Only 1 in 3 children in the Velondriake area of coastal southwest Madagascar go to school. Most do not make it past primary level and girls drop out far more often than boys.
We run a school scholarships programme to provide bright children in Velondriake with the educational opportunities they need to create paths out of poverty and support marine conservation within their communities.
Velondriake is located in one of the poorest regions of Madagascar, where less than 70% of the local Vezo population complete primary school and less than 20% complete secondary school. Drop out rates are high due to the difficulties that families face in paying school-related expenses.
Velondriake's sustainable natural resource management plan depends on an educated population who can understand marine ecosystems and pursue a range of coastal livelihoods beyond fishing.
By improving children's access to education and equipping them with the skills they need to effectively manage Velondriake in the future, the schools scholarships programme is key in underpinning the success of our integrated approach to community conservation.
“Having a sponsor is a really great opportunity for me to push myself to achieve my goals”
“I want to use my education to improve things here in my village”
Thanks to your generous donations and fundraising efforts, we are supporting over 200 students this academic year (2013-2014) with school fees, uniforms, stationery and textbooks. We also run a variety of extra-curricular activities with local teachers and youth to ensure that students receive the most robust package of support and the highest quality of education possible.
Scholars are selected on the basis of financial need and academic achievement. These students could not afford to go to school without your support.
The President of the Velondriake Management Committee explains the importance of education
Focusing special attention on girls' education in Velondriake
Families in the region typically have 6-7 children and, when faced with the financial decision of who to send to school, boys are often given priority over girls. This gender inequality results in fewer economic opportunities and poorer health for women.
Giving a girl an education improves her knowledge, skills and social engagement, which in turn reaps many benefits for herself, her family and her community.
Research shows that if you send a girl to school, she will earn 25% more income and invest 90% in her family. She will also have healthier and fewer children, which reduces pressure on natural resources.
Girls' education is therefore vital in driving economic development, improving community health and promoting conservation. This links with our integrated Population-Health-Environment (PHE) approach that empowers coastal communities to live healthily and sustainably with their unique marine environment.
“I’m studying as hard as I can because I really want my education to take me far”
We are committed to supporting more than 100 girls throughout their education over the coming years. Please help us fulfil this goal by giving to the school scholarships programme: a monthly donation of just £5 is enough to keep two girls in school every year. These young women are the future of Velondriake, so do something amazing today and become part of their story by investing in them!