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Summer Holiday 2007
more from archive... Vacances d'été 2007 more...
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Great news from Akany Avoko !!

Dear friends,

As I'm sure you already know, providing the best possible education to the children and young people in our care is one of Akany Avoko's top priorities. Three years ago we constructed an on-site primary school in order to take control of the quality of our children's education and to provide a purpose built learning environment.

At our primary school, our goal is for every child to pass their primary school entrance examination (or "C.E.P.E.") which provides them with their first ever academic qualification and is essential if they wish to enter secondary education.

In early June this year six candidates from our "T5" junior class sat the C.E.P.E. exams: Lalao Kely, Sarindra, Angelot, Tafita, Krissy and Tsilavina. Everyone at Akany Avoko chipped in to help them do the best that they could - giving them gifts of hats and scarves to keep them warm in chilly exam rooms (it is winter in Madagascar at present), buying them chocolate to keep them alert and preparing them a special lunch of "brain food" (lots of fish and rice) on the day of the exam.

For the younger children it was their first experience of an official examination and the first critical step into secondary education. For the children too old to start secondary education it was their opportunity to gain an important qualification and official recognition for all their incredible hard work since they arrived at Akany Avoko. Several of the children who sat the exam had missed out on years of education before coming to Akany Avoko. In some cases their families had been unable to pay school fees and in others the children had been forced to work from an early age.

All of us were very nervous whilst waiting for the exam results but when they arrived on the 23rd of June they were better than we dared imagine. Of the six children who sat the examination every single one of them passed. This is the third successive year where our primary school examination candidates have achieved a 100% pass rate and is a breathtaking achievement by children from the most harrowing backgrounds imaginable.

This incredible achievement could not have happened without the hard work of our headmistress Mme Fanja and her team of teachers, the amazing commitment and dedication of our children and of course the love that you, our supporters have shown for them by supporting Akany Avoko.

Of course it is not just the CEPE candidates who should be congratulated , on the 25th of June, the results from all the classes in Akany Avoko's pre-school and primary school programme were read out and a big celebration held in the dining hall. Each class performed songs and dances before being given their grades, certificates and prizes.

Finally, to celebrate another happy and successful school year we took all the children for an excursion to the Zoo in Tana. Despite seeing crocodiles, lemurs, chameleons and ostriches, it was the playground slide and the football pitch that the kids talked about all the way home!

None of this would be possible without your continued support. On behalf of all the staff and children at Akany Avoko let me thank you. Running our own primary school is expensive but for the third successive year your support has made it possible. Should you wish to contribute towards the continued success of our education programme then please contact me at akany.avoko@moov.mg.

Getting to share such joyous and inspiring experiences with the children is a privilege for all of us working here at Akany Avoko. We wish we could bottle the feeling of results day and send it to each and every one of you that has contributed to rescuing these children from lives of poverty and destitution.

I hope that the photos below help you share in the achievements and celebrations of our children. We are still awaiting the results of the kids sitting their final secondary school and Baccalauréat exams. Please keep your fingers crossed for them!!!

With love and thanks from all of us here,

Simon Kirby

Project Development Manager
Akany Avoko Children's Home

End of Term Celebrations - Akany Avoko 2008

Thank You for your support!!!








Akany Avoko Newsletter November 2007

Click here to see page 1

Click here to see page 2



SUMMER HOLIDAY 2007or click here to see Vacances d'été 2007

From June to August, the children at Akany Avoko experienced a summer that felt like a real holiday. All of the children followed a schedule of activities, much the way they would at a camp, allowing them to participate in and learn new hobbies, sports, and skills.

In the second part of the summer, they were divided into two groups to take turns travelling to Mahajanga for a break from winter in the high plains. They enjoyed a hot holiday at the beach where they had a chance to build sand castles, play on the beach, and cool off with lots of swimming in the ocean. The children have put together this newsletter to explain their holidays and their favourite parts of it.

" …This holiday was very special compared to the ones before because we have got many activities and hobbies to entertain us "

" … .this year is very special and different; we have had the chance to learn how to use computers and we have all had fun doing competition with the games in the computer and typing…we never want to leave the computer room when our turn is finished! "

Here are all the different activities we had: sports, dance, gardening, handicrafts, cooking, going for walks, learning "etiquette and life skills;" and of course, as we mentioned above, we had fun learning how to use computers as well. We invite you to see more about all our activities below.

There are two different dances that we learned, Traditional dances and contemporary dances. For both, we had very well known teachers.

The traditional dances :
These are Malagasy dances, which means that we dance with Malagasy songs. What also makes them different is that we have to sing the songs at the same time as we dance. Often the dances show the different cultures and ways of life in the different ethnic groups in Madagascar (eg. people from the highland, people from the south, and so on…). When we really enjoy a dance, we always would like to keep singing the songs from that tribe.

"Even though there are lots of different dialects, we have fun speaking the language which is all called Malagasy language, and it's funny sometimes because some of us don't know how to pronounce the dialect well but we are in a rush to sing the tune!!!!"

