At “Our Kids, Our Future Madagascar”, we believe that education is key to helping people out of poverty. Our goal is to keep vulnerable kids in primary school by removing the financial barriers they face in accessing education. In Madagascar, a $4 annual school inscription fee is often all that stands between a kid and an education. Only one out of two of the poorest children attends primary school in Madagascar.
Our approach is simple : we identify and recruit dynamic and motivated youth leaders who want to keep their community’s kids in school. Our local youth leaders work with local officials, traditional leaders, and school officials to identify local children who are not attending school. We hold a meeting with the parents – almost all female-headed households – to discuss how we can get the kids back in school. When the parents agree to support their children to attend school, we pay the school inscription fees and provide the children with the school supplies needed for school. Where possible, we also support school lunch programs and ensure that the schools have proper sanitation facilities.
Our story began in 2020 in the village of Anevoka, located near Madagascar’s most visited national park of Andasibe, one of the last remaining rainforests of Madagascar.
Our story began in 2020 in the village of Anevoka, located near Madagascar’s most visited national park of Andasibe, one of the last remaining rainforests of Madagascar. Our founders established a reforestation and agroforestry project in Anevoka, aiming to promote sustainable cultivation techniques as an alternative for the traditional slash and burn practices that are destroying Madagascar’s remaining forests.
During the COVID-19 crisis in 2021, we learned that nearly a quarter of the primary students had dropped out of our local primary school. We held a meeting with the parents of the children who dropped out, and found that almost all were female-headed households struggling to survive. Living on the edge of starvation, they simply could not afford to send their kids to school, but were desperate to give their kids an education.
We made an agreement : We would raise the funds to send the kids to school, and the parents committed to keeping them in school. We paid the school fees for 38 kids on a Saturday, and on Monday, 48 kids showed up to return to school. By Tuesday, we were up to 51 kids. An idea was born – let’s do the same in the next village. And the next. Everywhere we found enthusiastic support for getting kids back into school.