Grant approved from The U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program!

We at MACOLLINE and JHA FUND would like to express sincere gratitude to The U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program for making it possible for MACOLLINE to be taking steps towards safeguarding biodiversity and people’s livelihoods for future sustainability in north-eastern Madagascar.

At the beginning of 2016, I applied for a grant from The U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program (SSH)*. On September 7, 2016 I was thrilled to get the news that it was approved! The email read:

Dear Ms. Joey Moscovitch,

Congratulations!  U.S. Ambassador Robert Yamate has approved an Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program grant.

 In response to your request for assistance dated January 20, 2016, I am pleased to award Macolline this Special Self-Help Grant in the amount of $6,501.00 as a contribution to your program to provide equipment and supplies to upgrade the Macolline Project during the period September 30, 2016 to September 30, 2017.

The purpose of the grant is to help my foundation JHA FUND to enhance the quality of environmental education with MACOLLINE, improve the MACOLLINE environmental education center and increase educational information for Antalaha and Madagascar.

JHA FUNDMACOLLINE https://macolline.org/ and C.A.L.A. https://calantalaha.com/ are a consortium of NGOs working together towards reforestation and silviculture in Antalaha. The outcome is to advance education by providing environmental programs to underprivileged village communities and local students.

Thanks to The U.S. Ambassador’s support, repairs and major improvements to the educational botanical hill MACOLLINE are almost finished. We purchased all the tools and equipment needed to build a 550-meter fence around the perimeter of the 25 acre hill. We also purchased general supplies for the park. South side of the fence is now complete. Currently we are finishing up the north side and the front gate. We used Nanto and Hintsia (local hardwood) to build the fence posts for long term durability and we used galvanized steel for the fencing. Live hedges will be added in the next few weeks as the rainy season begins. The MACOLLINE staff (C.A.L.A. villagers included) all participated in building the fence and we also hired outside contractors to make sure that we were creating something that will last for the long term. This required digging 2 feet holes every 8 feet along the perimeter of the hill, planting the poles and then attaching the fence.  We have also built bamboo benches and distributed wood chips all along the main trails. These actions are to protect the forest from intruders such as chickens, dogs, cats etc… The idea is to keep the plants and trees protected so that they can grow in their natural environment. The fence will also serve to protect from people entering the park without permission and without a guide.

During the rolling out of this part of the The U.S. Ambassador’s SSH Program project, JHA FUND also organized environmental educational visits with our ecopedagogy guides for over 600 elementary and high school students, thanks to the help of Duke Lemur Center. See page 9 of this link for more information: https://connect-technology.net/Clients/SAVA/Dec2015/files/assets/common/downloads/publication.pdf

As usual, MACOLLINE is working closely with C.A.L.A. https://calantalaha.com/ to reforest the surrounding areas of Antalaha as well as other local organizations like CARE http://www.care.org/ who recently purchased 19 000 saplings from MACOLLINE for reforestation in the SAVA region. Dedicated to our tree nursery as well as planting and propagating trees for reforestation, environmental awareness has been and is still being raised. Our environmental education has been augmented by collaborating with organizations such as GIZ https://www.giz.de/en/worldwide/322.html  on Kit Mad’ere, a tool promoting environmental thinking in schools and communities.

Finally, to give way to more knowledge about how to conserve biodiversity, JHA FUND, using the MACOLLINE/C.A.L.A. gift shop as a base, is in the midst of creating a library/environmental info outreach center in town, geared towards research and to support activities inspiring a sustainable future for the forest and the local population. All books, book shelves and supplies were donations from Canada and were brought over in a 20foot container in December 2016 with the logistical support of AUST&HACHMANN Canada LTD and their team. http://www.austhachcanada.com/joeys-gift-to-madagascar/

MACOLLINE has nearly finished and successfully completed the first phase of The U.S. Ambassador’s SSH Program project and is preparing to launch the second phase, focusing on creating, purchasing and distributing posters and pamphlets, with which we intend to apply in the next grant report.

Receipts for the materials and labour involved  were included in our first report to the U.S. Ambassador as well as photos of our progress. Here are just a few…

*The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

SSH Projects – Union of the Comoros & Madagascar, click on the link below to see all the projects being supported from Sept. 2016 to Sept. 2017

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/comoros/53336/rakotonoj/New%20SSH%20Projects%20updated%20Feb_%202017.pdf

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