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
Apr 15, 2013

Short project update about reforestation

Jean Fiadanana
Jean Fiadanana's master gardner

This is a short project update for our reforestation micro project. We planned to award the man who planted the most trees during the Christmas celebrations. After consultations we were able to identify one man, Maurice, in the village of Fiadanana.

In Fiarenana, our other village, there was no consensus yet. But it took us a while to find out why. The answer puts us in a delightful dilemma: The man who planted by far the most trees is also the Zahana master gardener. Is he eligible for a prize if he is working for Zahana? He is highly respected in his community and may deserve a fair chance to be considered as well. After all he personally planted many trees in his family’s land as many others do, besides growing the seedlings for the school and anybody else. Rewarding a positive role model may have it’s own benefits.

So in keeping with the recommendation of the women’s groups we agreed to postpone the community’s decision until after the rainy season. Since this is a dynamic and ongoing process, we have also been approached about the possibility if the potential winner might express some wishes for his or her potential reward, so it is something they need the most.

After all, the more threes get planted the better. And reforestation has taken root in both communities.

Jean checking on the seedlings
Jean checking on the seedlings
Jean in his nursery
Jean in his nursery
Apr 15, 2013

Final Report - until the next school year

Inside the Zahana School
Inside the Zahana School's classroom

Thank you very much for supporting both of our micro projects to send two children to secondary school in the village of Bevato. The funds raised with this micro project guarantees that both children who successfully passed the CEPE exam will be able to attend secondary school.

The next school year In Madagascar starts in August 2013, and thanks to your generous support, the principal of the secondary school has agreed to guarantee they will be admitted. This also gives us enough time, to arrange for their accommodation in the village two walking hours from their home, and find somebody who meets with their parent’s approval, to look in on their children and make sure that they're fine.

Understandably, the parents still have concerns when their children spent the week days away from home.  Since the first group of students from their village is already successfully attending secondary school, it helped to put their mind at ease. Despite being overwhelmed but this new reality, the parents are excite, that their children are the very first members of the family who will attend a secondary school.

Apr 10, 2013

Teacher Aids for both our schools

Zahana
Zahana's school in Fiarenana

The cornerstone of participatory development is the ‘participatory’ part, or in more modern language the ‘buy in’ by the community, exemplified in the building of their school. This extends to buy-in on a local, hands-on community level, but also on the bigger, national level. 

In this train of thought we had very exciting news: A local NGO in Madagascar, with ties to Korea, has decided to hire and pay the salary of two teaching assistants for our schools for three days a week. This financial commitment generated in country is very reassuring for us that Zahana’s approach is taking root in Madagascar.  

While we had indeed been wondering how our teachers could cope with a teaching load of 50 to 70 students in one classroom every week, we had waited until the request for teaching assistants came from the community itself. Once the request was made, we were delighted to find local financial support for this endeavor. 

Now Zahana’s task will be to find, interview, hire and train the new teaching assistants. We hope to be able to combine this with a refresher teacher training in the village this summer. 

Best regards,

Ihanta and Markus

The class room
The class room
Children at their school in Fiadanana
Children at their school in Fiadanana

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