Mianatra School and Children-blurred faces
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Madagascar

In February 2023, Global Communities and its consortium of partners in Madagascar began serving the first school meals supported by Mianatra (“Learn” in Malagasy), a McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

In partnership with Catholic Relief Services and FHI360, we are providing support to the Government of Madagascar to improve literacy among school-age children and provide nutritious daily school meals in the Androy region. Communities in the region face significant challenges, including food shortages and ongoing drought, which has disproportionate impacts on the health and nutrition of vulnerable people, including school-age children. Literacy rates and school attendance are also historically low in the region. Prior to Mianatra’s activities, the average attendance rate for primary school students was less than 60% and only 6.5% of second grade students were able to read and understand text.

Madagascar_School-Feeding-Program_Mianatra-team

To establish good relationships with local authorities and start full implementation of project activities without restrictions, Global Communities signed a partnership agreement with the Ministry of Education and obtained country registration in 2023. We also helped participating schools lay the groundwork for successful outcomes by equipping their kitchens with fuel-efficient stoves, building or rehabilitating safe food storage rooms, setting up reading corners and school gardens, and training teachers on improved literacy teaching and learning methods.

Mianatra Classroom_blurred-faces

Over the life of the project, Mianatra will continue to provide local supervision, coaching and ongoing support to ensure school communities have the capacity to manage school feeding and improved literacy education. Mianatra is currently recognized by the Direction Régionale de l’Education National (DREN) as the benchmark for quality of intervention among other projects and agencies operating in the region.

Notable Numbers

Daily school meals served, reaching 33,702 students in 131 schools

Preschool and primary school teachers who were trained in improved literacy teaching and learning methods

Reading corners established and supplied with books adapted to all grade levels

Savings and loans groups that were created, including a total of 2,321 members (1,549 women; 772 men)

School gardens that were set up to contribute healthy local vegetables for the students’ meals

Rainwater catchment systems that were rehabilitated or constructed, allowing for the storage of 175 cubic meters of water (about the same amount as an Olympic-sized swimming pool)