Leah Wohlsdorf

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Country Served in::Niger
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{{#if:Mayahi|Region: Mayahi|}}
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Preventative Medicine[edit]

Weekday mornings, I worked at a dispensary located on the north end of Mallamawa Kaka. Every day thirty to fifty women arrived with their children and preventative medical records (the small green booklet on the table) for prenatal exams, nutritional monitoring and vaccinations. In order to preserve the vaccines, they needed to be kept cool with ice packs, which melted very quickly in the extreme heat. Pictured here is the oral administration of a polio vaccine.

Schoolhouse Construction & Girls' Knitting/Embroidery Project[edit]

After submitting a proposal and receiving funding, I oversaw the renovation of a three-room schoolhouse, the addition of a one-room schoolhouse and the introduction of two schoolyard latrines.

With the receipt of another grant, Amina, the only female instructor for the village, and I initiated a vocational training course for the gradeschool's girls. Amina taught a younger group of girls to embroider and an older group to knit baby bonnets, pants and sweaters. In the income generation unit of the course, we sold the garments at the nearest market, and with the profits, bought each girl her own knitting and embroidery needles, thread and yarn.

World Map Project[edit]

Here's the world map I painted on a wall of the newly constructed one-room schoolhouse. While working on the map, villagers would visit me with the common question, "Laiya, what is it?" My answer of, "It's a picture of the world," would always fall on skeptical eyes. Then, I'd receive the sincere compliment, "It's very pretty, all the colors."

Women's Gardening Project[edit]

After a failed attempt at a woman's garden during my first year of service, the women generously gave me a second chance. Through collaboration, pooling together traditional and modern farming knowledge, we were able to grow a hugely successful garden.


Location: Mayahi, Niger[edit]

South of the Sahara and north of savanna, the region of Mayahi is in the Sahel. There's lots and lots of sand, and an occasional tree, cherished for the relief they offer from the relentless sun.

Although Mallamawa Kaka is not listed on Google maps, Mayahi and its surrounding villages can be found here: [1]