A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana

by Zahana
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A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana
stundents making seed balls again
stundents making seed balls again

We hope you had a good holiday season.

Making seed balls has become a tradition after our first workshop learnig  the new technique from our freinds and supporters at the Seneca Park Zoo Society in Rochester, New York.

About a year ago, during the winter school break, our students had been making over 2000 seed balls. Our YouTube video shows that it can be a lot of fun to plant trees with the help of seed balls.

Unfortunately, as we reported in our last project report, most of the seed ball seedlings did not survive the dry period after the rainy season. After all, it was an experiment to try something in addition to growing baby trees for reforestation.

The teachers and the students decided to try again this year. Since the rainy season has started earlier than usual the students made seed balls again. Maybe it is just too much fun to miss this creative way of reforestation. We just got some pictures of throwing them into the landscape.

And yes, there are many well crafted apples for donations this time of the year. If you are in the fortunate position to think about donations for 2022 we hope you might consider Zahana at this end of the year.
 
Happy New Year!

Holding hands with seed balls
Holding hands with seed balls
Reforestation with seed balls
Reforestation with seed balls

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The secondary school without a roof
The secondary school without a roof

Analakely now has a community secondary school, built by their community.  Analakely already has a primary community school and Zahana helped by paying for wood to make 20 benches and tables, when they first joined Zahana. This school was built to avoid having to send the students who passed the cepe, the final primary school exam, to the next town to attend secondary school. Now students can stay in their village and attend secondary school there.
 
The parent of the students were in charge of the bricks and the construction of the building. Zahana has helped in supporting their efforts buying the corrugated iron roof for the school (and does not pay for the teachers).
 
This 4-year secondary school called community CEG or Collège d'Enseignement Général.
The school belong to the government and has (soon) 66 students and 7 teachers. The salary 2 of the teachers is paid for by the government, the rest by the community and the parents themselves.
 
Secondary school includes 4 years of study. In secondary school the courses are depending on the subjects to be provided not on the number of students. For example, the teacher of mathematics is in charge to teach all 4 different grades, the same for French or English class. In total 7 subjects are provided, with one teacher in charge of each subject.

The secodary school with roof
The secodary school with roof
Roofing supplies for the school
Roofing supplies for the school
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School as rural univeristy for adult ed
School as rural univeristy for adult ed

The new school year in Madagascar starts in school started in September. We had a series of community meetings about our school and here are the decisions made:

All students attending Zahana’s school have to use and improved cookstove at home. Their parents must commit in writing that they are using and improved cookstove before their children get admitted. Spot inspections by our Zahana representative assure that they actually do indeed use improved cookstoves.

Our school will remain a private school, so we have full autonomy over our curriculum. We had been told by the ministry of education that if we want to offer state exams, such as the CEPE, we have to adopt the official curriculum (although they do not pay the teacher’s salaries).

To avoid any potential misunderstanding, it was decided that students who want to pursue a CEPE should attend a public primary school. Our students will not participate in the external CEPE anymore in the future. In summary, all students wishing to continue secondary school or needing a CEPE will have to migrate to the public school from the 4th year and they can come back to Zahana school for the 6th year if they couldn’t continue to secondary public school.

Zahana’s schools will provide basic courses from first year (T1) to fifth year (T5) with a curriculum focusing on reading, writing and mathematics, but also reforestation and growing vegetables.

A new class called technical class (T6) is added this year. The program for this new class draws from Zahana idea to make our schools truly a rural university as a place to get more higher knowledge that improves people’s lives. Courses provided in this class: agriculture, Zahana imprioved cookstove and biocharcoal, farming, pastry, making soap, cooking, family planning, domestic economic (managing a family budget…), community living, making bricks, basic law, etc.

The wife of the Lutheran pastor from Tsaramandroso has joined our teaching staff. She has important expertise needed for rural development in T6. Our own Donné will co-teach T6 with her.

Zahana will contributes all the raw materials for the practical part of the class, such as flour, sugar, oil or materials for making the soap.

These changes will take effect immediately for the 2022-23 school year.

Stundents planting in their school garden
Stundents planting in their school garden

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The winning team in the womens soccer tournament
The winning team in the womens soccer tournament

In Madagascar, Independence Day, June 26, is celebrated across the country. This important holiday is marked by various cultural events such as songs, folk song contests, and visiting villages for cultural dances and sports competitions.

Zahana Soccer Cup
 
In our villages, young people organized a women's and a men's soccer ‘Zahana cup’ in conjunction with a folklore tournament for Independence Day. Many of the soccer players are alumni from our two schools. Some said playing soccer in school helped them to keep up their love of the game.

Eight participating teams for our 4 villages competed with the promise of a prize for the 2 finalists. The first qualifying match started April 10. Like a good soccer tournament, Zahana hired outside umpires to make the games as fair as possible. The men’s teams played 90 minutes, the women’s 60.
 
