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Zahana Cup 2023

A Football tournament in Zahana villages

Women's team winning the zahana cup

Men's team winning the Zahana cup

The football tournament has become an annual event and a tradition to celebrate Independence Day with the Zahana Cup. It is also the big event where all villages we work in come together in one place. And they are joined by many other villages that walk over to see the Zahana Cup games.

Like the Latin American countries and those in the tropics, the Malagasy people are no exception to the enthusiasm aroused by the evocation of the names of football stars like Messi or Ronaldo.

The opportunity an excitement football brings! One proof is the success is the sales of t-shirts stamped with the effigy of these two players. Such t-shirts are greatly appreciated by boys even in the depths of the countryside where Zahana works. Little boys in Zahana villages are proud to be called by these two names. This is the magic of football! T-shits and even soccer balls have become promotional tools, because everybody wants it.

For Zahana, the mobilization capacity football offers and the discipline it requires can be put to good use by associating or combining it with development concerns. This is why, as we did in the past, a men's and women's football tournament was organized as part of the country's Independence Day (June 26) celebrations once again in 2023.

The ?zahana cup? tournament is a big event in the villages gathering people from different places and other villages nearby. It’s easier to sensitize football clubs as a team to participate in Zahana activities such as reforestation, making and using an improved cookstove, taking a pastry or soap making workshop or making and using bio-charcoal for cooking.

Celebration of June 26 2023, independence day:

The celebrations in 2023 was planned to be held in Tsaramandroso, but with the death of Menja it was transferred to the village of Analakely.

Analakely and Tsaramandroso are the teams that competed in the final round for both men and women.

Analakely emerged victorious in both categories. To avoid fights after the match, each of the 4 teams benefited from the same amount of prize money apart from a small ‘Zahana cup’ for the men's category and the actual match ball used in the tournament went to the women's team as prize. This is a very special ball. There are average less expensive balls each team uses in their practice. For the Zahana cup we buy a very high quality, expensive ball, because it has to be reliable for the entire tournament.

And young people want more! Because in addition to their enthusiasm, the sporting qualities are there. And this is where Zahana's efforts fall short due to the modesty of its resources. A real boost is therefore desirable. Zahana keeps providing soccer balls for the clubs and limited amount of t-shirts.

These clubs expressed their needs:

• a set of 13 shirts (one team) x 2 teams per village = 26 shirts x 2 (boys and girls) = 52 shirts x 4 villages = 208 shirts

• 6 balls x 4 villages = 24 balls. In each village there are at least 2 men’s clubs and one women’s club plus a little boys clubs.