DE.F.I., a French NGO set up in 1989, originally set out to support rural development in Madagascar. In 1999, the association committed itself to improving the quality of education in Madagascar and specialised in training primary school teachers, in particular by contextualising the French active teaching method “La Main A La Pâte” for teaching science. In 20 years, DEFI has trained more than 15,000 teachers. Very quickly, the association decided to make a commitment to improving school conditions too, by seeking to improve well-being at school, by improving access to water, sanitation and food for pupils. The challenges are immense: 50% of Malagasy people live in extreme poverty. And only 66% of children complete primary school. The Mandriankeniheny school is located in a remote rural area south of the Malagasy capital. After improving access to water and sanitation at the school by installing a new well and building latrines, the NGO DEFI wanted to consolidate the school by building a canteen.

Project supported: construction of a school canteen in the village of Mandriankeniheny, Madagascar.

The aim of this project is to improve the well-being and learning conditions of 342 children aged between 4 and 14. By setting up dedicated facilities for the preparation and distribution of meals, the Foundation hopes to help improve the children’s nutrition and encourage them to go to school.

In concrete terms, the Foundation’s support is enabling the construction of a sheltered school canteen, a sheltered kitchen equipped with an improved cooking hob, and the installation of vegetable gardens tended by parents and pupils. The Foundation’s support has also enabled teachers, parents and pupils to be trained and made aware of the need for better nutrition using the Nutricartes®  method created by the L’Appel, and the school committee and canteen staff to be trained in how to manage the canteen properly (how to stock a canteen, what meals to prepare, etc.).