Opening of an IT school in Madagascar

At the Positive Thinking Company, we are convinced that education is the key to a better society. We also have the willingness to export our values and our vision beyond the European borders.

 

Akamasoa in Madagascar

In September 2016, we started a collaboration with the Akamasoa foundation in Madagascar.

This association was created in 1989 to help poor people of Antananarivo living in the garbage dump of Andralanitra and the streets of the capital. The primary goal of the association is to move people out of inhuman places to live a life with dignity by offering them a roof, a job, and education.

Father Pedro Opeka, an Argentinian priest, founded Akamasoa. When he first arrived in Madagascar in the seventies, he saw the severe circumstances and decided to devote his life to fight extreme poverty. Continuing still today, Father Pedro wishes to offer young people new study and working perspectives.

Today, after 27 years of engagement, Akamasoa helped 500.000 Malagasies, built together 3.000 houses with 25.000 people living in a new home and having access to schools, medical supplies, and workplaces.

 

Sharing IT expertise

At the Positive Thinking Company, IT is one of the most developed domains of expertise. We wanted to do something useful with it and share our knowledge. After evaluating the possibility, we initiated a project for a BAC+2-like training in computer science.

Last year in September, Lionel Nisen, one of our consultants went to Madagascar on-site to make a feasibility study for the project.

The goal was to evaluate the financial constraints, to deal with logistic constraints (no electricity, internet, materials), to recruit the teachers, to define a training program and to find internship opportunities within Malagasy companies for the students.

“During summer 2016, when I saw that ADNEOM was looking for candidates to go on-site to realize the feasibility study, I directly jumped at this chance,” says Lionel. “I was often volunteering in my personal life, but the Malagasy project at work was an amazing opportunity to apply my project management skills for an educational project supported by the company. I was thrilled and honored being able to work on this project.”

“When I arrived at Akamasoa, I realized the magnitude of the challenge. The only thing they had was the building. To be ready to welcome the future school, we had to figure out how to bring in electricity, internet, furniture, computers, etc. Besides, we also still had to find teachers ready to invest some of their precious time for this cause. We needed to develop a school program answering local business needs and to search some companies willing to accept some students as interns.”

“The timing was very tight as we only had two months to submit a real and complete file for the Ministry of Education if we wanted to open a school at the beginning of the academic year two months later in November. Thanks to the good collaboration of the people from Akamasoa, the local companies, Father Pedro, Monique (the school director) and my co-workers at ADNEOM, we succeeded to make this happen. It makes me proud,” says Lionel.

“The ten days on-site in Madagascar were astonishing: not only I had the chance to discover an amazing country and its people, but I also realized how much a cross-countries collaboration could lead to incredible results. The best thing is that I still am often in contact with the school which reminds me of my short, but beautiful stay there.”

 

Heart-warming results

With pride, we can say that the school – now called Akamasoa-ADNEOM – opened since November 2016 and the first 30 students took part in the program. In 4 semesters, students will learn about IT development, a computer infrastructure, databases, networks, internet and services, OS, business law, English, French, and much more! The studies also include a one-month internship and the realization of a final paper on the topic of their choice.

Today, another school year has started. Out of the 30 students, 29 have now entered in their 2nd year of studies, and an additional new group of 50 students began the program!

The project is entirely financed by the Positive Thinking Company and will keep on doing so in the future. We will maintain a close relationship with the Akamasoa teachers to develop a long-term collaboration, facilitate access to quality education for even more students and to promote lifelong learning!

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1Comment
  • Terezija Maric
    Posted at 14:12h, 20 May Reply

    Wondering if anyone on this site knows how one goes about volunteering as an English Teacher in a school within akamasoa.

    I would be greateful for any information.

    Please feel free to write to me at terezija1963@gmail.com

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