“We tried to prepare for the cyclone by strengthening the buildings,” explains Sébastien Edmond, the head teacher of Ambodivoani school, which has nine teachers and 200 students.
“We protected our teaching materials by putting them in a cupboard or under tables. I told families not to leave their homes. After 14 hours of winds and torrential rain the school was seriously damaged.”
Handicap International is helping repair 22 damaged schools in the regions of Analanjirofo and Diana, in north-east Madagascar, benefiting 8,431 students and 229 teachers. Each school should cost less than €2,000 to repair. Handicap International works with parent-teacher associations to assess damage and replace roofs and wooden planks, collect bamboo, and the like, for which participants are paid.
Handicap International in Madagascar
Handicap International has been present in Madagascar since 1986. Its team of nearly 100 staff members works to eliminate disabling diseases such as lymphatic filariasis. It helps to improve the living conditions of detainees in prisons. Handicap International also runs a mother and child health program to reduce mortality rates among mothers and infants. The organization advances the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities by providing support to organizations that represent them. Handicap International also works to improve access to education for children excluded from the school system.