Madagaskar: Embrace your Place…JoshGen School Building Project

I picked up a little book titled “Run the Race” when I visited Freda.  I found what I read so valuable and relevant to our present situation.  The book’s main focus was on us as Christians passing the baton to others and enabling and equipping other believers.  One of  the stumbling blocks that we encounter to run our race until the end, is times of trials and disappointments. 

The last few years have been tough, because we were not able to buy land to resettle Joshua Generation School.  As most of you know, we had tremendous problems with the landlady’s children and our time at that property finally came to an end.  At one time, we even wanted to close the school, but the amazing team which God has given us, persevered and showed us that they were able to take the baton and run with it.  It was not without making mistakes and difficulties, but blessed nevertheless. 

One short phrase really spoke to me;  “embrace your place…”.  God places us in different environments for a specific purpose and when trials come, the solution is not necessarily to move on.  In our case, we have to embrace our calling and purpose anew.  Nosy Be is where God has placed us and where we have to fulfil His purpose for us.

Of course, this does not come easy and once again we are faced with a building project.  A Malagasy man that has land just around the corner from where the school was until the end of the school year, offered it to us for rent. We have a rock solid contract and the landlord insisted that it be used for a school. There is one incomplete building on it.  We have less than two months to fix this building to have at least 4 working classrooms.  That means that we will not be able to run the pre-school and some of the other grades when the new school year starts in September.  It will also depend on how we are able to raise the finances. 

Allow me to break the whole project down into smaller parts:

1.  Reparation of the existing building

It needs a floor, plaster on the walls, windows and doors as well as a floor.

Cost:  20 million Ariary/ R100 000/ 5 700 Euro

agter kant
ander kant
eerste klaskamer
groot klaskamer
middel af na gebou2 (1)

2.  Retaining wall

Before we can build another building, we’ll have to build a retaining wall to prevent further collapsing of the soil and the erosion of the building. 

Cost:  6 million Ariary/ R30 000/ 1 700 Euro

agter moet opgevul word
helling uitgrou

3.  Fence

PM suggested that it will be better to put up a Vibracrete wall as the wooden fences rot very quickly. There is no existing fence and for security reasons, it will have to be one of the first things that we’ll have to do.

Cost:  14 million Ariary/ R70 000/ 4 000 Euro

onderhoek op

4.  Grade 4/5 classrooms

We’ll have to squeeze many classrooms into the existing building in the beginning, but will have to build more classrooms for the 2023 school year.  We would like to go back to a fully functioning computer centre again which would be part of this building. 

Cost:  25 million Ariary/ R125 000/ 7 100 Euro

5.  Pre-school

The pre-school building will have to accommodate three classrooms, a resource centre and a library.  The idea is to go for an open plan concept with movable separations as it can then be used for parents’ meetings.

Cost:  30 – 40 million Ariary/ R150 000 – R200 000/ 8 500 – 11 500 Euro

6.  Connection of water and electricity

Cost:  3 million Ariary/ R15 000/ 850 Euro

It adds up to a hefty sum and once again not our own land, but if we look back over the last twenty years, the benefit cannot be measured in money and so we believe the same for the next twenty years.  The impact of the school in the lives of the children, teachers and the community is invaluable.  A generation of children has been equipped with a superb education, but above all, they have been changed by the love of God to bring change wherever they are.  The Education Department has listed us as the best school of the island with a 100% pass rate for the national exams every year.  Compare that to the average pass rate of 40% of other schools, we want to continue to reach out and touch the lives of children.  We would also want to continue our Royal Ranger scouting programme as this tool really sets our children apart in witness and conduct. 

Please pray with us as we set out in this new season.  Contact us if you want to contribute to the project and feel free to give us advice, because we will value your input. 


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