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Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar

by Zahana
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Professional tree nursery along the roadside
Professional tree nursery along the roadside

For our site visit in October we bought five tree seedlings for each school: avocado, lychee, mango and 2 citrus trees.

We bought them in a professional tree nursery along the way to the villages. Patronizing the same nursery where we had sent our gardeners Bary and Jean for training a few months back. We wanted tio give them the opportunity to spent time with professional nursery people to hone their skills. While they were very excited to leave their village, which was a great bonus for them, they did not want to spent more than 3 to 4 days away from home.

The trees seedlings were planted, with the help of the students at both school yards during our visit. In both schools our gardeners dug the holes for the trees and tought how to mix the soft soil with cow manur as fertilizer.

Reforestation is one of Zahana’s core activities. It is important for us to combine site visits with tree-planting as often as possible, with the active participation of our students. Planting not just “trees”, but fruit trees, that can provide foods for the students for years to come, is the logical next step.

October is still in the dry season in the high plateau of Madagascar. It is traditionally not the ideal season to plant trees. So, this is also an experiment that our founder described in the following words: “due to climate change that is very noticeable in Madagascar, we don’t really know anymore what the right season for planting trees might be. So we just have to try it, if it might work”.

Both schools have access to water. All the students have to do is water the trees regularly, until the beginning of the rainy season, later in the year, when nature takes over this task.

Now that the rainy season, which is synonimous with rice planting season, has started, all we need to do it wait.

- - - - - - - - - -

And yes, houskeeping is required to keep Zahana going.

This is the end-of-the-year season where you get many appeals for support and enticements of tax deductibility. Yes, if you are so inclined, and have the means to do so, please consider our projects in Madagascar.

We also wanted to put a plug in for our latest GlobalGiving project Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation. It is our most ambitious project to date, that integrated many elements, including reforestation in its scope.  And the first results are amazing. You might enjoy reading our latest project report: Improved cookstoves that really work.

Digging the hole for the tree eyed by many
Digging the hole for the tree eyed by many
manure and earth mix for the seedling
manure and earth mix for the seedling
Planting the citrus tree seedling
Planting the citrus tree seedling
Planting the lychee tree seedling in school yard
Planting the lychee tree seedling in school yard

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Tree seedlings in the school's mango forest
Tree seedlings in the school's mango forest

Sometimes a picture or two says it all, if you know what you are looking at. Voilà the photo above. (Which can actually be translated into English as “look and see”.)

But there is more to the pictures, than just rows of seedlings. In our last report, we talked about relocating the tree nursery next to the schools. The point of this move was with two goals in mind: greatly increase the area to grow tree seedlings and actively involve the students in caring for the young trees to be.

To our utmost delight, the new tree nursery area proved already to be too small. As you can see in the pictures, they moved into the Mango Forest next to the school to grow more seedlings. With the tremendous success of our improved cookstove project, the demand for seedlings for reforestation has skyrocketed. (To participate in the improved cookstove workshops a comittment to reforestation is a requirement.) If we need more trees, we need more growing space.

With the onset of the rainy season, the time for tree planting is approaching fast. And we hope to be ready to meet the demand.

Just add the seeds
Just add the seeds
A sea of seedlings in the mango forest
A sea of seedlings in the mango forest

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The new tree nursery in Faidanana
The new tree nursery in Faidanana

In anticipation of increased demand for tree seedlings since we started our improved cookstove project, we moved the tree nursery in both villages to the school grounds. This greatly increased the available space of the growing area.

In the past decade, our gardeners had the plant nursery right next to their respective houses. They could keep a watchful eye on their seedlings, literally in their backyard. But by the same token, space was limited inside the village.

Moving the (tree) nursery to the school, has the additional benefit that the students can be directly involved with growing, tending, and watering all seedlings for the reforestation project. This direct involvement in growing seedlings for our reforestation is in addition to their school gardens, where they grow food to eat.

There is one thing we can’t do much about yet: the weather. Madagascar was at the time of moving the nursery in the school yard still in the dry season (which makes not such great photos). Seedlings need water, our gardeners assure us, and that with the start of the rainy season seedlings and subsequent tree planting will take off.

Now to a bit of housekeeping:

We hope you will join us December 3 for GlobalGiving’s #GivingTuesday campaign.

  • 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 Giving Tuesday or end-of-year giving to raise the money needed to make our work possible.

New Tree Nursery and school garden in Faidanana
New Tree Nursery and school garden in Faidanana
Master gardener Jean in his new tree nursery
Master gardener Jean in his new tree nursery
New tree nursery Fiarenana
New tree nursery Fiarenana
Moringa seedlings in the new tree nursery
Moringa seedlings in the new tree nursery
Moringa seedling growing well
Moringa seedling growing well

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An impoved cookstove in action outside
An impoved cookstove in action outside

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.

As you can see in the title the word "deforestation" direcly links it to this GobalGiving project as well.

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.

Making improved cookstoves in the community
Making improved cookstoves in the community
Building and impoved cookstove for the school
Building and impoved cookstove for the school

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The new Midwife with Regional Health Director
The new Midwife with Regional Health Director

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.

The CARMMA's reach
The CARMMA's reach
Out-reach, start, go!
Out-reach, start, go!
Midwife at the innaugration of the school building
Midwife at the innaugration of the school building
The New Midwife in her CARMMA at work
The New Midwife in her CARMMA at work
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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
$50,812 raised of $60,000 goal
 
917 donations
$9,188 to go
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