Changing lives in the village of Fiarenana

by Zahana

The Tscherman Chef cooks something up again: a video with the community effort in Fiarenana as ingredients. (Yes, the school is now almost 2 years old and still going strong)

Who says development work needs to be serious? (Although the issues sure still are.) Participatory development means to work together, if you spent 1 minute and 40 seconds watching the video on Youtube (and later on our project page), you'll find out. Please feel free to leave a comment on YouTube. 

And quick reminder: GlobalGiving's Bonus Day begins at 12:01 am Eester Daylight Time on Wednesday June 13, 2012. (That is one minute after midnight on June 13 in the New York time zone).

The formula is simple: your donations to Zahana will be matched at 50% by GlobalGiving. Last time GlobalGiving ran out of matching funds, so please try early in the day if you want to supersize you donation by 50% with the click of a mouse. There is a total of $75,000 in matching funds available. Once funds have been depleted, no more donations will be matched by GlobalGiving. Details

Best regards,



The new and improved communal water faucets
The new and improved communal water faucets

Dear freinds and supporters!

Sometimes the success of our participatory approach is best illustrated with a project we don’t do ourselves. Metal fences now surround all seven of Fiadanana’s communal water faucets for over 2 years. Built with a solid concrete foundation, the fences are holding up well.

All metal fences were built and paid for by the community, because they saw a need for it, without asking Zahana for a financial contribution. This is a prime example of a community taking ownership of and responsibility for their own resources.

Some history: In 2006, the community built their communal water system with seven communal water faucets (see website) with support from Zahana. We thought (see photo) communal water faucets could become a green oasis in the village, beautifying everything through colorful flowers and greenery, easily watered by the runoff.

Little did we know that the cows had no appreciation for esthetics, but a great hunger for juicy fresh green ‘stuff’. To keep the cattle out, the community decided to use concrete and metal, keeping their communal water sources safe for years to come.

Ihanta, Jeannett and Markus

Fence around the communal water faucet
Fence around the communal water faucet
The improved communal water faucet in the school
The improved communal water faucet in the school
The 'old' communal water faucet in 2007
Runoff keeps the garden green
Runoff keeps the garden green
Fiadanana's traditional healer with granddaughter


Seven happy and proud students
Seven happy and proud students

We just got this picture of all seven students from Fiadanana that got award the CEPE (Certificat d'etudes primaires élémentaires or Certificate of Primary Studies). Our wonderful teachers trainer, whos work made this possible as well is to the left.

“Getting a CEPE is a very big deal for everybody, nobody in their village ever got a CEPE so far”, our friend Dr. Ihanta told us on Skype. “8 of our students from our Fiadanana school took the exam. They had been preparing for weeks every day with their teacher. Seven of our Students passed the exam, while from other village schools only 30% to 50% of the students were so lucky”

In Madagascar a CEPE is a Certificat d'etudes primaires élémentaires (or Certificate of Primary Studies). A nation-wide standardized test, it can be awarded after attending five years of primary education. Students that don't pass either leave school without a CEPE or may try again after repeating the year in school.

Zahana’s school in Fiadanana is now 5 years old and these are our first students who qualified to take the CEPE. Established as private schools, Zahana has more educational freedom in choosing a culturally appropriate curriculum, but our children do qualify to take an external exam for the CEPE. Successfully passing the CEPE exam is a prerequisite to enroll in secondary education.


Dear friends,

We are happy and proud to announce that for August 2011 Zahana is featured in the ‘Project of the Month Club’ at GlobalGiving. You supported our work in the village in Fiarenana early on, when we had just joined GlobalGiving and we have come a long way since together. Thank you for you support and trust.

Every month GlobalGiving awards this ‘Project of the Month Club’ designation to a new exceptionally high performing project.  For August our ‘Solar cookers for the school in Fiadanana’ takes the spotlight on the GlobalGiving website. We are thankful to GlobalGiving for this great opportunity to reach a wider audience of dedicated donors for Zahana.

Please check it out and let all your friends know.

Best regards,

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus


Thank you!

We could not have done it without your support! The temptation was big to just send a progress report with two words: “Thank you”. But, we wanted to explain it a bit more:

February 2011 Zahana was awarded “Superstar” status, the highest level an organization can reach on GlobalGiving! Regular progress report by our amazing Malagasy team, combined with your donor support got us among the 30 superstars, a brand new program launched at GlobalGiving.

Last but not least: March 16 - Bonus Day at GlobalGiving.
On March 16, 2011 GlobalGiving is matching at 30% all online donations (up to US$1,000 per donor per project) with $75,000 available in matching funds. The last time matching funds were depleted half way into the Bonus Day, so be ready midnight EST on March 16 if you would like to top off your generous donation to Zahana.

Thank you.

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus

P.S. Zahana did not get chosen for the Ford Focus test drive in February 2011.


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Organization Information


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

Funded Project!

Thanks to 160 donors like you, a total of $10,065 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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