Have you ever heard of William Kamkwamba, the boy from Malawi who harnessed the wind?
He and his family endured intense poverty and hunger until he found an unexpected solution. Using library books, at the age of 14, he built a windmill to power his family’s home from makeshift scraps. Research has shown that literacy and education is directly linked to a better quality of life. Mobile libraries can be utilized to empower and improve Malagasy lives through education & resources.
The mobile library program partners with existing NGOs and change makers to support the establishment of libraries as engines of sustainable development and social change. Our goal is to provide topical and relevant educational materials and resources needed to make the change. Visit the mobile library on Facebook for news about the latest tours and programs.
The Important Link Between Humans & Animals
Madagascar is one of the most bio-diverse countries on earth. More than 89% of Madagascar’s plant and animal life cannot be found anywhere else in the world. As the population of the island has grown, 90% of the original forest cover has disappeared. Over 80% of Malagasy people live on less than $2 a day and are forced to resort to exploitation of natural resources to find income and support their families.
“Talent is global, opportunity is not.”
Research has shown that literacy and education is directly linked to a better quality of life. Several areas of Madagascar are also isolated and have limited or no access to books and education. In fact, half of all school aged children have never been to primary school. In order to empower the forest we must empower the people. This understanding is key in our approach to effectively supporting sustainable development so that people and nature can thrive together in harmony.
ON THE GROUNDS TEAM
Jean JacquesLead Project Operator
Jean Jacques, also known as JJ, is the lead project operator. Education has always been very important to him. JJ, native to Madagascar, spent 12 years as a tour guide. JJ loved sharing his knowledge with tourists, and like an ambassador of Madagascar, he often created unique cultural exchanges between tourists and natives. Now JJ, and his family are the heart of the Madagascar Mobile Library where they infuse their passion for education with warm conviction to fulfill their dream of improving Malagasy livelihoods.
IMPLEMENTATION PARTNER: ZARA AINA
We are partnered with Zara Aina (Share Life) for our first Mobile Library Program in Madagascar. Zara Aina adds a lot of value to the mobile library and has given us a home within their thriving NGO. In return, we share our resources with Zara Aina and mutually benefit by building each other up. Zara Aina confronts the lack of educational opportunities facing Malagasy children by providing a year-round, holistic, child-centered learning model. They subsidize school tuition, meals, and medical and dental care, in an effort to knock down barriers to education and make way for scholastic, personal, and creative growth.
PARTNERS & SPONSORS
It all started when Shana & Vlad ventured to Madagascar for their honeymoon. The trip quickly became a life changing journey when the couple met JJ, their tour guide for the duration of the adventure. The passionate 12 year veteran tour guide shared vast experiences into Malagasy culture and journey’s into nature with rare species. JJ led the couple beyond designated tourist zones, to Malagasy schools, and to isolated villages where they spoke intimately with villagers and had eye opening cultural exchanges. Shana & Vlad where shocked to find out that over 80% of Malagasy live on $1.25 or less a day, and suffer some of the highest rates of illiteracy (65%; 2010).
JJ and his family became like family to Shana & Vlad. There after they pledged to do something more for the Malagasy people. Vlad’s online retail business, Vape Club, provides proceeds each month and support to sustain the function and development of the mobile library system. While Shana’s Film Production business provides facilitation mechanisms like promotional videos, resource strategies, web & social management. In cooperation with NGO Zara Aina, JJ and his team are the local experts who run the mobile library on grounds. Vlad & Shana facilitate them in carrying out, as local experts, what they think the Malagasy people need most.