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
The reforestation efforts in both of our villages, still has widespread community support! As part of the celebration for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2013 a group tree planting has become an integral part of celebrations in the villages.
The fact that tree planting has become a tradition and is not just seen as a one-time Zahana inspired event, illustrates for us how successful this approach has been. In addition to tree planting by the women of the villages (as seen in the photos), they also had a parade and traditional dancers with drumming. In the village of Fiarenana the women’s soccer club played a soccer game.
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
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.