written by Ariane Kirtley November 1, 2018
Ariane Kirtley

By Ariane Kirtley


In 2006, I traveled to the USA to share the stories of the people of the Azawak that I had grown to love, hoping to raise funds to bring my new communities clean and sustainable water sources.  I not only wanted to share their plight but also their courage, beauty, and dignity.  Quickly, a movement of schools – predominantly Montessori schools — grew. They pledged to build permanent wells throughout the Azawak.  At the same time, I published my first article on the Azawak, in “Yale Medicine”. Several other articles on the Azawak appeared in various magazines, newspapers, and journals.

In this photo, I am reading letters from Montessori students, children that promised to give up birthday presents and allowance money, and undergo various activities to finance our first well.  I am also showing pictures of the community that were published in the Yale Medicine article.

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