How Solar Power Can Spring-board a Child's Education - with Money for Madagascar

By Emma Brisdion

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How Solar Power Can Spring-board a Child's Education - with Money for Madagascar

Shining Success at Akany Avoko Children's Home

At Rainbow Tours, responsible travel is at the heart of everything we do and we’re proud to work with Money for Madagascar in their tireless efforts to tackle poverty, poor education and inadequate medical care in the country.

This is the story of how Money for Madagascar helped Josianne* build a better life for her family. 

A simple solar panel can transform a life.

Alone in the world, Josianne was in her late teens and pregnant when she was rescued by Akany Avoko (a children’s home supported by Money for Madagascar). Though Josianne had no formal education, with guidance and support from the caring staff, she flourished and grew into a lady with a hard-working attitude who wanted to give the most to her children. When the time came for Josianne to leave the home she was provided with a leaving pack including a small but efficient solar powered lamp.

Through Akany Avoko’s self-build programme she built her own home that initially consisted of 2 rooms where she lived with her family. With the belief that an education would benefit her children’s future she sent them to school ‘paying’ for her daughters’ school fees by cleaning at the school one day a week.

In Madagascar, night falls at around 5.30pm and most rural homes have no lighting, making it very difficult for children to complete their homework. However, the provision of that one solar-powered light allowed Josiane’s children to complete their homework every night. In fact, they did so well at school that the youngest has now jumped ahead by 2 school years.

'I didn’t get much chance to go to school. But I know education is so important. Soon my oldest daughter will take her Baccalaureate. I am so proud of her.'

In addition to her day job as a washer–woman, thanks to her light Josianne was able  to do some craft production in the evenings to sell for extra income. This extra income eventually allowed her to add a second floor to her home, so she now lives in 2 rooms with her family and rents out 2 rooms. Now Josianne can feed, clothe and educate her family and put a sound roof over their head. This is a far cry from the destitution she knew as a young girl

'As a child I had nothing. I was homeless. Now my relatives turn to me for support!' She told us with delight.

If you feel inspired by what a simple solar panel can and you would like to help MFM to reach more needy people, then feel free to contact them or donate to this project.

*Josianne’s name has been changed to respect her privacy. The young lady in the photo is another beneficiary of the MFM programme.

Find out more about Rainbow Tours' work with Money for Madagascar

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