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
Oct 8, 2009

Zahana and Fiadanana update

Celebrating the new fence for the communal water faucet
Celebrating the new fence for the communal water faucet

This project has passed the vetting process and is now officially green. Click on the green leaf in the top right corner of the web page to learn more.

Hot off the digital press: Zahana, and its founder Dr. Ramihanataniarivo, are features in the latest issue of Malamalama, the University of Hawai‘i Magazine (Malamalama means 'the light of knowledge' in Hawaiian). We have included the link below and we encourage you to use their “Leave a Response: feature.

We wanted to share this exiting development with you: The inventor of the BlazingTubeSolarAppliance (link below) approached Zahana and offered us to collaborate on using his solar cookers in Madagascar. This innovative solar cooker with a vacuum tube and oil is more efficient than most other solar cookers currently on the market and also works in cloudy weather. The BlazingTubeSolarAppliance is currently undergoing field-testing, and will be manufactured in China. Switching from a prototype hand-built solar cooker to a manufactured model comes with its own set of challenges.

Since we are talking about possibly more than just a few units, the parts will be shipped to Madagascar and assembled there, ideally on location in the village. This will give Zahana the capacity to use solar cooking for all children in the school and expand the project to the second school, currently being built by the village of Fiarenana. We will keep you updated about the progress of this new lead. The current political climate remains unstable in Madagascar and international funding agencies have still put all but humanitarian aid on hold. Zahana has decided months ago that despite our limited resources it is important to continue our work with the rural villagers, since they are not to blame for the events in the political arena. Many existing projects, such as a communal water system and the building of their school have been realized in the village of Fiarenana since then and we encourage you to visit our website for updates and photos.

Zahana has decided to focus on improving wood burning cook stoves before solar cooking can be introduced to the community. Since people will continue to burn wood for their cooking needs, especially in the rainy season, a firm commitment by the community to reduce the need for wood is a pre-requisite before more exotic techniques such as solar cooking can be introduced. Without laying a good foundation and a firm commitment to changing old cooking habits, solar cooking projects internationally were often embraced enthusiastically just to be forgotten within weeks of their launch. This just puts the timetable of introducing solar cookers into the next dry season of early 2010, when hopefully the political situation might have some resolution as well. The teachers and the students are still the cornerstone of implementing this new idea and the new school in Fiarenana will be built and hopefully be filled with children and adults by then. Including the innovative community of Fiarenana in this project makes sense.

The latest news for Fiadanana is that the community decided to build a solid foundation and a fence around the communal water faucets to keep animals out. The pictures below are from the official inauguration of the “new” fences.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. The contact information can be found below under “Who is Running This Project”.

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus

If you don
If you don't lock your doors a lock is a prized possession

Links:

Oct 8, 2009

Fiadanana is implementing many changes

Distributing potatoes as part of the seed bank micorcredit
Distributing potatoes as part of the seed bank micorcredit

Hot off the digital press: Zahana and its founder Dr. Ramihanataniarivo are features in the latest issue of the University of Hawaii Magazine Malamalama (Malamalama means 'the light of knowledge' in Hawaiian). We have included the link below and we encourage you to use their “Leave a Response: feature.

With the communal water well successfully built the community is now putting all their energy into building their school. The photos we got from Madagascar are amazing and we encourage you to visit our website (link below) to witness this truly community wide effort (pictures indeed tell more than a thousand words).

Zahana is currently interviewing the candidates for teachers. As soon as the best candidate has been found in consultation with community representatives, a teacher’s training will be conducted in the village for a month.

NURSERY The coffee seedlings have grown since the last report and are soon ready to be transplanted in time for the beginning of the rainy season. Surrounding communities have already expressed interest in growing coffee as well and have been encouraged to get in touch with the nurseryman to buy their seedlings, since Zahana is not in a position to give seedlings away for free to everybody.

GRAIN STORAGE BUILDING: The grain or rice storage building has been finished and has been in use since the last harvest in May/June 2009. The bags in the back of the picture are the rice seeds acquired by Zahana for the rice seed bank. In the other picture the potatoes, another microcredit project from Zahana, are handed out one kilo at a time per family.

Rice stored in the new storage building
Rice stored in the new storage building
Coffee seeling sprouting
Coffee seeling sprouting

Links:

Oct 8, 2009

The Community is building their school

Everybody carries bricks for the new school
Everybody carries bricks for the new school

The village of Fiarenana is currently building their school literally brick by brick! The photos we got from Madagascar are amazing and we encourage you to visit our website’s link below to witness this truly community wide effort. (Pictures indeed tell more than a thousand words). Zahana is currently interviewing the new candidates for teachers. As soon as the right candidate has been found in consultation with community representatives, a teacher’s training will be conducted in the village for a month. In keeping with Zahana’s philosophy, the trainer from the capital will live and work in the teacher’s community, providing a truly tailor-made training.

Based on the community’s request, the educational specialist will not only focus on training the new teacher/s, but also provide an adult literacy class for the parents at the same time. The teacher will participate in this segment and learn skills for future adult education.

To learn more about the schools’ role in the community please and the ideas of a “rural university,” please see the pdf file under additional project documentation.

Hot off the digital press: Zahana and its founder Dr. Ramihanataniarivo are features in the latest issue of the University of Hawaii Magazine Malamalama (Malamalama means 'the light of knowledge' in Hawaiian). We have included the link below.

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus

Truly a community effort
Truly a community effort
Building their school in Fiarenana
Building their school in Fiarenana

Links:

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