Sustainable development

Local Business Incubation

A long-term sustainable development requires the establishment of a healthy local economy. This is essential for the adult population to have jobs and improve their economic situation but also for the kids in school to aspire for a possible future in their village. However, for the local population, it was extremely hard to start a business due to the lack of infrastructure and competences in the village, as well as the absence of financial leverage to start a business.

In this context, the “We Work it Works” group acts as a sort of “business incubator”. We work continuously to create new competences and give ownership to the local community. This must be achieved by stimulating local initiatives, supporting new ideas and knowledge transfer. Furthermore, specific infrastructures have been created with this purpose.

Here is how we contribute:

BUILDING AND EQUIPMENT OF FACILITIES
SEWING COMPANY
CARPENTER WORKSHOP
CHOCOLATE COOPERATION

Vocational Training

There is an enormous gap between the education that kids were getting in school and the jobs they could find in the village. Moreover, through a survey conducted by a researcher of the Leibnitz University in 2017, we have realized that most of the kids that were studying in Antintourne (the first generation has just completed secondary school) would leave the village after completing their studies due to the lack of opportunities. This was creating a difficult situation that was penalizing the local companies, the kids and their families.

In 2018, we have started of a vocational training program to bridge what was becoming a gap between two realities. This program offers students the opportunity of having an internship in one of the local companies work. It is a great opportunity for the students graduating from secondary school who do not plan to go to university but wish to learn professional skills.

This program has also proven to be very successful to support the local companies flourishing and to make people with different levels of education work together promoting social cohesion.

Here is how we contribute:

TOOTHPASTE TRAINING 
SEWING TRAINING

Reforestation

In September 2016, a fire has destroyed a big area of the forest close to the village. This could have caused serious damage to the community, but thanks to the help of the other villages, it did not reach any households or public buildings. This fire is also a result of the unbalanced use of the forest that has almost led to the disappearance of autochthonous sorts of trees. The deforestation is a common problem in the whole island of Madagascar and is creating serious economic issues. The cost of wood has raised significantly making simple goods like beds, tables or chairs unaffordable to the local population, not to mention the building of houses.

With the support of the local community farm, we have turned what could have been a tragedy into an opportunity. An organized reforestation project based on indigenous plants has started in 2017 with the financial support of the European Space Agency Humanitarian Relief Fund. The aim is to prevent these events from happening again in the future and to ensure the preservation and sustainable use of an extremely important renewable resource for the village. Furthermore, this project will prevent the propagation of exogenous species, like bamboo, that are currently invading most of the island, not allowing the indigenous plants to grow.

Here is how we contribute:

INCREASE THE CAPABILITY OF LOCAL FARMS
CENTRE FOR TREE PRODUCTION

Renewable energy

The efficient production and use of energy is one of the main concerns for a small isolated community like the one in Nosy Komba. The high cost of fossil fuels with respect to the income of a local family makes them inaccessible to most of the population. Renewable sources of energy are available but shall be used in a responsible and sustainable way.
A hydro-turbine has been installed by the We Work It Works project producing 5 kW. During most of the year it generates enough power for the whole village, but in the dry season it becomes rather limited and irregular with important some important impacts on the local economy. Moreover, the electricity network does not reach places such as the community farm.
For cooking, the local population normally uses wood that is easily accessible and widely used. This leads both to a significant loss of resources and to the generation a lot of smoke, which makes it impossible to cook indoor. Furthermore, several children get injured every year due to the lack of safety of the currently used metal coal stoves and “campfires”.

Here is how we contribute:

PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER
PROTOTYPE BIOGAS PLANT
PROTOTYPE WOOD GAS STOVES