Investing in a brighter future
Since its establishment in 2008, Adsum Foundation has worked extensively supporting people and vulnerable communities in Madagascar and investing in a brighter future for this developing nation. Critical to Adsum’s success has been the development of effective partnerships with organisations working at the grass roots level.
The partnership with Sahrata NGO in the Androy region of southern Madagascar to improve adult literacy and numeracy has all the hallmarks of a successful collaboration.
Helping those that are most in need
Androy is one of the most impoverished areas of Madagascar and illustrates the extreme suffering and injustice that exists. Androy is home to over 900,000 people, mostly subsistence farmers, who are not only challenged by the broader economic conditions of Madagascar, but struggle to survive in the face of continual drought and famine.
Poverty, measured by the number of people living on less than US$ 1.90 per day, is experienced by 91% of this community compared with 77% in the rest of the country. Education has also suffered with figures estimating that less than 26% of the Tandroy population over the age of 15 are literate, compared with the Malagasy national average of 72%.
Delivering the skills we take for granted
In 2013, Sahrata identified that improving basic literacy and numeracy was critical in order to advance the fate of this vast but sparsely populated farming community. With the support of Adsum an adult education programme was piloted in 50 remote locations. In seven years this programme has developed into an annual six month programme of education focussing on the key areas of signature writing, reading, writing and arithmetic.
Poverty is experienced by 91% of this community compared with 77% in the rest of the country
Opening the door to new opportunities
Despite being at the mercy of environmental challenges and civil unrest, in eight years over 47,000 learners from 900 different rural communities have been enabled to access this unique educational opportunity through one of the three hundred centres of learning that are established each year. The recognition that education can open the door to opportunity has sparked a desire for learning among adults, 50% of whom never previously had the opportunity to access education. Many graduates speak of their pride and sense of achievement when they can add their signature to an official document rather than an ink daubed fingerprint. For others, their newly acquired skills enable them to calculate money for transactions, increase their participation in community activities such as voting, and retain farming records. For some participation on the programme has led to the achievement of a nationally recognised certificate of education and the opportunity to get paid employment.
Since 2013, the Adsum Foundation has
Provided valuable income for
teachers, supervisors and administrators
A positive domino effect for the wider community
This pioneering programme has also recruited, trained and provided a valuable part-time income for over 330 teachers, supervisors and administrators annually, enabling them to supplement their meagre returns from farming and stave off malnutrition.