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
Moringa flowers in a vase
Moringa flowers in a vase

Thank you to all of you who donated on #givingtuesday.

This bouquet of moringa flowers is for you!

Some reports are (to be) to short, so here it is: Most parts of the Moringa tree are edible: leaves, seedpods, roots, and yes, the flowers. Children in our villages have developed a keen liking for a new sweet treat: Moringa flowers. Children love to pick and eat the flowers right off the tree. A tasty sweet treat from a tree that can make thousands of flowers a year, growing (hopefully) right next to your house.

Moringa flowers have sweet and faint lovely fragrant smell. It makes a great tea. The flowers can be quite pungent raw, but blanched make a great addition to a salad. The fast growing wood can be used as firewood or to plant new tress. More about Moringa on our website.

Moringa flowers close up
Moringa flowers close up
Moringa flower buds
Moringa flower buds
Moringa flowers
Moringa flowers
Moringa flowers with tiny seedpods
Moringa flowers with tiny seedpods
Moringa leaves, flowers, seed pod in Madagascar
Moringa leaves, flowers, seed pod in Madagascar

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Stundents in Fiarenanan's school
Stundents in Fiarenanan's school

To celebrate the beginning of the new school year all students got soup in their classroom. A lot has changed, since we first started offering soup or food for our students (e.g. 2011). Zahana initially paid for the school food, now the ingredients are provided (mostly) by the community, to the extend they can afford it.

The teacher apologized to the visiting team, explaining that due the current season no vegetables are available to be added to the soup.  Even moringa goes dormant this time of the year, and does not produce many leaves. He was quick to point out that in this year’s curriculum each student will each plant five moringa trees in the schoolyard and tend to the seedlings, to make sure each tree grow as well as possible. Moringa leaves in the soup is becoming a staple for many families and growing more, to support this habit, is always advantageous.

In our school in Fiarenana you need back to school supplies, too. Each student received pencils, a ball pen and notebooks from Zahana, to start the school year fully equipped and ready to study. We were also able to secure some donated schoolbooks in French, as requested by the teacher. 

Celebrating the school commencement with a soup
Celebrating the school commencement with a soup

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Clean, safe drinking water at our school!
Clean, safe drinking water at our school!

It is a great pleasure and exciting for us to announce: Our second village and our school in Fiarenana now has clean water, too!

For many years, the well in our schoolyard was the only source of uncontaminated groundwater for the community. Solar water pasteurization had been embraced by our teacher to make the kids water supply save.

So how was it accomplished? Our very active and engaged teacher had heard that Caritas, a Catholic charity, was accepting proposals or requests for a clean water system. He got hold of the application, applied for the project, and was successful. We are very proud of our teacher for being proactive and congratulate him on his wonderful success!

A team working for Caritas came to the village and built a pipe system from the nearby mountain all the way to the village. This is the same mountain that feeds the clean water system in Fiadanana for over 12 years now. Communal faucets throughout the village provide clean and safe drinking water for everybody. They also went the extra mile and put a faucet in the school’s yard.

This is an important milestone for us. It is the first time in over a decade that a third party undertook a major project, without financial involvement from Zahana. It is also a first that the request was initiated by one of our teachers who lives in the village.

Happy drinking, washing and cooking with clean water in Fiarenana for years to come!

Ihanta and Markus

Building a clean water faucet at the school
Building a clean water faucet at the school
The finished fenced it school yard water faucet
The finished fenced it school yard water faucet
Building the communal faucets in Fiarenana
Building the communal faucets in Fiarenana
Building another communal faucet in Fiarenana
Building another communal faucet in Fiarenana
Cattel proof clean water supply for Fiarenana
Cattel proof clean water supply for Fiarenana

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Sweeping the school yard
Sweeping the school yard

What do you do in rural Madagascar if you want to sweep your school yard?

You get your students together, in the shade of the trees you have planted over the years. The assistant teacher, who is also the handicraft teacher, shows you how to make your broom. All you need to do: collect sturdy grass in the perimeter outside the school yard, tie it together et voila: You’re ready to sweep your school yard.

Cost: zero. Garbage produced: zero. No plastic pieces in the environment from a (cheap) broom made from oil based products that just gets discarded when it falls apart. This broom can be put on the compost pile, or used as kindling to start a (cooking) fire. True sustainability starts at the village level.

Cleaning the village environment has been Zahana’s endeavor for over a decade. Since our first concerted village cleanup, they have been able to also keep diseases transmitted by insects such as Tugiasis (Tunga penetrans), a skin disease spread by fleas, in check (yes, this webpage is from Augist 2006.)

Markus and Ihanta

Stundents in the shade with teacher
Stundents in the shade with teacher
Learning how to make your broom
Learning how to make your broom
DIY Broom curriculum
DIY Broom curriculum

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Solar cooked noodle with Moringa soup
Solar cooked noodle with Moringa soup

Some ideas need time to grow. Some innovations can be combined hand in hand.

Quite a few years ago we introduced solar cooking in our villages. Our head teacher in Fiadanana embraced the idea and has been using the school’s solar cooker for the school lunches. He also embraced our latest reforestation effort of planting a Moringa forest.

The Community got together for the Christmas celebration. As part of the festivities he combined two ideas - solar cooking and our new Moringa project. The result: the photos of solar cooked noodle soup with freshly picked Moringa leaves.

Moringa now grows all over the village and is a powerhouse of nutrition. Fresh Moringa leaves cook very fast and can be added in the last few minutes, or even the end of the cooking process. Just add a few hand-full of freshly picked Moringa leaves. The vitamin A, C, calcium and essential amino acids of this ‘new vegetable’ are now part of a daily meal. It grows for free near many houses, tastes good, and is good for you.

Seeing the children enjoying their soup with Moringa has a far bigger impact than explaining the benefits of adding Moringa to the diet.

Moringa noodle soup (themometer is in Celsius!)
Moringa noodle soup (themometer is in Celsius!)
Serving solar cooked noodle with Moringa soup
Serving solar cooked noodle with Moringa soup
Students eating noodles with Moringa
Students eating noodles with Moringa
The solar cooked soup...
The solar cooked soup...

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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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