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 17,000 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 27 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.
Other activities are taking place to reduce health risks and improve access to health care. Indeed, 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, 64 wells have been built and restored as part of the programme. With information campaigns, the programme is also raising the villagers’ awareness about health risks related to water, sanitation and hygiene.
What’s more, 24 sanitation facilities have been established in key locations such as public schools. The families of vanilla farmers, in particular those in remote villages, also suffer from limited access to health care services. Therefore, in cooperation with public institutions, the programme has started to establish health centres.
In 2019, two centres were providing services to more than 1,000 patients.
“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