In the women's category: the score of the final game was 2 to 0 as the Tsaramandroso women’s club won 2 goals against 0 for Fiadanana.
 
Tsaramandroso’s women’s club won the first prize: a pig plus a brand new soccer ball. Fiadanana was entitled to a big box of pasta and biscuits and a new soccer ball. Pasta is considered a major prize and an exotic treat in a rice eating culture. The winning women’s team decided to raise the pig for breeding instead of preparing it for a big Independence Day feast. They stayed up all night in Tsaramandroso to mark their victory.
 
For the men's category: the Analakely club won against Tsaramandroso. During the normal time of the 90 minutes game, no goal was scored. The 2 teams demonstrated know-how worthy of professional players. As agreed, in the event of a tie, we proceed directly to the penalty shootout where each team has 5 chances to take a shot at the goal and score.
 
It was the Analakely team who obtained without fail their 5 goals against 3 for Tsaramandroso. The first prize for the winner in this case is a soccer ball and the equivalent of the prize of a pig. Analakely is identified as an Adventist community and a pig would not be appropriate. The second team enjoyed their new soccer ball and a big box of pasta and cookies that they displayed proudly in their dance.
 
We have noticed how football is the favorite sport in our villages and it is a great unifying experience that brings villages and communities together, since they visit each other to watch the games. All villages are within an hour’s walk from each other, so joining a neighbor in a game is within walking distance.
 
Folklore part of the Independence Day festivities
 
As a launching point, a vigil was organized at Fiadanana with a big campfire, to wait for June 26.
 
No holiday is complete without dancing and folk songs celebrating the occasion in Madagascar. (See videos on our YouTube channel.) Each community performed their folk songs and dances created for the celebration.
 
These dances are not always the same every year and often involve current events.  We only learnt during the Independence Day itself that they included Zahana activities as a theme or common thread for their folksong lyrics: Analakely presented the cookstove and bio-charcoal in their dance. Plus, they gave us cakes made in the communal pastry oven and yoghurt made in the solar refrigerator - very tasty.
 
Moreover, the themes that each group has conveyed in their performances reflected the history of Zahana Association from its beginning: water supply, schools, health center, improved homes, bio-charcoal, reforestation, pastries, new cassava cultivation techniques and biological insect control.
 
Given the respective involvement and commitment of each village, and to honor their creativity, we have decided to consider all 4 groups from the 4 villages as winners: Fiarenanana, Fiadanana, Analakely and Tsaramandroso, each ‘won’ a box of pasta and cookies.
 

The winning team of mens Zahana soccer cup
The winning team of mens Zahana soccer cup
Umpire in action
Umpire in action
Spectators at soccer game
Spectators at soccer game
Victory dance with prize noodles and the new ball
Victory dance with prize noodles and the new ball
Umpires
Umpires

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Celebrating School Day with a dance in Fiadanana
Celebrating School Day with a dance in Fiadanana

We call it "journée des écoles", which can be translated as “Celebrating School Day”. It is traditionally celebrated the 23rd of February and involves meals and games across the country.
 
Since Zahana has two schools and we wanted to celebrate with the entire team, so all our teacher could attend both festivities, we held the celebration in Fiadanana on the day itself or February 23 and on February 24 in Fiarenana.
 
Our coordinator living in the village sent his photos with the following text:
 
Here is an echo of School Day: On February 23 in Fiadanana we had a special meal for the students at lunch, dancing, plus a friendly soccer match that we held at the EPP (Public Primary school) to actively involve these students as well, since the special day is for all schools and all students in the village.
 
On Thursday, February 24, 2022, the Fiarenana festivities also inlcuded a special meal for the students at lunch, dancing, and a soccer match. But here we also had a tree planting event with our students. While the parents gathered and danced together, the students planted trees together.

PS: Please watch “Reforestation with seed balls in rural Madagascar” our latest video documenting this seeds balls mada and 'planted' by our students for context.

Our video Combining reforestation with locally made improved cook stoves in Madagascar has seen a great boost in viewership on our YouTube channel in the last few weeks. Please help us to keep this exciting trend going by watching and liking it. If you feel so compelled please also leave a comment, it does make a big difference for the YouTube algorithm.

The scoccer team getting ready
The scoccer team getting ready
The other soccer team
The other soccer team
Dancing in  Fiarenana
Dancing in Fiarenana
Planting tree seedlings to celebrate "School Day"
Planting tree seedlings to celebrate "School Day"

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Organization Information

Zahana

Location: Antananarivo, Capital - Madagascar
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zahana
Project Leader:
Markus Faigle
Volunteer
Honolulu, HI United States
$46,850 raised of $55,000 goal
 
376 donations
$8,150 to go
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