My Rainforest My World
PIVOT partner Centre ValBio (CVB) is a world-class ecological research station dedicated to helping both local and international communities better understand the value of conservation in Madagascar and around the world.
Teaching children about the importance of conserving the biodiversity of the Ranomafana rainforest is a top priority at the Centre Valbio. This was evident on July 13, 2016 when the after-school program My Rainforest My World (MRMW) celebrated its first year of using a “conservation of biodiversity” curriculum implemented in 10 schools around the periphery of the Ranomafana National Park. Over 150 fourth-graders gathered at the CVB to show off their year’s work using art and theatre. The program also included a presentation by Lovasoa Razafindravony, MRMW’s project coordinator, speeches and dedications by local dignitaries – including CVB founder and PIVOT board member Patricia Wright – as well as skits and poetry readings by the students and a special thank you from the parents. In addition, the teachers who had guided the students through the curriculum over the course of the year were awarded certificates presented by Patricia Wright. After the various presentations, the distinguished guests enjoyed a fabulous lunch.
Situated on the edge of the Ranomafana National Park, the CVB recognizes that the best chance for successful preservation of the rain forest is to involve the surrounding community. In Madagascar, schools for children in the fourth-grade normally hold classes only during the morning. However, for students enrolled in MRMW, the program provides lunch followed by a one-hour class covering topics such as hygiene, climate change, and the importance of biodiversity. During the awards presentation, an announcement was made that funding had been acquired to increase the size of the program from 10 to 20 schools for the following year. A definite success for all involved!