The town Farafangana is located on the southeast coast of Madagascar, isolated and 750 km away for Antananarivo, the capital city. Although it is on the Indian Ocean, the town does not have a port and its airport has not served for 12 years. All exchanges with the rest of the region are done through the only paved road, the rest of the roads being hard to take during the rain season.
The region has a tropical climate with high humidity and is often prone to cyclones that damage crops and the houses (85% of the houses are entirely made of vegetal materials which makes them vulnerable). These adverse climate conditions are a big obstacle to the economic development of the region.
This town of 50,000 inhabitants is the capital of the Atsimo-Atsinanana region which has one million inhabitants. This landlocked region is one of the poorest in Madagascar.
The inhabitants of the region are poorly trained and 57% of the active population did not receive any education. The schooling rate in high school was 0.7% (according to the ONU), and 43% of children aged 5 to 17 are working (mainly in agriculture).
Evangelised from 1898, then made a diocese in 1958, the Farafangana diocese now has around forty priests.
The Community of the Daughters of Charity has been set in the heart of Farafangana since 1923. It counts nine Sisters in the Sacré Coeur house. Since its settling, the Community has been providing a Christian response to the difficulties faced by the local populations.
Sister Mirana, project sponsor, declares:
“Our true calling is to educate and give a solid instruction to the children, to raise them in the Faith and to be the stakeholders of the region’s development. Our Community runs the Sainte Marie High School, created in 1910. This year, the school welcomes 1,920 students (girls and boys) from nursery school to high school. Many of these students come from very poor families, and we offer these children the status of scholarship holders; there are 140 of them this year, and we offer them school fees, school supplies and lunches at the school canteen. In a region where more than half of the population is illiterate, we are working with the means at our disposal to give these children a chance to break the vicious circle of poverty. To give all children a chance to study, and especially girls, the school has a boarding school that welcomes twenty girls from bush villages as well as young orphans or with delicate family situations, who are being cared for. These girls are between 7 and 17 years old. They are housed in a building within the school.”
Aims of the project:
- Make dictionaries matching the proficiency of the students available in each classroom. In primary school, one dictionary is enough because only the teacher will use it. In secondary school and high school, 4 dictionaries by classrooms will be necessary for the maximum of students to be able to use them (a year is composed of around 45 students on average).
- Students are eager to learn and have rarely been able to use a dictionary. This project will allow them to increase their proficiency in French, which is paramount in Madagascar to go into higher education..
This project will therefore offer them the best conditions to succeed in their professional future and we hope that many of them will become the well-trained professionals that the country so desperately needs.
Thus, the beneficiaries of the project will be students from primary school, secondary school and high school, totalling 1,620 students in 40 classes.
Thanks to your generosity, those children and young people will have hope for a better future:
I am Sister Mirana, Daughter of Charity for 13 years. I am vice-principal of the Sainte Marie High School in Farafangana which has 1,921 students. I also teach Maths to students in second year and third year of secondary school.
(i.e.€17 after tax deduction)
A project report by email with pictures + a big thank you on our social networks