Madagascar: Vanilla village development
Education, food security and health improvement for vanilla growing villages.
Madagascar is home to most of the world’s production of vanilla beans. This activity relies on thousands of small producers who are the guardians of the tradition and of a unique know-how. Our action in the Sava region of the island is aimed at improving the livelihood of more than 20,000 farmers in 32 villages through a rural development programme that covers various aspects such as education, food security, health and promotion of alternative revenue generating activities.
The foundation helped building 28 schools in the region, benefiting more than 5,000 schoolchildren.The villagers recognise and value the importance of educating their youth for the future of their communities, and many volunteered to participate in building the schools for their children.
Another objective of the programme is to reduce health risks. A significant proportion of illnesses in the villages are the result of unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene practices. Therefore, in order to give more people access to safe drinking water, 72 wells have been built and restored as part of the programme.
With information campaigns, the programme is also raising people’s awareness of water-borne diseases, sanitation and hygiene. In 2020, information sessions about the prevention of COVID-19 were attended by more than 1400 community members. Special support also went to the two health care centers established by the programme. To reach more families in remote villages, a third center is being built in 2021.
“Before, because our water source was surface water, villagers suffered diseases such as bilharzia. This project enabled the construction of water wells which mitigated the spread of disease and improved the health of villagers.”
Perlette, villager and president of the wells management committee