This photo was taken in May 2013 in Madagascar. It shows Germaine, a member of the local women’s gardening association with her basket of produce. SPA funds were used to support the project which included purchasing tools and seeds, as well as an eight-week class on improved agricultural techniques. Germaine was so successful she not only had enough for her family but enough left over to sell too!
Elements of the story are pulled from a number of my experiences in Madagascar as a Peace Corps Volunteer and from my own childhood. I want to give children in Madagascar the opportunity to engage with a character that they find courageous, spirited and curious as she learns about malaria.
Peace Corps Volunteers Raegan and Patrick Spencer are educating schoolchildren in Madagascar about the causes and dangers of malaria and disease prevention through storytelling. The couple wrote, illustrated and published The Story of Soa and the Moka, a 40-page children’s book, along with an accompanying classroom curriculum that will be distributed throughout communities across Madagascar.
In her first two years while living in Amparafaravola which is located in the Lac Alaotra region of Madagascar, Peace Corps Volunteer Teena Curry worked with a youth group to paint a mural depicting the malaria transmission cycle and the importance of sustained LLIN use. By the end of the event, 15 members of the youth group were trained in explaining the importance of LLIN use and how to properly care for mosquito nets and one or two performed sensitizations to community members while the others painted. The painting of the mural was combined with other community education events during the week of World Malaria Day including two neem cream demonstrations and wall of fame project that featured photos of families who hung their net correctly and self-reported having slept under it every night. Other secondary projects during her first two years of service included preparing the curriculum for a behavior change communication training for 16 community health workers which included techniques for behavior change messages related to malaria prevention activities.
That’s just a few things that Teena did as a PCV from 2010 – 2012, she extended her service until October 2013. Read more about her here!
"I can’t say this experience is for everyone, it takes serious commitment. But if you are a traveler at heart, if you recognize that you are not done learning but are tired of being taught from a book or lecture, if you want a serious challenge, self-growth and the chance to try to make a difference, then this is for you.
Nothing I have ever done prepared me for this, but nothing has ever been so rewarding either. It has defined me and given me more purpose for whatever I may chose to do next and empowered me with skills that will apply to every aspect of my life, be it work or personal. If any of this seems appealing, I would say, at the very least look it at it, consider it. There’s so much to gain.”
- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Mariana Andrade-Bejarano, Madagascar
Peace Corps Volunteers Introduce Alternative Fuel Source to Communities in Madagascar and Rwanda
Peace Corps Volunteers in Madagascar and Rwanda are working to reduce the impact of deforestation by introducing green charcoal into local communities. This environmentally safe method of charcoal production serves as a sustainable alternative to wood charcoal and can generate income for local families and organizations. Green charcoal bricks are created using a combination of biomass materials such as agricultural waste, leaves, grass and sawdust. The material is chopped up and soaked in water, and then pressed with a manual ram and cylinder into a pellet and left in the sun to dry.