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In a natural site of exceptional biodiversity, underprivileged school children learn about issues central to the preservation of fragile ecosystems. The not-for-profit association Partage supports this educational project and its concomitant role in the campaign to lower school drop-out rates.
Madagascar is noted for its unique ecosystem, now sadly threatened by deforestation. In order to raise young people’s awareness of the island’s extraordinary biodiversity, the NGO Bel Avenir organises nature classes for school pupils and their teachers. This field initiative is partnered by the French not-for-profit association Partage, with support from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of H³ #2 (Heart – Head – Hand).
In south-west Madagascar, 1440 children and 40 teachers from underprivileged areas take part in the nature classes, which last for four days. Participants visit specific ecosystems (mangrove swamps, dry forests, etc.) and educational institutions (the Museum of the Sea, environmental exhibitions, a turtle sanctuary). Back at school, children further their awareness of environmental issues through such activities as workshops exploring refuse management, and planting local species.
Nature classes also help combat a significant problem in Madagascar, namely the high school drop-out rates affecting two children in three before the end of primary. The activities help improve children’s motivation, and promote active, participatory teaching methods using a variety of supports, encouraging pupils and teachers alike to recognise the importance of success at school.