Zahana

Zahana in Madagascar is dedicated to participatory rural development, education, revitalization of traditional Malagasy medicine, reforestation, and sustainable agriculture. It is Zahana's philosophy that participatory development must be based on local needs and solutions proposed by local people. It means asking communities what they need and working with them collaboratively so they can achieve their goals. Each community's own needs are unique and require a tailor -made response
Dec 27, 2012

Community tree planting Dec. 23, 2012

Planting a tree with his mother
Planting a tree with his mother

Dear friends,

On December 23, in conjunction with a site visit by Zahana for the Christmas celebration in our schools, both communities set out for a day long planting of a community forest. The Zahana gardeners had been growing seedlings for this event for the past few months, and from the youngest to the oldest everybody participated. With seedlings and tools in hand they walked out to the designated area and planted. The pictures tell the rest.

But now to the first two images: Bary, our master gardener in the picture is very proud of the forest he planted behind the school. While the December 2011 young trees are about knee high, they grew way over his head during 2012. This is indeed a visual reminder what we can grow together with your support. Especially if you look at the landscape in the background of the photo from 2011, you see how much trees are needed in the area.

We hope in case you are in the fortunate position of making end-of-year giving decisions, you may consider Zahana in Madagascar as well. And, if you have already done so, thank you very much for your support.

We have currently half a dozen projects with GlobalGiving that make online donations a breeze. Thank you. Without your support, now for the seventh year, our work in Madagascar would not be possible.

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus

Our master gardener Bary in Dec 2011
Our master gardener Bary in Dec 2011
Bary in his forest 2012
Bary in his forest 2012
Led by our teacher the community plants trees
Led by our teacher the community plants trees
Seedling ready to be planted
Seedling ready to be planted
Planting the new forest in Fiadanana
Planting the new forest in Fiadanana
Dec 21, 2012

A quick update via cell or mobile phone

Our master gardener Jean
Our master gardener Jean

The wonders of modern technology let us get updates from the village via text or SMS. A great innovation in a village with no access to postal service. (Slightly edited, as it was translated into English):

November 2012 report:

Fiadanana and Fiarenana: both gardeners getting ready for Zahana’s tree planting campaign in December. In Fiarenana the focus will be especially on fruit trees, in the village of Fiadanana they opted for eucalyptus. A total of some 1,000 babytrees should be planted starting in December.

Fiarenana: the school garden is ready to harvest: cucumbers, leafy greens and corn. They are also busy with the preparations for the Christmas celebration. In Fiadanana recently 64 new baby trees were transplanted.

Dec 17, 2012

solar cookers in the schools

Solar cooker infornt of our school
Solar cooker infornt of our school

The solar box cookers have been well accepted in the schools by the teachers and their students. The students like their solar box cookers a lot. They have been experimenting and cooking as many things as possible with he energy of the sun. It was exactly this opportunity to experiment and to eat the fruit of the research that made us want to use the solar cookers in the curriculum. Keeping time of the cooking process, measuring temperature, observing temperature over time, comparing temperature increases on full sun and overcast days, all require mathematical skills applied in a real life situation.

In the latest text message from the village, we received a little synopsis of the cooking efforts by the students. The students have been encouraged to keep notes:

Solar cooker: time to cook for
Rice: 2h30
Zebu: 2h30 (zebu is beef eaten in Madagascar)
Fish: 2h
Cassava: 2h30
Dried bean: 3h
Boiling water for coffee: 1h
Madeleine (small cake): 1h
Cassava cake: 2h

Note: they let the internal temperature in the cook box go up (pre-heat) to 100 degree C (216F) before the pot gets put in the solar cooker. (See out video how solar box cookers work)

Introducing solar cookers in the schools was a long-term project. The solar cookers have generated a lot of interest, because a solar cooker does not require firewood to make food for the children at the school and there is no smoke in the cooking process, as with traditional firewood stoves.

GlobalGiving's newest addition:  Microprojects. A Microproject is a clearly defined project, with a funding goal dedicated to accomplish this one task. Microprojects will be active on  GlobalGiving for a maximum of 90 days, or just until funded.

A Micoproject is part of our larger 'parent' projects with GlobalGiving, but gives us the flexibility to dedicate funds to a specific goal (with unique URL), such as
Send a student to secondary school for a $1 a day.

Explaining how it works
Explaining how it works
Sun on the reflector of the solar cooker
Sun on the reflector of the solar cooker

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