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
Dec 6, 2011

The real measure of success

The new and improved communal water faucets
The new and improved communal water faucets

Dear freinds and supporters!

Sometimes the success of our participatory approach is best illustrated with a project we don’t do ourselves. Metal fences now surround all seven of Fiadanana’s communal water faucets for over 2 years. Built with a solid concrete foundation, the fences are holding up well.

All metal fences were built and paid for by the community, because they saw a need for it, without asking Zahana for a financial contribution. This is a prime example of a community taking ownership of and responsibility for their own resources.

Some history: In 2006, the community built their communal water system with seven communal water faucets (see website) with support from Zahana. We thought (see photo) communal water faucets could become a green oasis in the village, beautifying everything through colorful flowers and greenery, easily watered by the runoff.

Little did we know that the cows had no appreciation for esthetics, but a great hunger for juicy fresh green ‘stuff’. To keep the cattle out, the community decided to use concrete and metal, keeping their communal water sources safe for years to come.

Ihanta, Jeannett and Markus

Fence around the communal water faucet
Fence around the communal water faucet
The improved communal water faucet in the school
The improved communal water faucet in the school
The
The 'old' communal water faucet in 2007
Runoff keeps the garden green
Runoff keeps the garden green
Fiadanana
Fiadanana's traditional healer with granddaughter

Links:

Nov 14, 2011

Ducks in a basket

Buying the ducks in the market
Buying the ducks in the market

A while back Zahana bought a dozen ducklings in a basket. We gave the basket to our partner in the village in the hope the ducklings may build the foundation for and income-generating project, though future eggs and ducks. A lesson we learned: it is better to try a new idea with an individual that is willing to be an innovator; if the project is successful, we can scale it up and involve more people or groups.

Everybody jokingly calls the father of the family receiving the ducklings 'water police'. He walks the entire water pipe system for the village to the mountains almost daily, checking if everything is working well, making sure there are no leaks. Should there be e.g. a leak (every water system is bound to break at some time) he has been trained by the water engineers on how to fix it. Being involved with Zahana for such a long time made him the ideal partner for a duckling pilot project.

Another lesson we learned is that despite the best efforts, sometimes nature takes a different turn. Out of the 12 ducklings only two survived. Lucky for us, it was a male and a female. The ‘water police’ was able to raise a few new ducklings since. According to a poultry specialist’s feedback, we might have chosen the wrong time of the year, when ducklings are very susceptible to disease and environmental stessors. We plan to repeat the experiment with the same family in a more favorable season again.

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus

Ducklings with the new owner
Ducklings with the new owner
Checking out the new ducklings
Checking out the new ducklings
Feeding the new ducklings
Feeding the new ducklings

Links:

Sep 28, 2011

Seven students from Fiadanana

Our seven students
Our seven students

We just got this picture of all seven students from Fiadanana that got award the CEPE (Certificat d'etudes primaires élémentaires or Certificate of Primary Studies). Our wonderful teachers trainer, whos work made this possible as well is to the left. So without further ado we wanted to add this picture to the last project report.

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