In our world of constant Twitter, Facebook and YouTube feeds, it is an important reminder that not everything works - everywhere all the time - seamlessly. Dropbox is a marvelous invention. A few years back it made burning a CD obsolete plus saving a walk to the post office across town. Four weeks later the CD might drop in our PO Box at some time, if it didn't get lost en route.
But all this modern of technology only works if you have a constant power supply and a constant Internet connection. With blackouts, or roving brownouts in Madagascar, it is difficult to send large files with e.g. dropbox, if your Wi-Fi connection gets interrupted all the time. Hence, due to the lack of a constant power supply, the pictures that should have complemented the December project reports only made it across the oceans into dropbox a few days later and are included in this update.
We had been inquiring with our partners in the villages how they came up with such a precise count of 11,798 trees planted? Most people would say “almost 12,000”. But the secret is in the book (see photos). Maintained by our Zahana gardener each tree planted is meticulously recorded, with the number of seedlings and the name of the person who planted it.
Here is out previous report in case you did not get a chance to read it yet:
The awards ceremony for the three most successful tree planters earlier this year had a lasting result in our communities. In the village of Fiadanana the 2013 results are:
Fiarenana, our other village, is the leader in the reforestation efforts with 11,798 trees for this season! It is very encouraging for Zahana to see that the tree planting has indeed taken root in our communities. Please keep in mind that Madagascar is in the Southern hemisphere and it is summer and the dry season right now, when it is too hot to plant trees.
Fiarenana, our other village, is the leader in the reforestation efforts with 11,798 trees for this season! This ambitious goal has been set by 58 people in the village (with a population just over 300). They made a list with how many each of them will plant and the biggest committment is for 400 trees.
It is very encouraging to see for Zahana that the tree planting has indeed taken root in our communities. Please keep in mind that Madagascar is in the Southern hemisphere and it is summer and the dry season right now, when it is too hot to plant trees.
In other important community news: the Health Center for Fiadanana is almost finished (see photo) Details on our website groundbreaking in July. We just got this photo of an almost completed building, with our traditional healer Raleva checking out its progress.
Best regards and Happy Holidays
During the visit of the Minister of Health to our villages in July, personally handed out awards for individual reforestation successes. This important ceremony has reinvigorated great community interest in our tree planting efforts. Distributing these awards, made everybody see and believe that Zahana really meant awarding reforestation efforts, and sparked a sense of healthy competition. Zahana stated from the beginning that we will give awards in the first, second and the third year for most of the trees planted that actually take root and survive. Now the planting of tree seedlings can continue.
To take stock of our success so far, we have asked our two gardeners Bari and Jean to please reports back about the number of trees planted. Here are their numbers (as of October 14, 2013):
Planting trees Fiadanana:
2011-2012: 3,3172012-2013: 3,278
Reforestation objective for this 2013 season: at least 6,595 trees
Planting trees in Fiarenana, the village where our master gardener Jean lives:
2009-2010: 2,6292010-2011: 2,1292011-2012: 6,0922012-2013: 2,553
Total = 13,403
Reforestation objective for this 2013 season: 10,600
We wanted to thank all of you for the support of our reforestation project, especially during Earth Day. We were told by our friends in Madagascar to wait for a very special announcement relating to the tree plating that kept us wondering…
But it is a special announcement indeed: The Minister of Health of Madagascar has visited our Zahana project sites in early July and gave out the awards!
In July 2013 the Minister of Health she attended the groundbreaking of the new Healthcare Center in the village of Fiadanana and laid the first stones of its foundation. (More about the ministry is it can be found on our website.)
She took the time and honored our reforestation efforts by giving awards to the first 3 people who most successfully planted trees. It is difficult to put into words what it means for a villager, what is the whole days walk from the next town, to receive an award certificate from the hand of the Minister of Health.
She also acknowledged the work of the teachers and our gardeners with awards.
A few weeks later, our villages that are still buzzing with excitement about such her visit.
In Fiarenana the community identified Bary, Zahana’s gardener, as the person who planted the most trees. He single handedly planted over 800 trees so far! (Photo)
The students of our school in Faidanana won second place for planting the most trees. They planted a small forest on the slope behind their school with the guidance of Zahana’s gardener Bary. The students together planted (and watered!) the second largest amount of trees and well deserve this award and the recognition that comes with it. The community decided that their efforts as a group should be recognized. The man in the photo is representing the parents and accepted the reward for the school from the Minister of Health. (See Photo)
Maprany, Zahana’s head teacher, was the third in planting the most trees. (see Photo)
After breakfast in the village the visiting party went to Zahana’s second village Fiarenana. In Fiarenana the guest from far away were received by the entire community. The Minister of Health gave a speech. And she gave awards for the people planted the most trees. (See photo)
Maurice, the man who planted the most trees in Fiarenana got the award first. As you can see in the photos, solar cookers are part of the awards for the people who planted the most trees.(See photo)
The second person honored was Daniel.(See photo)
Followed by the third-place, which was awarded to the only woman in the group. (But it is important to point out that there are as many girls in school as there are boys). (See photo)
She also gave towards to Zahana’s teachers and gardener and to the women of the women’s soccer clubs.
Ihanta and Markus
We have very exciting news! Through the tireless efforts of our Malagasy team, we were able to partner with another organization to build a Healthcare Center in our village of Fiadanana. We are very excited that our small organization was able to build such a partnership that will benefit many thousands of people in the region. Zahana has been working in the village of Fiadanana since 2005. Since 2006, due to our participatory development efforts, the village has a clean water supply bringing clean water flowing right into the village. This will be the only Healthcare Center in the area that can pride itself to have a clean safe water supply. Since Zahana sees access to clean safe water as public-health priority number one, this is a crucial element in providing healthcare services. A team of our partner organization (with the long name “Association Pour que vive Maroala” or 'Maroala' for short) visited our village in May 2013 to discuss the plans of the Healthcare Center with the community and choose a location. Groundbreaking was envisioned to take place by the end of June or in July, when our schools are on summer break. The pictures are from this community meeting. In the formal picture with the four people you see (from the left) the president of `Association Pour que vive Maroala` Abel Legendre, Raleva our traditional healer and community elder, Mprany our head teacher and the representative from Maroala holding up the blue prints of the Health Center. The very latest news is that the Minister of Health of Madagascar has announced that she will pay a visit to the construction of our Healthcare Center next week! She will be in the area for the official inauguration of the first maternity ward ever in the district center of Bevato. From there she will take the hour-long journey over dirt roads to our project sites. That an official of such a caliber can witness firsthand the activities of rural transformation taking place by working collaboratively with our villagers is just simply amazing. We are honored by this recognition, but also see this is an incredible opportunity to show participatory development in action, because we believe our results tell more than pictures or words. Stay posted for more photos and news soon. Ihanta and Markus
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.