A community school for all (children) in Fiarenana

by Zahana
Vetted
Papers in hand waiting for the exam to start
Papers in hand waiting for the exam to start

With great pride we post this update for Zahana. Email and SMS (or text message) makes it possible to share the good news almost in real time. “Our brave country boys Doré and Donné passed their exam! They are among the 51% in the entire region of Tsiroanomandidy who successfully passed their BEPC (high school entrance exam). I`m really happy, we will celebrate with them. They will be living in Tsiroanomandidy and go to high school there. There is no better tenth anniversary gift for Zahana. Back in October 2005, when Raleva our traditional healer donated the land to built our community school nobody even dreamed of such a wonderful result.”

The door to the high school entrance exam room
The door to the high school entrance exam room
Inside the exam room, waiting for the test to star
Inside the exam room, waiting for the test to star
The parental house they grew up in
The parental house they grew up in
Back at home to study for the test
Back at home to study for the test
Their family back home
Their family back home
Our
Our 'Santa' with the new tree growing well

"The BEPC (Brevet d'Etude du Premier Cycle) exam starts this coming Monday, August 3 from 3 to 5 PM. The test will be held in Tsiroanomandidy*.

They will go to high school in Tsiroanomandidy if they pass the test. Once again, they will stay there by themselves like they were in Bevato for middle school. So let's pray for them they will be successful not just in school but especially as a reward for their exceptional behavior, they are so humble and understand where they came from. They are the best role model Zahana could wish for.

As I couldn't be with our courageous students, our Zahana Santa agreed to do that for them. He is leaving the capital on Friday to drive them from the village of Fiadanana to Tsiroanomandidy and find temporary housing for them there. We already sent new clothes donated from my colleagues to them, everyone seems to admire our brave country-boys."

Ihanta (Founder of Zahana)

*Explanatory note: Tsiroanomandidy is the next (and only) bigger town in the area. Tsiroanomandidy can be reached via a paved road from the capital (a five hour’s drive) and has such amenities as a hospital, electricity and a high school. It takes about four to five hours to walk from Fiadanana to Tsiroanomandidy.

Links:

Donne and Dore getting ready for the Highschool
Donne and Dore getting ready for the Highschool

We have very exciting news: High school is so close for Donné and Doré, they can almost touch it.

Both have been admitted to take the BEPC (Brevet d'Etude du Premier Cycle).

The BREC is a nation-wide entrance exam for high school taken in July. Both have been living in the small town of Bevato attending the equivalent of middle school for the past few years (after they passed their CEPE), being first and second in their class almost every year since. We are confident they will pass their BREC with flying colors.

Nine years after the opening of our school in Fiadanana, they will be the first in their community to ever attend high school. Currently they are at home in Fiadanana studying hard for the BREC, full of hope and expectation, since Zahana promised them we would support them all the way through university.

Doing the dishes after school lunch
Doing the dishes after school lunch

Madagascar has experienced an exceptionally devastating cyclone season in early 2015. The severe weather and rain caused a lot of damage. Our team had tried to visit our villages in late January to make sure they were OK after the first big cyclone. They were unable to reach the villages and the driver had to turn around, since the roads were impassable and unsafe. We later sent our founder’s nephew, a strong young man, who had to walk the last 20 kilometers on foot to reach our villages.

“The roof and the door of our school in Fiarenana was damaged by the cyclone (it will be repaired by the community, financed by their school treasury). The parents’ association and students are in the process of replacing, respectively replanting, some trees in the school yard that were broken down by the cyclone. Some rice paddy were invaded by sand-flooding”

Dr. Ihanta, Zahana’s founder, sent us this explanatory background note: “The weather was terrible and most of people were forced to stay in their houses most of the time. In our capital many houses collapsed due to the rain and mudslides on the steep hillsides. Unbelievable, but since January it was raining everyday.  We learnt that the last previous similar flood in Madagascar was in 1959 and it was also very serious.

Many of students came to the school in the hope of finding food (bad weather combined with the fear of starvation), so Zahana provide noodles for soup. On a happier note we have included the latest photos (taken with my nephew’s cell phone) of the food being served in the courtyard of our school in Fiarenana.” Note: if you look at the ground you can see that it is still very wet, even if the weather looks ‘nice’.

Distributing the soup
Distributing the soup
Soup bowls all lined up for lunch
Soup bowls all lined up for lunch
Waiting patiently (and hungry) to start
Waiting patiently (and hungry) to start
The entire gazebo is full of hungry kids
The entire gazebo is full of hungry kids
Fixing the school garden
Fixing the school garden
Thank you from Fiarenana in Madagascar
Thank you from Fiarenana in Madagascar

We got these great photos with the Christmas trees in our schools in Fiarenana. We have so many beautiful pictures, it is hard to choose just six. We let them speak for themselves.

Since 2006 Santa has been visiting our schools in rural Madagascar. This year he brought gifts with him of cookies, sweets, bread and clothes. About half of the lucky ones also got a doll or a toy car. And yes, Santa is impressive. He is probably the tallest Malagasy the children might ever see in their lives.

If you are in a position to decide about your end-of-the-year donation, we hope you will think of our villages in Madagascar and Zahana. Thank you!

GlobalGiving offers options with just a few clicks:

And to sweeten the pie, if you set up a recurring donation to Zahana, the amount of your December donation will be doubled by GlobalGiving (up to $200), making your gift twice as big.

GlobalGiving has an end-of-the-year campaign for 2014. To get one of the cash prizes, Zahana needs to raise at least $1,000 from 30 different donors. So if you would like to support e.g. our reforestation efforts you can do this with a few clicks and help us get closer to our additional monies goal.

Looking for a gift in honor of somebody? Why not consider a gift in her or his name (with an e-card or physical card sent to the lucky recipient by GlobalGiving)

Or you may just click on the button “give now” below.

Thank you!

Christmas tree in Fiarenana school
Christmas tree in Fiarenana school
Angels in a school play
Angels in a school play
Santa bearing gifts for the children
Santa bearing gifts for the children
Santa and Jean our gardener in the school
Santa and Jean our gardener in the school
Santa with his gifts
Santa with his gifts
 

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Organization Information

Zahana

Location: Antananarivo, Capital - Madagascar
Website: http:/​/​zahana.org
Project Leader:
Markus Faigle
Volunteer
Honolulu, HI United States

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