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News from the Association

Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2020 of the Association for School and Children’s Books in Madagascar

On the 2nd of August 2020, the Association for School and Children’s Books in Madagascar held its 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Herrenwies in the Black Forest, Germany. The organisation of this year’s meeting was challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The chairperson, Klaus-Christian Küspert, thanked all participants and members of the Association for their fidelity and perseverance. He happily informed them about another successful year of cooperation with Vakoka Vakiteny. The financial situation and the administrative and financial routines of the Association are good, and the annual reports were approved without amendments. The number of active members grew by 2 to 24 over the last year, 13 of which were able to join the AGM.

Following the statutes, no elections were held this year. All members of the Board and the auditors elected in 2019 will continue in their positions until 2021 as follows:

            Chairperson: Dr. Klaus-Christian Küspert

            Deputy Chairperson: Mr. Hansjörg Willig

            Secretary: Mrs. Sonja Küspert

            Treasurer: Mr. Hubert Kienzler

            Auditors: Mr. Hellmut Bauer and Mrs. Anna Lena Kienzler

Association 

The treasurer, Mr Hubert Kienzler, gave a report on the financial situation of the Association. The account balance on 25.6.2019 was € 4,964.04. During the financial year 2019/2020, the Association had an income of € 6,384.11 through donations and membership fees, including a large donation of over € 4,500 from “Eine Welt Verein – Kenia Hilfe e.V.”. This money, minus bank charges, was available for transfer to Vakoka Vakiteny. The Association received a request from Vakoka Vakiteny for a transfer of € 6,971 to Madagascar for the printing and distribution of the book Bonenitra, a reprint of Mihisa I and a grant for Mrs Hanta. It was unanimously decided to honour the request. The account balance on 2.8.2020 was € 4,418.15.

In a report by dated 15 July 2020, Mr Mparany informed the Association of the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic is a particular challenge for a country like Madagascar with a poorly developed health system and inadequate social security. So far, many people have lost their jobs and thus, their income. This is exacerbated by significantly increasing prices. Mr Mparany encouraged the Association to show solidarity with students, teachers and schools.

In a Newsletter shared in April 2020, Vakoka Vakiteny made a suggestion to distribute hand-washing stations consisting of water containers and soap to schools. The containers were to have a Vakoka Vakiteny logo and a message encouraging people to read books. Within a few weeks of the Newsletter requesting donations, € 3,124 was received and this, minus fees, was immediately transferred to Madagascar. As a result, over 200 complete hand washing stations were set up and hundreds of face masks were distributed. The COVID-19 aid from Vakoka Vakiteny received a great deal of attention, for example from the city of Antsirabe and the head of the district office for education. They expressed their gratitude to the Association and the people in Germany who supported the schools and children in Madagascar despite their own burdens.

As was decided at the last AGM, a PDF version of the book Madagascar - A Living Museum was made available for download from the Vakoka Vakiteny website. Upon downloading the book, potential readers were given information about Vakoka Vakiteny and the association and were asked to donate to a separate PayPal account which credited to the Association’s account.

The manuscript for the “modern fairy tale” Bonenitra was sent to be printed in October 2019. Although the printing press failed and took several months to be repaired, 1,000 copies of the book have now been printed. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the delivery of the books was delayed, and has not yet taken place.

In February 2020, 1000 copies of the second edition of Mihisa 1 were printed. Volumes 1 and 2 had been out of print for a long time. 300 copies were distributed by Hanta in connection with raising awareness for COVID-19 before all schools were closed because of the pandemic.

The association is ready to support the printing of the new manuscript produced by Beth Rose Dickens and Tahiry Rajaonarison (subject: ecology/makis/erosion). A cost estimate from Vakoka Vakiteny is expected soon.

Mrs Hanta, the local co-worker of Vakoka Vakiteny, has been particularly recognized for her role and importance in the success of Vakoka Vakiteny's work, and the Association would like to express its thanks and appreciation to her. One way of expressing this whilst strengthening the bond with Vakoka Vakiteny would be to invite Hanta to Germany next June/July at the expense of the Association. The monthly support for Hanta will be raised to € 50 per month.

The members of the Association will try to increase fundraising activities. However, it has to be taken into account that many people, and especially companies, are suffering significantly from the effects of the Coronavirus crisis and are likely to have fewer opportunities to donate funds to charity organisations. Inviting Hanta to Germany next summer would offer good opportunities to organize events for the benefit of Vakoka Vakiteny. At the same time, Hanta could participate in the next AGM and thereby provide the first-hand information. This would contribute significantly to a better mutual understanding.

Last year’s idea of organising ​​a trip to Madagascar in 2020 to visit schools and talk to teachers and students was not pursued for obvious reasons. However, there is still interest in such a trip, and the chairperson of the Association was asked to draft a programme and a cost estimate. The trip would be primarily for members with other interested parties only being able to take part in it if there are any open spots. It is currently too early to discuss a possible timeline for the trip due to travel restrictions.

It was unanimously decided that the activities of the Association for School and Children’s Books in Madagascar will continue in 2020/21. The membership fee for this period will remain to be € 25 per annual. All members and supporters are encouraged to continue recruiting new members and gathering support for the work of Vakoka Vakiteny. Information materials about the Association and about Vakoka Vakiteny are available through the chairperson. Furthermore, the Webpage and the Newsletters of Vakoka Vakiteny continue to function as an excellent source of information. 

Herrenwies, 2nd August 2020

Dr. Klaus-Christian Küspert

Chairperson

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Contact details:

Association for School and Children's Books in Madagascar          
(Förderverein Madagaskar Schul- und Kinderbücher e.V.)
Hans- Vetter-Straße 125, D- 79650 Schopfheim
or: Dr. Klaus Christian Küspert (chairperson)

P.O.Box 5552, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel.: 00251 911 43 02 42; klaus.christian.kuspert@gmail.co
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Edition Vakoka Vakiteny Madagascar

Vakoka means something precious, something given by the ancestors and worthy protection. The mother tongue is such a precious thing.

Vakiteny means reading. Good books in mother tongue are a treasure and the valuable base for the development of every modern society.

Vakoka Vakiteny is a young and professional publishing company producing literature for children and youth in Malagasy language, created by Malagasy.

 

   

 

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The Association for School and Children’s Books in Madagascar supports Vakoka Vakiteny.

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