Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar

by Zahana
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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
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
New school left, first school righ
New school left, first school righ

The inauguration of our second school building June 2019 is exciting news and a major milestone for Zahana in many aspects. Watch the cutural dance performance of the inaguaration on our YouTube channel.

Looking back or context: Our first school was built by the community in 2006, right after they built their clean water system. Reforestation is an intergal part of our school corriculum. With the new building the plan is to combine it with a bigger tree nursery, with hands-on participation of our students.

We are honored the inauguration was attended by the education director of the Bongolava Region. (Madagascar is divided into 22 regions (faritra). A region can very loosely be equated an administrating unit, like a state, but without a governor. The capital of the 4th largest region is Tsiroanomandidy with an estimated population of over half a million. He is the highest ranking official for education in Bongolava. His presence to attend personally at this event is quite symbolic. Other dignitaries were the Medical Inspector for the Region and members of the ministries of health and local authorities.

Second aspect: Our second school building in 2019 was constructed and paid for by a French NGO. The founder Abel Legendre of the Association Pour que Vive Maroala attended the inauguration (with the white hat). Zahana was charged with buying the furniture and school supplies in addition to paying our teachers. We are very pleased at this collaboration and synergy that Zahana makes possible. This is the first major contribution by another donor for education, one of our core pillars of Zahana’s development philosophy. The same NGO also generously built the CARMMA, our maternal health focused health center in Fiadanana in 2014. The community got a beautiful, brand new second school building, without too much impact on our Zahana budget.

Aspect 3: This is more than a school.

This is the rural university we had always envisioned. Zahana has great plans for this school. It is designed to become a focal point for community wide education, including agriculture know-how transfer. The intention is to go beyond the scope of our current primary school(s) educational focus. “It is a school for all people living in the region,” our founder Dr. Ihanta explains. “It will provide an extensive curriculum that goes beyond traditional primary school education. Once the primary school in the morning is finished, the younger students can attend other classes oriented on their local needs, to improve their lives, when they become adult community members. Learning the ABC or math will be complemented by ‘real life skills’. We want to further involve and encourage adults to come, many of whom might have never attended a formal school before. As well as members of neighboring communities, widening the scope of our outreach exponentially. We are currently developing the new curriculum, and our rural university will officially ‘start’ in August.”

We are envisioning classes on agricultural improvements, by taking advantage of existing resources, but applying new innovative techniques (SRI comes to mind as a possibility), that lead to better yields or introduces new, diversified crops beyond rice and corn (maize). Reforestation and hands on building of improved cook stoves will also be part of our curriculum. Health, and especially maternal health and nutrition classes, will be offered. This new exciting challenge is very much an evolving process with a flexible curriculum that grows, changes and adapts, based on the community needs and the seasons.

Stay tuned for the new exciting developments in the coming months and years.

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus

Students at the Inauguration ceremony
Students at the Inauguration ceremony
Everybody came to particiapte
Everybody came to particiapte
Ribbon cutting ceremony: education director
Ribbon cutting ceremony: education director
Education director, builder and funder of school
Education director, builder and funder of school
New school building
New school building
Women's cultrual group performing
Women's cultrual group performing

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Zahana's teacher showing the new moringa trees
Zahana's teacher showing the new moringa trees

Planting Moringa trees is a low-cost cornerstone to improve nutrition in our villages. Getting the schoolteachers involved growing and eating Moringa is a key part of the strategy, so children learn early on how to grow and eat it. We reported different initiatives over the years that involve students. Our two ‘homegrown’ students, Donné and Doré are at the moment still studying at agricultural college. Since they got involved in teaching our students, the school gardens are doing much better. In the last site-visit, most of the attention and the camera lens’ attention, went to the exciting new school building. Thanks to the teacher who pointed them out, in these three pictures you can see the young Moringa trees doing very well.

Just a short recap about Donné and Doré, since some of our readers may not be familiar with them:

Both brothers were among the first seven students from the village that ever passed the CEPE in 2011, the very prestigious primary school exam. (More about this on our website)

Zahana supported the two to attend secondary school in the nearby village. Passing all exams with flying colors, they went on to high school and now agricultural college in the closest town nearby.

Soon to be graduating with an agricultural degree, the two are the first of Zahana’s students to accomplish such an amazing achievement and the first in the community to attend college.

New moringa trees growing
New moringa trees growing
Meeting the needs for the new school with moringa
Meeting the needs for the new school with moringa

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Fiandanana's soccer club
Fiandanana's soccer club

Sometimes things get lost in the email communication. A while ago you got a picture of our soccer club in Fiadanana in that brand-new uniforms. At the same time, we got a few pictures of the community reforestation efforts. Only when we got a chance to talk about it, we learned of the connection between the two set of pictures: this is part of the reforestation effort as well, because our soccer team has adopted this part of the planted trees. They are taking care of it.

The coach of our soccer team is our paramedic who runs our CARMMA. As we reported already, he now eats Moringa leaves himself (also a reforestation project), because they’re growing right next to the health center very well. Kind of a three for one in a series of four pictures.

Reforestation in FIadanana - the soccer club trees
Reforestation in FIadanana - the soccer club trees
working on the panted trees
working on the panted trees
Our tireless Zahana rep in the village teaching
Our tireless Zahana rep in the village teaching
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Reforestation 2013 to 2018
Reforestation 2013 to 2018

Hopefully he will be standing under a mighty ironwood tree one day, maybe with somebody who will be his size when he planted it, by his side.

Reforestation can be successful. Your timeframe just requires decades for big trees to re-grow (again).

In the current climate of social media, touted by the experts as the demi-gods of fundraising, posting along the lines: “cute boy with seedling, come back in five years and check” may not be a strategy for success for this giving season. But to continue steady with reforestation, despite all the odds, might be – see picture above.

Happy New Year from Zahana. 

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Moringa oleifera flowers
Moringa oleifera flowers

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. Moringa flowers may not win a beauty contest but sure are good for you. 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 leaves and flowers harvested in Madagascar
Moringa leaves and flowers harvested in Madagascar
Moringa flower close up
Moringa flower close up
Moringa flowers on the tree
Moringa flowers on the tree
Moringa oleifera flowers
Moringa oleifera flowers
Moringa flower buds
Moringa flower buds
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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
$74,645 raised of $85,000 goal
 
1,469 donations
$10,355 to go
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