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
An impoved cookstove with bio-charcoal
An impoved cookstove with bio-charcoal

We proudly announce the first short documentary about Zahana ‘Using eco pellets to stop Madagascar's deforestation”. It was produced by Eberhard Rühle for Deutsche Welle’s series Eco Africa.

Eberhard joined us during our last visit to our villages in Madagascar in October 2019 and has a lot of interesting video material documenting Zahana’s work, with more to come.

Most of the scenes of the documantary are filmed in and around the new school building.

At the same time, we wanted to announce our latest project with Global Giving: Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation.

The most impressive change I saw during our visit was improved cookstoves. It could easily become our most successful new project with long term impact, way beyond our two villages.

The improved cookstove is built by hand, exclusively with locally available resources, that can be gathered in and around the community where people live. Nothing needs to be bought or brought in from the outside.

Building an improved cookstove is taught in hands-on workshops in the community. They bring people together for a common goal: Learn how to make your own cookstove, and also ‘hang out’ and have fun in the process. Building improved cookstoves and building community.

But that’s not all. In keeping with the Zahana’s philosophy, we address more than just a single issue, in this case an improved cookstove, at the same time.

Three major elements cross fertilize each other in this big plan:

  1. Build improved cookstoves for every household.
  2. Teach techniques to produce bio-charcoal from sources other than wood, further reducing the need for firewood.
  3. Participants in the workshop need to commit to personally plant trees, or on a larger level, participate in our reforestation efforts.

If you click on the video "Using eco pellets to stop Madagascar's deforestation” you can see this plan in action for yourself.

We also wanted to get this project ready to launch ahead of December 3 #GivingTuesday campaign with GlobalGiving. Here is the outline from GlobalGiving in a nutshell :

  • GlobalGiving’s 2019 #GivingTuesday Campaign will begin Dec. 3, 2019, at 00:00:00 ET and end at 23:59:59 ET on Dec. 3, 2019.
  • There will be a $500,000 Incentive Fund on #GivingTuesday.
  • The Incentive Fund will be distributed to participants proportionally based on final fundraising totals. This means that, at the end of #GivingTuesday, the projects that bring in the most dollars will win the largest portion of the Incentive Fund and every project that activates donors will earn something. More details.

Looking for something simple?

Become a recurring donor and your first monthly donation will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving. Recurring donors are the backbone of our budget, since monthly contributions are less challenging and nerve-racking than banking on events such as #GivingTuesday or end-of-year giving to raise the money needed to make our work possible.

Not all improved cookstoves look alike
Not all improved cookstoves look alike
Bio-charcoal ready to use
Bio-charcoal ready to use

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The New Midwife in her CARMMA at work
The New Midwife in her CARMMA at work

We have a new midwife at our health center in Fiadanana. As public servants, paid by the Ministry of health, midwives get rotated to different posts every few years. With this one, we are turning an exciting new page in the history of our CARMMA, with a woman as midwife. Recently graduated, she has the most up-to-date knowledge possible. She jumped right in and personally visited all household in ours and the other 4 surrounding villages that are served by our CARMMA. Going door-to-door, she sought our all pregnant women in her CARMMA’s service area of 1801 people (number subject to change). She met each woman personally to talk about the advantage of prenatal exams. This is the first time a maternal health worker took the word out-reach literally, personally assessing the scoop of need out there. She is highly respected by the community for her efforts.

She also brought an adorable little daughter and her husband into the community. This is an exciting new development, because her husband is very interested in sports and immediately took over as coach for the football clubs. He is therefore continuing an important tradition, that sports activities and our health center are intertwined. He also has become the pro forma new driver for our health center. Our midwife is tasked with outreach to neighboring villages, to provide health services where there is no Health Center and administer the mandatory child vaccinations outlined in the millennium development goals. To meet this tremendous need in neighboring communities most efficiently, Zahana provided her with a motorbike. Mobility allows her to do within a few hours, what in the past required two or three days of walking. With a personal driver at her disposition, she can attend to medical needs and emergencies immediately after arrival. And with less spend time spent on the road, she can spend more time at the CARMMA, focusing on maternal and child health and providing a safe and sanitary birthing environment.

Dr. Evelyne, MD, one of Zahana's board members and a retired maternal health specialist, has offered to provide her with additional tailor-made training. This is a very generous offer, and we can greatly benefit from Dr. Evelyne’s expertise of over 30 years working in this field. In a long public service career, she has been a medical inspector on a provincial level, and is very familiar with the challenges and settings in rural communities on the village level.

Background: Our Health Center is one of the 26 CARMMA in Madagascar, inaugurated in May 2014. CARMMAs, as brick-and-mortar buildings are uniquely Malagasy, because they combine the traditional health center with a strong maternal health focus. In other countries in Africa CARMMA is a theoretical program, only in Madagascar CARMMA are brick and mortar facilities. People from neighboring villages without a health center also seek services there. More about this on our website.

Last but not least. We are proud to report: Since we build the clean water system in2006, until now, in 2019, no child has died in the village. In our CARMMA, infant as well as maternal mortality is zero, which is a fancy way of saying no mother or baby have died during birth. Uncontrolled bleeding is one of the most common and preventable causes of maternal death. In rural Madagascar this is preventable, if you are lucky enough to give birth in a CARMMA with much needed medicines stored in our solar refrigerator.

