Aug 26, 2020

Preparing for the New School Year in Madagascar

NY DINA and the New Wall
NY DINA and the New Wall

October will see the end of the summer school break in Madagascar and schools around the country are scheduled to reopen.  For NY DINA, they will be welcoming back 150 children... full capacity!

While the students have been on their annual break, the team has been working on phase one of the school project which is building a wall around the school’s perimeter. The goal is to have the wall finished by the October reopening and they are on schedule to do so as they are currently finishing the gate. Completing the wall will be an important achieved milestone as it will ensure the security of the property from animals and thus give the gardens a chance to grow.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the project leaders took some time to re-evaluate their original priorities and determined that in the new reality setting up the permaculture project as phase two would be the most beneficial because it will:

  1. Provide fresh produce for the children’s school meals;
  2. Create a revenue stream by selling the extra produce in the local market to pay the teachers’ salaries;
  3. Support the development of the greater community. 

The school gardens will give students a chance to learn new and effective farming methods and have a “hands-on lab” to put into practice what they learn.  In return, the students will be able implement these new techniques, as well as share their new knowledge, back home.  By increasing the family’s farming production and income the parents will be in a position to continue to send their children to school.

Another benefit from the re-evaluated strategy is that the garden compost will help regenerate the soil which has seen a depletion in recent years of much needed nutrients that will be required for long term soil health.

Under the new strategy, the chicken and egg production will be scaled back and will focus solely on feeding the school children.

We’re also very excited the share the details on a new initiative for NY DINA when they reopen in the autumn. Several young Malagasy from different fields of work have agreed to come to the school to meet the students as well as plant some trees around the school. Meeting young active Malagasy is a powerful form of mentorship that will open the children's minds to what is possible, inspire them to continue their studies and bring hope. 

A Different View of the New Wall
A Different View of the New Wall
Another View
Another View
Working in Madagascar's Summer Heat
Working in Madagascar's Summer Heat
Thank You for Your Ongoing Support
Thank You for Your Ongoing Support
Aug 25, 2020

Announcing The Javari Project

Beto Marubo and the COVID response team
Beto Marubo and the COVID response team

Over the past few months a tremendous amount has been written about the COVID crisis and the impact of the pandemic in the Amazon region of Brazil. Sadly, Covid-19 has now reached the Vale do Javari.   

Céline Cousteau's documentary film, Tribes on the Edge, was the catalyst for the impact campaign which has grown into The Javari Project (TJP) and the land mapping drones and her documentary are now a component of this much larger project.  While TJP is not focused on rapid response relief but rather long-term impact, TJP has supported the work of organizations bringing relief to indigenous communities in the territory via the social media outreach by request of Beto Marúbo.

Beto Marúbo continues to be a spokesperson for the indigenous people and was featured in an August 22 National Geographic article about the close encroachment of the corona virus on the isolated Arrow people.  We are providing the link to this important article as part of this report for anyone that might be interested in reading more on the dangers faced by this uncontacted tribe.

The mapping drones, referenced above, are being utilised by locally trained people for not only environmental monitoring of the Javari region but health monitoring of the tribes. 

We are very pleased to share in this update that Céline has advanced the strategy and partnerships to further strengthen TJP.  TJP now focuses on the livelihood of the Indigenous Peoples of the Vale do Javari by strengthening cultural integrity, creating economic self-determination, and offering media instruction starting in the border town of Atalaia do Norte. Though strategy building can begin, we must wait for a safe time to return to the region to elaborate on this initiative as it requires extensive meetings with the Indigenous Peoples themselves.

As for Céline's documentary, it has been nominated as a finalist for the 2020 Jackson Wild media awards that will be held virtually Thursday October 1 and was awarded the Impact Award by the 2020 Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival.  Our congratulations to Céline!

The images included in this report are courtesy of Beto Marubo. 

Aerial view of a village in the Javari region
Aerial view of a village in the Javari region

Links:

May 26, 2020

Some Welcome Rain & Visitors

Examining the Temporary Water Collection Tanks
Examining the Temporary Water Collection Tanks

While it hasn't been that long since the last update, we wanted to share some exciting news that is a follow-up to our previous report.

As many know Thailand has been in the middle of one of its most severe droughts in decades, but Mother Nature finally cooperated and two large rainfalls occurred on April 22 and 23, 2020 providing much needed relief for the crops and fruit tree saplings on the Thai Child Development Foundation (TCDF) farm.

As we write this update at the end of May, the rainy season is expected to start in June and traditionally lasts until approximately mid-October. 

In addition, the Thai irrigation company who have stepped in to support the implementation stages of the water management system applied and were given special permission by the authorities to travel into the region to visit TCDF.  The purpose of their visit was to walk through the project against the proposed system and in particular take a careful look at the tiered mountainside land and the uphill water pumping solution that has been developed to ensure feasibility.  We wish to thank the local authorities for recognising the importance of this project and approving the travel request during the COVID restrictions. 

At this time, we're incorporating the feedback from the team on the ground and once the COVID restrictions are lifted in the Pak Song region, the dates for the installation will be scheduled.

The special needs school that is supported by this project remains closed in accordance with the COVID-19 lockdown.  However Thailand is slowly reopening, and we hope that the children will be able to return in the next couple of months.  Once TCDF's school reopens, we will send a short follow-up with that news.

We'd like to thank again those that have given to this special project.  Your donation not only supports an group of incredible children but moves TCDF along its' path to be self-sustaining in the next five years.

Our very best wishes to all to remain safe and healthy.

View Across to the Water Collection Tanks
View Across to the Water Collection Tanks
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.