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A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar

by Zahana
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar
Coffee grown by Jean in Fiarenana
Coffee grown by Jean in Fiarenana

An important strategy of our microcredit framework is: Avoid spending your hard-earned money in the first place, if you can grow it yourself.

It has now been quite a few years since Jean our master gardener in Fiarenana approached us with the idea of growing (more) coffee (again). As a tireless innovator, he had already planted coffee in the past, before Zahana got to work with Fairenana, and knew from experience that it would grow well in his climate. At the beginning we hired him for the short-term project: growing coffee seedlings for his village. Since then a lot has changed, and Jean is now a crucial, indispensable part of the Zahana's staff in his village.

Sipping a cup of coffee as we write this report, we know all too well how important coffee can be for many of us… The same is true for rural Madagascar.

At the latest site visit earlier this year, Jean proudly showed us his new coffee plants that are indeed doing extremely well, next to the corn (or maize in the UK). As you can see from the picture, these coffee cherries have grown enough to bear fruit and are ready to be harvested soon. The ripe coffee cherry, if hand-picked dark red, makes for the best coffee. Since they don’t all ripen at the same time, this is a labor-intensive, picked one-by-one, process. Once again, our master gardener Jean is leading by example.

The irony is not lost on us that Jean will soon be drinking single source, hand-picked, sun dried, freshly (hand) roasted coffee...

Markus and Ihanta

Coffee cherries ripening (red)
Coffee cherries ripening (red)
Moringa leaves and flowers
Moringa leaves and flowers

Sometimes our activities can have unexpected, exciting consequences.

We have been planting Moringa oleifera for quite a few years in our villages. Since 2017 we have exponentially expanded this activity with the support from our teachers and our paramedic. Our paramedic told us, he now personally adds it to his diet daily, since it is literally growing across from his front door at our CARMMA health center.

You may be familiar with our Moringa activities, since we have posted about it on GlobalGiving and our website.

Much to our delight, since we started posting about Moringa we get an email our two almost every month inquiring about Moringa.  Some just want to know if it grows well and what we have done to successfully introduce it. Some local NGOs are requesting a more formal partnership and one is actually meeting our team in Antananarivo tomorrow, on February 26.

Of great interest from a microcredit perspective is: some actually want to buy seeds, or the dried leaves from us. While Moringa at the moment is first in for most an important nutritional supplement for us, these inquiries illustrate that there is a huge potential, also is an economic crop, for growing and consuming Moringa in Madagascar. As a very fast growing tree, this is a very feasible crop for generating additional income in the near future. 

Moringa in the schoolyard Dec. 2018
Moringa in the schoolyard Dec. 2018

Links:

Donne and Dore in Nov 2018 with study materials
Donne and Dore in Nov 2018 with study materials

Zahana has sponsored our two young man Donné and Doreé to secondary, then high school and now agricultural college (more on our website). The now young men spend all holiday breaks and quite a few weekends, if their studies permit it, in their home village of Fiadanana.

We have tried a variety of pig raising projects over the years.

Although we have not launched one in Fiarenana in a while, in this tailor-made project Zahana bought a gilt for their mother living in Fiadanana. The goal: raising piglets she could ‘give’ to her sons. Lucky for us, there were two piglets, one for each of her sons.

Now to the microcredit part: Zahana loans the money a piglet would cost, by providing each young man with their own piglet (raised by their mother). Once the piglet is a pig and sold, they are to pay us back the market price of a piglet into our micro credit account. The rest of the money they can keep, so they earn some income on their own, and don’t always depend on the Zahana stipend for everything.

Animal husbandry is part of their studies, but being involved in raising pigs in their village by having a personal stake in it, gives them a chance to put the learned theory into practice.

Please keep in mind: GlobalGiving’s 2018 #GivingTuesday with $150,000 in matching funds and 30+ bonus prizes are available for all 3 of our projects with GlobalGiving. The one day #GivingTuesday Campaign will begin Nov. 27, 2018, at 00:00:00 ET and end at 23:59:59 ET on Nov. 27, 2018.

Thier mother raising piglets for her sons
Thier mother raising piglets for her sons
The two piglets for Donne and Dore
The two piglets for Donne and Dore

Links:

Cattel proof clean water supply for Fiarenana
Cattel proof clean water supply for Fiarenana

It is a great pleasure and exciting for us to announce: Our second village and our school in Fiarenana now has clean water, too!

For many years, the well in our schoolyard was the only source of uncontaminated groundwater for the community. Solar water pasteurization had been embraced by our teacher to make the kids water supply save at their school.

So how was it accomplished? Our very active and engaged teacher had heard that Caritas, a Catholic charity, was accepting proposals or requests for a clean water system. He got hold of the application, applied for the project, and was successful. We are very proud of our teacher for being proactive and congratulate him on his wonderful success!

A team working for Caritas came to the village and built a pipe system from the nearby mountain all the way to the village. This is the same mountain that feeds the clean water system in Fiadanana for over 12 years now. Communal faucets throughout the village provide clean and safe drinking water for everybody. They also went the extra mile and put a faucet in the school’s yard.

This is an important milestone for us. It is the first time in over a decade that a third party undertook a major project, without financial involvement from Zahana. It is also a first that the request was initiated by one of our teachers who lives in the village.

Access to clean save drinking water is paramount for any community.

Happy drinking, washing and cooking with clean water in Fiarenana for years to come!

Ihanta and Markus

Building a communal faucet in Fiarenana
Building a communal faucet in Fiarenana
Building another communal faucet in Fiarenana
Building another communal faucet in Fiarenana
Building a clean water faucet at the school
Building a clean water faucet at the school
The finished fenced it school yard water faucet
The finished fenced it school yard water faucet
Flowers like you spilling some water!
Flowers like you spilling some water!

Links:

Biogas feasibility study
Biogas feasibility study

Energy, or the lack thereof, is a major issue in everybody’s mind. This is especially true for Madagascar, with rolling brown-outs common even in the capital for most of the year.

In a country that does not have the means to just buy more oil or gas and burn it to produce energy, looking for alternatives has become a necessity.

Zahana has tried to address this as well, with improved cookstoves, solar cookers, and last but not least reforestation, to replenish the depleted (free energy source of ) firewood in the first place. A solar powered refrigerator in the health center, and solar flashlights or small panels to recharge mobile phones are becoming commonplace, even in remote places in Madagascar as well.

Solar energy, besides the prohibitive price tag, has of course its drawbacks in the rainy season.

On a national level but Madagascar has been exploring biogas, or biodigesters that can use manure and human waste as a renewable source to produce energy.

To explore this option, we hired two engineering students to conduct a feasibility study for a bio gas installation in our village of Fiadanana. The pictures you see are of the engineers busy at work, measuring and testing next to our CARMMA health center. And, as always in Madagascar, the shoes are a clear giveaway that they are outsiders.

Depending on the results of the feasibility study, you may see the biogas project on global giving one day.

Talking biogas with the community leaders
Talking biogas with the community leaders
Engineering students taking measurements
Engineering students taking measurements
Engineers on a lunch break - a plate of rice
Engineers on a lunch break - a plate of rice
Taking notes of the measurements
Taking notes of the measurements
 

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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

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