Successful in Secondary School every year
Over two years ago we reported that three of Zahana's students, who successfully passed the CEPE were able to attend secondary school in Bevato, a two hours walk from the village. The two boys are doing extremely well.
A little bit embarrassed Donne reported that last school year he 'only' finished second in his class, while Dore, the other student was a close third.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts, not all projects finish according to plan. The third student, at the time a girl, was also allowed by their parents to attend school, after much discussion and deliberation with Zahana. Unfortunately the parent’s worst fears became true and she became pregnant. Her parents blame it on being in school, far away from home. They immediately took her back home and won't allow her to ever attend school again. This is very sad and also disappointing for us. Dr. Ihanta was head of the maternity ward for seven years in Madagascar's biggest hospital, and said: “I had quite a few frank discussions with her about this issue, since before she even started secondary school". She had hopes for such discussions. It is very common for young women in villages between 14 to 16 years of age to become mothers for the first time (all over in rural Madagascar) and our Zahana student is no exception. We had been hoping, the chance of a secondary education would enable her to break the cycle of early motherhood.
Currently, Donne, the older of the two male students is still hoping to become a physician one day. We assured him: he will have Zahana’s support all the way.