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
Jul 7, 2011

A clean and beautiful environment

Roses flowering at the school
Roses flowering at the school

Dear friends,

Please look at the pictures attached (you may need to click on the link in your email to see them on-line); pictures are the core of our update.

Dr. Ramihantaniarivo, Zahana’s founder draws inspiration from Sarvoday in Sri Lanka, one of the largest indigenous community based development organizations. Rooted in Buddhist thinking the Sarvodaya Movement has identified ten elementary and basic needs for development. Number one is: “A clean and beautiful environment”. 

Creating a beautiful environment is one of these less tangible things. It does not have a budget or a dollar value attached. It makes people proud to be living where they are. In the spirit of this development need, the children have been encouraged to plant flowers around their schools, creating a beautiful space for them to spend their days learning in a rather arid environment.

How many schools have roses flowering next to their (only) classroom door?

Thank you for your support for our work

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus

Fiadanana
Fiadanana's school house
Flowers close up
Flowers close up
Flower bed next to the school
Flower bed next to the school
School in Fiadanana
School in Fiadanana
Fiarenana, the second school
Fiarenana, the second school
Fiarenana, the second school - side view
Fiarenana, the second school - side view
Fiarenana - the front of the school
Fiarenana - the front of the school
Fiarenana - school well in the background
Fiarenana - school well in the background

Links:

Jul 7, 2011

Improving cooking in the villages in Madagascar

Low tech solar cooker
Low tech solar cooker

Our wonderful solar volunteer Bruce is back in Madagascar.  He has recently left the capital city of Antananarivo for our villages. Based on his experiences visiting and living in our two villages in 2010, Bruce has been looking into the best way to improve cooking and cook stoves in Madagascar. He has found an appropriate model that wants to build and test it together with the villagers. Last year he also introduced a low-tech, inexpensive solar cooker (see photo). He used materials available in the city to built this panel cooker. It will be interesting to see if it has been used and how well it worked or how long it lasted.

After a few weeks in the countryside he plans to visit other NGOs in Madagascar and share his expertise from hands on experience in Madagascar. One organization, based far away in another part of the country, has been working with solar cookers for many years and was building a solar box cooker model locally. We plan to buy a few of these Malagasy made solar cookers and have Bruce personally introduce them in the villages, to see if a "domestic" version is the way to go.

Stay tuned for pictures and updates as soon as they become available.

Links:

May 23, 2011

Moringa oleifera trees growing strong

July 2010: Zahana’s Gardner growing Moringa
July 2010: Zahana’s Gardner growing Moringa

In early 2010 Zahana introduced Moringa oleifera seeds in both villages. Everything of this beneficial fast growing three can be used. The leaves, high in protein, can be cooked as vegetables.  Powdered Moringa leaves have been successfully used in West Africa for decades in infant formulas. The entire seedpods can eaten like beans at a young stage, or bigger and more mature added to soups, as what in know in Indian cuisine as ‘drumsticks’. The ripe seeds can be replanted or used to extract high quality oil. Fast growing, the trees need to be cut constantly to easily reach the leaves, providing much needed sustainable wood for cooking.

The pictures included in this report show how Moringa has successfully taken root in both, Fiadanana and Fiarenana, over the past year. The trees now growing in the schoolyards of both schools were planted with the students as part of our school garden curriculum.

Zahana’s microcredit approach is to hire our two gardeners and pay them for their work year round. This lesson was learned when the original idea of providing the gardeners with seeds and have them sell their seedlings as and income generating project proved not to be feasible. The economic insecurity of this approach was not feasible for our gardeners. Economic security thought a stable income empowers our gardeners to experiment with new crops, to see if something can be grown in their climate successfully, and provides the fruit of their labor for free to their communities. The gardeners have become outstanding teachers, successfully involving students in our school garden project, second to none in the area.

July 2010: Zahana’s 2nd Gardner growing Moringa
July 2010: Zahana’s 2nd Gardner growing Moringa
OCT 2010: Planting Moringa in schoolyard
OCT 2010: Planting Moringa in schoolyard
OCT 2010: Protecting young Moringa tree
OCT 2010: Protecting young Moringa tree
December 2010: Moringa growing well
December 2010: Moringa growing well
March 2011: Moringa in the schoolyard
March 2011: Moringa in the schoolyard

Links:

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $11
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $125
    give
  • $600
    give
  • $1,500
    give
  • $4,900
    give
  • $11
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $125
    each month
    give
  • $600
    each month
    give
  • $1,500
    each month
    give
  • $4,900
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?