Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Destination: Niger (Niamey)

History of Niamey (capital city)
   Very little is known about the founding of Niamey, except that it was originally an agricultural village of Zarma, Maouri and Fulani peoples. In 1896 the area was incorporated into French West Africa. In 1902 the village became a French fort and later the capital of Niger colony in 1926. Today Niamey is Niger's largest city and its administrative and economic center. It is located on the Niger River and at the crossroads of the country's two main highways.

Population / People Groups
   Following WWII, the population gradually increased, from about 3,000 in 1930 to a current international population of approximately 1 million. Some of each of Niger’s 35 distinct people groups can be found in Niamey, along with immigrants and refugees from many other West African countries, but it is largely Zarma, Hausa, and Westerners.

Church Status
   Niamey has become the hub of most non-governmental organizations, including mission agencies. There are several denominations working in evangelical and human needs capacities in the capital city and its surrounding villages, both in French and in local dialects. Because Niamey is at the extreme southern end of where the Songhai people are located, the IMB Songhai Team has been focusing its efforts up river. However, as of September 2010, the IMB has urged the Songhai Team to begin strategically reaching the Songhai of Niamey as an "urban focus."
   Other villages in Niger that have/had church planting efforts include Ayorou, Karma, Tagabati, Boubon, Tera, Dargol & Gotheye. There are currently 3 churches that have been planted throughout these areas & evangelistic efforts still continuing.

Housing for Guests / Cost Estimates
Southern Baptist Guesthouse
   Your daily costs are based on the places where your specific group will stay. This amount will differ depending on your team’s traveling schedule and the number of people in your group. While in Niamey, you will probably be staying in the Southern Baptist Guesthouse & reservations will be made for you prior to your arrival.
   Each room will sleep one to four people; each room either has its own bathroom or shares with one another room. There are shared kitchen facilities for each wing with running water and a water filter. Air conditioners (per hour at personal expense) and ceiling fans are in each bedroom. There is hot water in the showers. Linens and toilet paper are provided. The guesthouse is located on the same land as our business office. There is a tennis/ basketball court, “walking track”, washing machines, clothes line, iron and ironing board.
   Over night: 7,500 CFA per person
   Air Conditioning: by meter or 500 CFA per hour
   Loads of Laundry: 500 CFA per load

Phone Calls
   All outgoing phone calls are made using a pre-paid calling card purchased in country. There are phone lines and wireless Internet connections in the guesthouse that work on occasion; your family is welcome to call in the evenings. There is a five hour difference between Niamey and the US Eastern Time Zone (Atlanta), six for the Central Time Zone (Dallas), during the summer. Niamey is UT +1.


Specifics Unique to Your Stay 
Airport
   When coming to Niamey, you will fill out a white card in the airport once you land at the Diori Hamani International Airport. This will need to be filled out and handed, with your passport, to the first checkpoint policeman in uniform. For this card, you are a tourist staying at the Mission Baptiste Méridionale, 857 Rue des Ambassades, Niamey, phone (227) 20-72-20-26. Should you need further information, the office and guesthouse are located just after the American Embassy, directly in front of the Algerian Embassy. You usually need to show your boarding pass as you de-plane.
   You will probably be met by a member of the Songhai Team or a Nigerien man holding a sign with your name written on it to help you after you have passed through the official checkpoints. Luggage carrier Number 10 (presently in a blue coat) will help you with your bags, if he is available. A member of the Songhai Team will meet you outside the airport.

Transportation
   Depending on the size of your group and the availability of Mission vehicles, it might be necessary to rent transportation for stay. Your Songhai Team Host will advise you of the details and it will be included in your budget.

Money
Your Songhai Team Host and the Niamey Business Facilitator will work together to make sure your financial needs are met. At least 6 weeks before you come, your team leader should receive a budget from your Songhai Team Host with instructions on how to best transfer funds to cover these expenses.


Niamey Contact Information

Office Phone: (227) 20-72-20-26

Office and Guesthouse Physical Address:
Mission Baptiste Méridionale
857 Rue des Ambassades
Niamey

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