Winter in Madagascar has started and children have gone back to schools after Covid confinement.
Winter lasts in Madagascar between the end of May and the end of September. Daily temperatures vary from as low as 7C at night to highest around 24C between 1pm and 3pm and back to 15C in the evenings. Mornings are chilli, foggy and often with a drizzle.
This is also called a dry season. Soon everything will be covered with a red dust and we will not see a proper rain until November. Winter is pretty harsh for people living in the central part of Madagascar, called the highlands. The climate is mild during a summer but challenging in a winter. People live in simple houses made of mud. Houses have wooden windows which are often broken and let the wind in. People sleep on the floor with no covers. Many people do not have shoes or many warm clothes.
During this time of a year at Ankizy Gasy we often help many more children and their families with costs of a doctor visits or medicines. We also buy blankets or duvets to keep them warm at night.
Winter it is also one of a rice harvest time. Price of rice is a bit cheaper now, which makes a big difference for many families.
One of the schools where we support is surrounded by rice paddies. Most people are farmers there. During the harvest all pairs of hands are needed to work.
Finally after more than 2 months of Covid confinement children are back to schools. They are happy to see their friends, as well as eat in school canteens. Parents are also glad their children can go back and learn as a distant learning does not exist here. Many children will struggle with their final exams as they lost a lot of time not being able to study properly.
We are happy with schools reopenning as we can serve food to nearly 600 children in schools canteens, which are often the only hot meals that many of them can eat druing a day.