The contemporary dances:
These are the modern dances which need neither heavy nor slow music to go with them. Most of the music that goes with this dance sounds like African music. But these dances are also done to show stories. They need concentration from the dancers and the spectators because you can draw lessons from them in addition to being entertained. They are also of course a source of money for dancers.

"I like contemporary dances very much. We often perform dances for the visitors at Akany Avoko and I am very happy to see people enjoy watching me dance."

We learn how to sew and afterwards we can sell our crafts in the Akany Avoko café. Madame Vony teaches us how to sew and there are volunteers as well coming to Akany Avoko to teach us lots of different skills such as drawing, painting, taking photos and so on.

This is also one of the holiday activities because we need to keep our home looking green and nice. For these gardening activities, we water the vegetables, weed and fertilize.
" What makes it funny when working in the garden is to see some girls who are afraid of worms and also to see the ones who are not used to doing the work, but most of us have been living at Akany for a long time so are used to everything."

Preparation of meals:

We take turns cooking and during the holiday we are used to helping one another because lots of visitors came, such as BSES, World Challenge. We felt very tired after the preparation, but we have a proverb in Malagasy saying:
"You cannot have proper meal until you work hard and start sweating!"

We all at Akany Avoko like sports very much and we have got our goal for the sports with the help of our trainers to participate in the competition organised by the "Analamanga league", we would like to take part in football competition but we also play volleyball and basketball

And everyone is crazy about this sport and enjoys it very much. One of the girls said,
"I like playing basketball very much because it will help me get taller and make me strong and of course make me happy when I win!"

Life SKIlls:
This program is to help us think about our future which means helping and leading us to think about reaching one goal in the future, also we learn about life skills and how to be polite because we live in a place to prepare young people to be real citizens.

Going for a walk:
We all like going for a walk and on Sundays we won't be happy until we go for a long walk with volunteers.
"We prefer walking up the hills, we have even been up to one hill five times because we really enjoy seeing all the nice view".

These are all the fun activities we had while we were at the centre. The second part was going on holiday to the North West coast of Madagascar. You can read about it next!

We go on holiday together every year, we go to different places but often it takes place at the coast, and also some girls and kids have never been to the coast so this always gives us the chance to see the ocean. This year our staff chose Mahajanga on the North West coast of Madagascar, we did lots of activities during our holiday over there such as swimming, cooking, playing, going for a walk, singing, dancing and sightseeing.

There are about 160 girls and children at Akany Avoko so we had to be divided into two groups for the trip, the first group had been in Majunga from 6th to 16th August and the second group from 21st to 31st August. Majunga is about 550 km from the city so it took us about 14 hours to reach there; the first group had trouble with broken tyre on the way back so it took them 24 hours to reach the centre.

This was the girls first impression to be in Majunga:
" what a hot weather, nice town and such a huge ocean which is so amazing!"

We didn't do much on our first day because everyone was very tired but in the afternoon, we were divided into five groups and in each group had two staff to look after us and we called them Mum and Dad, we organised all our activities and took turns cooking, doing the washing up and so on.

We stayed in one big house over there, and at nights we slept all together down on the floor using our own mattresses.

The staff and the older girls took turns to prepare our meal, and it was fun eating together down on the mats



So we spent most of our time on the beach, we packed our lunch in the morning and off to the beach, had fun together, swam, played with sand, took photos.....,

The little ones too enjoyed playing with the sand and had fun playing in the sea, at first they were all nervous and afraid of the sea, but later they were all fine and didn't want to leave the water; we were so happy.
"Do had a special sand birthday cake made in celebration of his birthday!!!" "It had been so wonderful being on the beach and seeing the blue ocean, but at first we were a little bit shy to wear our swimming costumes since we were not used to it".
"Do had a special sand birthday cake made in celebration of his birthday!!!"
"It had been so wonderful being on the beach and seeing the blue ocean, but at first we were a little bit shy to wear our swimming costumes since we were not used to it".

We left the beach at 4ish and got ready for fun at the seaside in town, we were strolling and chatting with one another, also went for merry go round and a big ferris wheel, had brochette, took some photos. It was crowded at the seaside in the evening because it was so hot there then people preferred hanging about outside before going to bed.

We also organised song competitions "Akany Idol" between us and we held them every evening before going to bed, it was fun to sing in the front of everyone!

We also organised song competitions "Akany Idol" between us and we held them every evening before going to bed, it was fun to sing in the front of everyone!

Another day we went to have an excursion at the cirque rouge which is a kind of canyon. Then we were given the opportunity to sightsee and went for a rickshaw ride.

We were so happy to see the big ships at the harbour and also seeing such a huge tree called baobab.

At the weekend, we didn't do very much, on Saturday we just stayed at home to have rest and on Sunday we went to church. On our way back home, we were given small money and bought "voandalana" which means fruit of the road.