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.
traditional dances :
"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!!!!"
"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."
And everyone is crazy about
this sport and enjoys it very much. One of the girls said,
for a walk:
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.
was the girls first impression to be in Majunga:
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.
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.....,
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
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.
were so happy to see the big ships at the harbour and also seeing such a huge
tree called baobab.
Success for Akany Avoko Students!
up in new winter clothes and fuelled by Malagasy chocolate, hands trembling slightly
from cold or perhaps nerves, the 1O students began their test. The heart of Akany
Avoko beat with them. Staff and girls prepared a special fish lunch to give them
brain fuel. Those who could not help practically simply crossed their fingers
or said a quiet prayer. The bell rang and Mme Fanja collected in the exam papers.
"How did it go? Was it hard?" The weary students met with enthusiastic
interrogation. The hubbub died and the waiting began.
After a long week of waiting it was time for the 10 girls to march down to the town hall to read the blackboard on which so many hopes were pinned. For young girls like Elysée, Maeva, Francine , Solo and Fenosoa a pass would be a much coveted entrance ticket to secondary school. For older girls like Tinah, Nomena and Eliane who were very late to start their schooling this is their last chance to get a school certificate, an essential passport to vocation training and employment. With tight throats they read:
8 triumphant students with their teacher outside the Akany Avoko School.
(2 students were too busy celebrating
and missed the photo! )
example Ginah was recently in intensive care for 2 weeks. At 20 months old her
weight dropped to 3.5kilos - the weight of a newborn! We almost thought we had
lost her, her veins wouldn't support a drip any more and the doctors had little
hope, but somehow she turned a corner and started
to eat again.
Thank God not every child is as fragile as Ginah. Although medical care is not the primary function of Akany Avoko, most of the children arriving here need medical attention. Most common problems result from malnutrition and poor sanitation prior to arrival at Akany Avoko. But we also have to cope with viruses and diseases like malaria which have been particularly prevalent this year. (For example we treated 250 cases of bronchitis and 130 cases of Malaria amongst our children this year.) Several children also needed surgery this year. Operations included a cleft lip, a perforated ear drum, removal of adenoids, removal of cists and an umbilical hernia. To help us keep the children healthy we have an Indian nurse volunteering with us for 2 years. We depend entirely on donations of medicines and money to cover the children's treatment.
Apart from reinforcing our medical team, we have been making efforts to improve the quality of care in a variety of ways. These include improving our primary school and investing in preparation for independence.
September 2005 saw the opening our new block of 6 classrooms. Numbers of primary school children studying at Akany Avoko had risen from 15 to 50 over the past 5 years. Classes were being held in corridors and even in the cow shed. Thanks to donations from the Kreitman Foundation and Casemir Chocolates we were able to build a new block of 6 classrooms, 4 primary classes, 1 language classroom and 1 IT classroom. The children clearly appreciate learning in a good environment as this year we had 100% pass rate for the secondary school entrance exam (CEPE).
We have also been improving the training for the older girls. Finding decent employment in Madagascar is extremely difficult even for the most advantaged children. So equipping our teenagers for independence is no mean feet. This year we recruited new teachers for our domestic science programme including 2 Akany Avoko graduates. The programme now covers: cooking, dressmaking, healthcare, family planning, budgeting, literacy and numeracy, French and English, IT, gardening, & hairdressing. In the New Year we plan to add a careers adviser / business management teacher to our team.
vocational training program has been much enhanced by the recent opening of the
'Akany Avoko café'. Run by Akany Avoko graduates and staffed by the domestic
science students, this provides real work experience as well as generating income
to fund the domestic science programme. Crafts are also on sale in the Café
and Tours of Akany Avoko can include environmental or solar cooking or dance demonstrations.
Preparing children for independence starts the moment they walk into Akany Avoko. That's not to say we don't want them to feel welcome! Instead we must work at every level: physical, educational, psychological, emotional and spiritual to help each child find their equilibrium and achieve their potential. We feel that some children are still held back by unresolved problems from the past. To this end we plan to recruit 2 counsellors and a part-time psychiatrist. We also want to further develop our expressive arts programme as we have found music, theatre, dance, art and sports really help the children to become more happy balanced individuals. Any support for this programme would be very welcome. Some people help by supporting activities whilst others prefer to sponsor an individual child. We are delighted to receive whatever help you can offer.
It is a constant challenge to try to meet the diverse needs of all our children. Thank you for your part in helping each child to reach their potential.
How can I help Akany Avoko?
make a donation please make a cheque payable to our UK registered charity account
"Money For Madagascar AAA" with a note to say it is for Akany
Avoko and send it to:
you can make a bank transfer
directly to our Madagascar account:
Account name & address:
de Reeducation FAFFIP" , Akany Avoko BP29, Ambohidratrimo 105, Madagascar.
Bank Code 00009
If you would like information about our child sponsorship scheme or other ways you can help support the children at Akany Avoko then please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Sincerest thanks for your support, from all the staff and children at Akany Avoko.