Dear Friends of Zahana: This is a reminder: Thursday, December 16 is Bonus Day at GlobalGiving. Every donation is matched by 50% until they run out of matching funds. Last time GlobalGiving ran out of matching funds for the first time, so please donate early, if you can. We apologize in case you get this progress report from another GlobalGiving project. This issue is overarching and posted on all three. The latest Zahana report (Nov. 2010) illustrates our definition of “success” quite drastically: Background: In 2006 the community of Fiadanana built their own water system with help from Zahana. Zahana hired the water experts, who living in the village for two months, taught the villagers how to lay pipe from a ground well in the mountains over a mile away. Seven communal faucets provide clean, safe water to everybody all year round all over the village ever since.Report from Ihanta in Madagascar: “In Fiadanana where they got safe drinking water in 2006 through seven communal faucets, the impact is tremendous. A key reason why we found teachers willing to move to the village of Fiadanana was the availability of clean safe drinking water. It is the only village in the area that can make such a claim.Mparany, our Zahana teacher, reported that since he has been living in Fiadanana, no child’s death was reported. The only death in the village was a woman who had surgery in the hospital of Tsiroanomandidy for appendicitis some 2 months ago. Berthine, a member of the women’s group, confirmed that before Zahana in the “hard times period” (époque dure) between the harvests from October to December, it felt like almost every day one child passed away from diarrhea. (She said 26 deaths in 2 months.) She explained that people from Fiadanana now have to carry their water with them if they have to go to another village, since their stomachs don’t feel well drinking the water from the other villages.” (More in our November Newsletter.)It is Zahana’s guiding development philosophy to make life in the villages so livable and attractive that it is worth staying there with your family working the land. A lot of development problems connected with urbanization and sprawling slums attracting impoverished farmers can be avoided if people are not forced to leave for the cities in an often futile search for a better life.As you might plan your end of the year giving, we hope that you will remember Zahana (even if you missed “bonus day”). We have ready-to-use Zahana gift cards you can download off our Zahana website as a do-it-yourself project if you want to add a personal touch. Happy Holidays and thanks for your continued supportIhanta, Jeannette and Markus
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