Slam Dunks - A Basketball Court

            A volunteer in my region is currently fundraising to create a better basketball court to promote healthier life decisions.  See below for a write up on her project.

The children and youth in my community here in Madagascar have very limited access to recreational activities during vacation, after school and/or work. Because they don't have recreational activities to keep them occupied, our youth is more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as: drinking, smoking and unsafe sexual relationships and our kids have no place to be physically active.
According to the World Health Organization, the current cigarette smoking prevalence among the Malagasy youth is 19.3% and tobacco prevalence is 22.8% while the alcohol consumption reported by the Malagasy Institute of Public Health is about 59% among teens during the last 12 months. Additionally, the chances of suffering from a sexually transmitted disease are exponentially amplified due to the lack of access to sexual education.
Our local youth and kids are not only exposed to risky behaviors but also they are completely unaware of the health effects they can face in short and long term. But we can promote some change and provide a safe recreational place for the local youth and children by building an amazing basketball court. My project "Slam Dunks" hopes to give teenagers and children not only a place to be physically active, an opportunity to have a hobby to keep them away from engaging in risky behaviors but also to educate them about all these unhealthy behaviors that can potentially jeopardize their future.
The Slam Dunks project has the potential to improve the lives of hundreds of kids and teenagers not only from my local community but also from the surrounded areas by promoting basketball tournaments as well as by developing strong youth leaders than can become a role model to others.

My Teaching Has Come to an End

            Last month marked the end of my two years as a teacher here in Madagascar; at least here at the Lycee Vondrozo.  I have taught 574 students, eight classes (yea that’s a lot of students per class), in the two years that I have taught here.  It has been an experience that I will never forget.  It was rewarding in so many ways, but it was far from easy; many of the best experiences in life seldom are.  Although I most likely will never teach again here in Vondrozo I know that my teaching career is doubtlessly far from over and the experience gained and the many things that I have learned here will
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