines to Niger
In 2018, there were two shipments of MAP medicines to Niger, with each shipment containing over $11,000,000 in urgently needed medicines. These shipments were sponsored by International Relief Teams (IRT) of San Diego, which has supported MAP shipments to Niger since 2007, and the Brunswick, Georgia to Niamey transport was funded by the Glen Reed Family Foundation of Atlanta, Georgia. KAMRA raised money in the US which was transferred to the Kirker Foundation (the Nigerien NGO established in 2007) to assist with the Niger clearance and internal transportation costs.
Since 2016, MAP shipments of medicines have provided half of the medicines used by the three hospitals in eastern Niger (Maine-Soroa, Diffa and N’Guigmi) which provide medical services to the Nigerien population of 700,000 and to the 200,000 – 250,000 people who have moved to eastern Niger fleeing Boko Haram violence in northeastern Nigeria.
Medicines from the two 2018 MAP shipments, which arrived in Niamey in May and August, were sent to the three hospitals in eastern Niger. The shipments contained significant amounts of critically needed antibiotics, and medicines were also shared with the National Hospital in Niamey, the Gazobi Central Maternity Hospital in Niamey, the National Hospital in Zinder, the regional hospital in Tillabery and other hospitals with urgent needs. In October 2018, when the President of Conscience International (CI), a partner institution with KAMRA, and the CI team met with the Minister of Health, the Minister estimated that the MAP shipments provided up to one- third of the medicines required for the entire country of 20,000,000 people.
MEDICINES FOR THE MOST IN NEED
DIFFA REGION OF SOUTHEASTERN NIGER
Deadly attacks carried out in northeastern Nigeria by Islamic extremists known as the Boko Haram have created an urgent humanitarian crisis in eastern Niger. Since 2013, more than 115,000 refugees have fled from Nigeria seeking shelter in Niger. More than 10,000 arrived in Niger between Nov. 24 and Nov. 26, 2014.
The need for medicines is desperate and has been exacerbated by an outbreak of cholera among the refugees and the local population. A MAP International container of medicines and supplies worth U.S. $1,600,000, including over U.S. $1,000,000 in antibiotics, sponsored by International Relief Teams (IRT), is being shipped to eastern Niger, but KAMRA has to raise $10,000 in transport costs. To do this, the Kirker African Medical Relief Association (KAMRA) is launching the “Medicines for the Most in Need” campaign. A $10 contribution will deliver over $1,000 in antibiotics and $600 in other medicines and supplies."
Nigeriens are taking responsbility of in-country transport of shipment. KAMRA's local partner in Niger, Kirker Foundation just launched a fundraising campaign to come up with $3,000 to transport shipment from Niamey to the Diffa region.
KAMRA is completely run by volunteers.
100% of your donation goes directly to support medical facilities providing care to populations in need in Niger.
All donations are tax deductable.
To see a copy of The Kirker African Medical Relief Association’s 501(c)3 Internal Revenue Service acceptance letter please click on 501c3
There are many ways you can get involved with helping KAMRA, like contributing through corporate matching, volunteering, or spreading the word by use of social networking.
Providing medical and eduational assiantance to those less fotunate, and the most in need. We do so by sending medicines, medical supplies and equipment to hospitals, as well as provide educational opportunities to young girls and boys without any present chance at schooling.