Help Children in Madagascar Gain an Education

by SEED Madagascar
Help Children in Madagascar Gain an Education
Students and teachers gather at new classrooms
Students and teachers gather at new classrooms

SEED’s largest school build to date, Ranomafana Lycée (high school), was completed in March 2020.
The school now has three fully-furnished classrooms, an administrative office, two three-cubicle
latrine blocks separated by gender, and a menstrual hygiene management facility. Students and
teachers have access to running water from the newly installed water pipe and three outdoor taps.
As the only upper secondary institution within an 80-kilometre radius, the new lycée provides a vital,
safe, and comfortable learning environment that will enable students in this remote part of the
Anosy region to receive and complete their education.

A key part of this project was strengthening students’ and teachers’ capacity to implement good
water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices. Alongside provision of sanitation, handwashing,
and menstrual hygiene facilities, SEED has delivered WASH education sessions to 36 teachers in
Ranomafana covering topics such as handwashing, latrine use and maintenance, and water
treatment. In order to ensure the sustainability of the new infrastructure, the school’s WASH
committee, formed of 24 teachers and parents, has also received training in proper cleaning and
maintenance of the new buildings.

SEED is planning to hold a handover ceremony later this year, during which responsibility for
maintaining the school and equipment will be formally transferred to the community. This ceremony
will be particularly important for SEED and the community as they remember SEED’s staff member,
Dadah, and a teacher at the high school, who were tragically killed in a bus accident in December
2017 while travelling to the school site. Both men were passionate advocates for the education of
young people in Ranomafana and will be commemorated in a framed photograph installed at the
lycée. The teacher’s wife has also kindly offered to donate a football uniform to students, helping to
preserve their legacies in this newly thriving educational environment.

A student using the newly installed taps
A student using the newly installed taps
The new sic-cubicle latrine block
The new sic-cubicle latrine block
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Maho, 18-year-old student at Ranomafana Lycee.
Maho, 18-year-old student at Ranomafana Lycee.

Nearing project close, Ranomafana Lycée (high school) is scheduled to be complete by the end of February 2020. 

SEED’s Head of Construction recently travelled to the remote school site, where he spoke with high school students who will be attending the new school. Students in the community of Ranomafana are excited to have their own designated school building for the first time. They expressed what the construction of the Lycée means to the community and why it will be so impactful.

Maho, an 18-year-old student told SEED that “there are not enough classrooms, so when the school is done, we will be very happy”. The current lack of classroom space limits high school students to attending only half days of school. Another student, Miha, who will begin his baccalaureate during the upcoming school year shared that, “because of the new school building, many students will be successful and happy, and the number of kids able to stay in school will increase”. The Lycée will provide 245 students with the opportunity to achieve higher-level education, a crucial component in enabling young people and their families to escape the vicious cycle of poverty.

None of this would be possible without the passion and dedication of a memorable SEED staff and committed community member, Dadah. An advocate for education, Dadah identified the need for improved education infrastructure in his home community of Ranomafana. Once brought to SEED’s attention, Dadah and the team began planning this next phase of Project Sekoly. Tragically, Dadah passed away in a road accident, however his kind spirit and passion will live on through the halls of Ranomafana Lycée, providing bright futures for young people in his hometown. A stone has been engraved in Dadah’s memory, honouring his hard work and dedication to his community. 

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The construction of Ranomafana Lycee
The construction of Ranomafana Lycee

When Ranomafana Lycée (high school) was established in 2013, it was allocated five government-paid teachers but not provided with any infrastructure, leaving the high school students without a proper learning space. This is where SEED has stepped in, constructing a fully furnished three-classroom school site, with two gender-separate latrine blocks, and menstrual hygiene management facilities. While the Lycée is being built, students are attending classes in the local middle school and the mayor’s office but, with the construction on track to be completed by February 2020, the community of Ranomafana is very excited that Lycée students will soon have their own dedicated school site for the first time.

With less than three months until project close, construction is well underway: the foundation is complete, the walls are built, and the roof support has been installed. The installation of the roof has been particularly exciting for teachers, parents, and students alike because, in the Anosy region of Madagascar, Malagasy people refer to buildings without roofs as zebu (cattle) houses. When the roof support was installed the community remarked that “the building is no longer a zebu house, it is now a real school”.

During the remaining months, the construction team will render the floors, complete the veranda, and install windows, doors, and blackboards, finalizing it with a fresh coat of paint. We look forward to seeing the final elements of construction come together over the coming months, and moving the 245 enrolled students at the Lycée into their new school building.

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Collecting sand for the construction of the school
Collecting sand for the construction of the school

 As the construction of Ranomafana Lycée (high school) launched in July, the project team is taking time to reflect on the inspiration behind the project. In addition to improving classroom conditions and access to adequate sanitation facilities, the school will be built in loving memory of a SEED staff and committed community member, Dadah. A passionate activist for education, Dadah identified the pressing need to improve education infrastructure in his home community of Ranomafana, enabling young people and their families to escape the vicious cycle of poverty. 

After conducting a needs assessment, Dadah collaborated with the Education team at SEED and began working on a proposal to improve the school’s education and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene infrastructure. Tragically, in December 2017, Dadah and one of the lycée teachers lost their lives in a road accident whilst travelling back to the community to collect project data. It is thanks to the dedication of Dadah and the lycée teacher that the school construction is moving forward, which will help to realise their goal of providing over 400 students with high-quality education and access to skilled professions.  

Last month, SEED’s Construction team held the project’s groundbreaking ceremony, during which a community leader blessed the land before beginning construction. The foundation of the Lycée is well underway, as the Construction team works hard to mould and stack over 60 bricks everyday. With construction projected to be completed by February 2020, the students, teachers and parents are excited to have a dedicated school site, providing bright futures for Ranomafana’s young people.

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Organization Information

SEED Madagascar

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SEEDMadagascar
Project Leader:
Melissa Hornby
London, London United Kingdom

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