The Honorary Consul JEREMIE RAVAHIMANANA visited our school
The 24th of may 2017
During his stay in Madagascar this month of May 2017, Mr. and Mrs. The Honorary Consul of Madagascar Grand Ouest France responded to the invitation of 2 young Malagasy. They moved to the village of Soamanana in the hinterland of Arivonimamo, one hour from Antananarivo.
They were able to see the realization of these 2 young people: Primary Private School LOHARANOSOA which receives 48 children. Mr. Jérémie Gordien Ravahimanana and his wife were very surprised: "We are usually asked to finance an ex-nihilo school construction project. Here in Soamanana, the school is already operating, financed by their own private funds and their savings as well as their parents. " Indeed, Michael, the Director and Marina the teaching assistant are just in their twenties. All of this is made possible by the concept of EMPOWERMENT. It is an Anglo-Saxon concept which consists of giving power and strengthening the skills of a group of people by starting from their know-how and allowing them to carry out their projects by providing them with the technical inputs and support they have need to achieve their goal. In French, we will talk about "capacity building". Why this school?
Marina explains to Mr Le Consul: "Here, there is a big drop out of school, children leave school very early without any training, some will go to town to work as " servant "or to engage in prostitution.We want to stop this. Because we ourselves would have liked to be given a pole to pursue studies for a better future ... " At first, the house was not intended to receive a school but in front of the strong ask parents, we have achieved their aspirations.It is not easy every day.The average age of the teaching staff is 24. Some teachers begin their first professional experiences there.
The selection was very difficult: "More than a hundred students asked to join the school.Only those who could pay the school fees, were able to register. But in front of the social situation of some families, Michael and Marina granted facilities: bereaved families, widowhoods, twins, some children had already redoubled or tripled and had planned to drop out of school.They were given priority.These parents make their modest contributions through schooling, sometimes in contribution in kind: rice, sweet potatoes (voamanga), or part of their productions.
The teaching team faced with the difficult situation of some parents do not pay for school or only part of it: widowhood, twin children, illness ... The population of the sector is mainly composed of farmers: rice, cassava, sweet potatoes (voamanga), corn, green beans ...
The LOHARANOSOA school aims to convey the benefits of French-language schooling without forgetting their Malagasy roots. We are here in the country of HIRA GASY troops. And Marina continue: "the urgency would be the creation of a canteen and the creation of a real establishment because the building has become too small ...
For the lunch break, Mr and Mrs Le Consul have noticed that some children join their parents in the rice fields below the hill: and they eat only boiled peanuts and sweet potatoes (voamanga). Some only go to hide a little further and returned about 15 minutes later to play in the school grounds, empty stomach. This canteen will make up for these shortcomings and we will be able to offer an education and a balanced diet. It is an imminent need, said the Consul, visibly moved by the situation of these children.
During the visit to classes from the 11th to the 7th (exam class), Mr Le Consul found some emulation. The children are very surprised by this visit and are simply "stunned". He congratulated the teachers for their implications as a pillar of the education of these children. Which is a big responsibility: "The base of development of a country is education, if you do not know where to go, go back where you come from." he repeated it in each class ".
Miss Marina, who did the guiding also spoke concretely their new project of creating a building that will serve as a sixth grade to the final year, not to mention the professional training. The Consul was able to note the determination of these 2 young people by looking at the file and the plan. Everything is already budgeted. They will employ local artisans.
Mrs. Le Consul added: "Usually, during our visits, we are asked for projects, here the school is already operating, it deserves that we help you."
Mr Le Consul suggested the creation of an association that drives this project to separate the private and school and especially to have a legal basis. He ended by proposing to sponsor or twin this future association with another in France. This group of french young people is helping Madagascar in education and sports. To conclude, Mr and Mrs Le Consul debriefed: "you still have plenty of projects: electification by Jirama or solar energy, drinking water, dispensary ... You deserve our help. We will do what we can. "The photo shoot with all the students was punctuated with songs and" lamako ". The visit ended with a Malagasy meal. One of the parents brought boiled peanuts and sweet potatoes (voamanga). Mr. and Mrs. The Consul enjoyed the tour of the owner by visiting the old village of Soamanana below the hill. Photo shoot for them among traditional houses and picking guavas. To go back and return to the car that is parked 3 kilometers from the school, they appreciate the taxis motorcycles that roam the hills and provide valuable services to the population, especially for diseases or major races. They came back delighted with this visit.
Our village, Soamanana, is located in the Highlands of Madagascar, in the ITASY Region, 45 kilometers from Antananarivo. The ITASY region is located on the Hauts Highlands, in the center of Madagascar. It is a region composed of ancient volcanoes, recognizable by these mountain domes and its great lakes.
You can reach our village by the National 1. You hand on the fork to the south at the exit of Mangatany by your left hand. You take a red road and keep this way about 5 kilometers.