Dodwell Trust projects
Our projects are like building blocks that give strength to each other in the fight against poverty. In recent years we have consolidated our work in Ampefy and completed a national project for distribution of our Third Container of donated recycled computers for schools throughout Madagascar. In 2011–12 we collaborated in projects to build 2 new classrooms for overcrowded secondary schools at CEG Ampefy and at CEG rainforest Andasibe, and helped finish a small project to set up a pre-school unit in Andasibe by providing classroom seats and tables for infants.
At our primary school project in Ampefy, the 5 classrooms became full. We engaged a former school head-mistress and permission was given for our pupils in final class (T5) to take the state exam for entrance to secondary school. Great results – the whole class succeeded in passing the exam, all 30 pupils. It was not easily achieved, they worked hard. Well done to the pupils and their teachers. And the younger children are equally keen to do their best when their turn comes.
Earlier in that year we noticed there were pupils without food at lunchtime (our pupils are the poorest children in town) and since it’s evident that hungry children cannot concentrate on classwork, we began giving a simple cooked lunch to all pupils twice a week.
It quickly became apparent that our twice weekly simple free lunch helped the pupils maintain their concentration and interest. A kindly donor has helped us to give daily free lunch to the pupils. With escalating local poverty, this has been greatly appreciated.
We initiated the use of vacant land on our plot to make a vegetable garden. Children and teachers take part in growing vegetables to add to the lunches.
Our library was re-organised and enlarged with donated books. The library is open to all children and adults of Ampefy and its opening sparked a rush of interest which continues to grow.
Our Nature project to teach children to appreciate Madagascar's natural world was carried out in Ampefy and Andasibe, also training local teachers to use the activities in their own school classes. The primary school in UK which helped raise funds won a national prize for their Madagascar project.
We have an annual collaboration with the local NGO DEFI for planting a hectare of seedling tapia, habitat of wild silkworms and unique to Madagascar.
For women who harvest wild silk cocoons, we held 2 training courses for silk spinning and weaving.