Midwife and husband with the regional director
Midwife and husband with the regional director
Midwife's daughter
Midwife's daughter
Getting ready for outreach
Getting ready for outreach
Midwife at the innaugration of the school building
Midwife at the innaugration of the school building

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New School building to the right, first one left
New School building to the right, first one left

The inauguration of our second school building June 2019 is exciting news and a major milestone for Zahana in many aspects. Watch the cutural dance performance of the inaguaration on YouTube.

Looking back or context: Our first school was built by the community in 2006, right after they built their clean water system.

We are honored the inauguration was attended by the education director of the Bongolava Region. (Madagascar is divided into 22 regions (faritra). A region can very loosely be equated an administrating unit, like a state, but without a governor. The capital of the 4th largest region is Tsiroanomandidy with an estimated population of over half a million. He is the highest ranking official for education in Bongolava. His presence to attend personally at this event is quite symbolic. Other dignitaries were the Medical Inspector for the Region and members of the ministries of health and local authorities.

Second aspect: Our second school building in 2019 was constructed and paid for by a French NGO. The founder Abel Legendre of the Association Pour que Vive Maroala attended the inauguration (with the white hat). Zahana was charged with buying the furniture and school supplies in addition to paying our teachers. We are very pleased at this collaboration and synergy that Zahana makes possible. This is the first major contribution by another donor for education, one of our core pillars of Zahana’s development philosophy. The same NGO also generously built the CARMMA, our maternal health focused health center in Fiadanana in 2014. The community got a beautiful, brand new second school building, without too much impact on our Zahana budget.

Aspect 3: This is more than a school.

This is the rural university we had always envisioned. Zahana has great plans for this school. It is designed to become a focal point for community wide education, including agriculture know-how transfer. The intention is to go beyond the scope of our current primary school(s) educational focus. “It is a school for all people living in the region,” our founder Dr. Ihanta explains. “It will provide an extensive curriculum that goes beyond traditional primary school education. Once the primary school in the morning is finished, the younger students can attend other classes oriented on their local needs, to improve their lives, when they become adult community members. Learning the ABC or math will be complemented by ‘real life skills’. We want to further involve and encourage adults to come, many of whom might have never attended a formal school before. As well as members of neighboring communities, widening the scope of our outreach exponentially. We are currently developing the new curriculum, and our rural university will officially ‘start’ in August.”

We are envisioning classes on agricultural improvements, by taking advantage of existing resources, but applying new innovative techniques (SRI comes to mind as a possibility), that lead to better yields or introduces new, diversified crops beyond rice and corn (maize). Reforestation and hands on building of improved cook stoves will also be part of our curriculum. Health, and especially maternal health and nutrition classes, will be offered. This new exciting challenge is very much an evolving process with a flexible curriculum that grows, changes and adapts, based on the community needs and the seasons.

Stay tuned for the new exciting developments in the coming months and years.

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus

Students performing for the ceremony
Students performing for the ceremony
Traditional dance group performing
Traditional dance group performing
Regional education director cutting the ribbon
Regional education director cutting the ribbon
Education director, builder and funder of school
Education director, builder and funder of school
3 generations: use blackboard for the first time
3 generations: use blackboard for the first time
Visitors discussing the future of the school
Visitors discussing the future of the school

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A New Building for Fiadananan's School
A New Building for Fiadananan's School

We are proud to announce: 12 years later, our school will soon have a second building!

A School for their community’s children was development goal number one, identified during Zahana’s very first community meeting in Fiadanana. In 2005 we were able to secure the funding. Our first school built for and by the community was ready in 2006. With your help, Zahana has been paying the teacher’s salaries ever since. Seedlings planted at the time are now towering shade trees in the schoolyard.

This was made possible thanks to the generous support of the French NGO that built our CARMMA, our Health Center focusing especially on maternal and Child health as well. They paid for all of the school’s construction materials and labor costs. Zahana is in charge of furniture, teaching materials, as well as hiring and training the additional teachers.

We have bold new plans for the new school. We will report about it, once the construction is finished, after the official inauguration ceremony took place. Stay tuned.

In 2005: determining the schhol's location
In 2005: determining the schhol's location
Building the second school building in Madagascar
Building the second school building in Madagascar
The school is getting ready
The school is getting ready
Looking like a school building
Looking like a school building

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Nathalies Reforestation book
Nathalies Reforestation book

Reforestation has become one of Zahana’s most successful community development projects over the past years. Some of you saw our project reports with children planting trees in their schoolyard for over a decade now.

Our goal always was to integrate reforestation in both school’s curricula, so planting tress becomes common place, or something learned early on, by participating in it. Our teachers found another way to make reforestation a school activity: they asked their students to document the tees they planted with the respective Malagasy names by drawing pictures of the leaves. Nathalie's work of collecting and drawing the leaves has been chosen to represent her school in Fiadanana.

We think we let the pictures speak for themselves:

The first page
The first page
Second page (with Moringa!)
Second page (with Moringa!)
More three documented
More three documented
drawing leaves
drawing leaves
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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
$46,012 raised of $55,000 goal
 
357 donations
$8,988 to go
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