When we started this project the school was a dream. Creating an environment for learning, including training and paying the teachers makes 'having a school' an ongoing challenge for years to come for Zahana and the community. The community of Fiarenana had approached Zahana to help them build their school, because over 50 children aged 5-15 have no access to a school. In cooperation with the community the school was successfully built (see video above).
Raising a physical building was the first step with a great sense of accomplishment for the whole village. Zahana, rooted in our participatory approach, paid for materials out of the villagers' reach (doors, roofing iron, nails, cement, etc.). The community contributed labor and bricks. Next Zahana hired and trained one teacher for all students and she works hard every day. Our gardener teaches agriculture though school gardens. These costs to keep our school running are Zahana's responsibility.
Their children's school was the community's highest priority. Only once a school is built the real work of providing education for years to come truly starts. Paying the teacher and gardener's salary, providing school supplies and offering a daily school lunch remains an ongoing challenge in a community too poor to cover these costs themselves. Hence we keep this project going and hope for your continuing support.
Education is the key for a better future for all their children. Having a teacher work and live in their community can assure that goal. After attending five years of primary school, our students may participate in a national test to qualify for secondary school. Zahana's envisions a 'rural university' that becomes an educational reality for all.