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3rd May 2021, 1:16 PM

British charity set to build one of the first carbon neutral schools in Africa

Holistic vision hopes to act as template for others

A school, being built by British charity SEED Madagascar, is set to be one of the first carbon neutral schools in Africa and hopes to act as a template for others. This life-changing project is set to tackle an array of development and environmental issues in Madagascar, from CO2 reduction to sanitation, and much more…

school-construction-site-madagascar.jpgSEED has been helping build schools in the southeast of Madagascar for twenty years, with the charity also carrying out other crucial humanitarian and conservation work on the island. They see the creation of carbon neutral schools as a holistic way to achieve a number of important objectives, not only their own, but for the United Nations as a whole, as Mark Jacobs, SEED Director, explains…

“We are all aware of the reasons we need to cut down our carbon emissions as a global community, but this project is about so much more than that. Obviously there are huge educational benefits to children attending school in Madagascar, where currently 60% of primary-school-age children are not enrolled in education. It’s little reported that Madagascar, according to the World Bank, is the poorest country in the world with almost 80% of the population living on less than £1.40 per day and education services lacking in many areas. The creation of this school is part of an ongoing project aiming to increase education in the country and thus give people the tools they need to bring themselves out of poverty.”

Mark goes on to explain why schools in destitute areas of Madagascar are about so much more than a child’s education.

“Alongside classrooms, the schools we build supply fresh water, normally in the form of rainwater harvesting systems, and toilet facilities. We take these facilities for granted in the UK, but in rural Madagascar school may be children’s only access to toilets. We also provide WASH lessons, where children learn about clean water, sanitation and hygiene, thus helping deal with disease prevention.”

children-sit-on-bench.jpgThe carbon neutral aspect of the project comes in the form of a community-supported diverse tree planting programme. The tree planting programme will not only sequester CO2, but will also act as an educational and conservation tool.

“Madagascar is home to some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna, 90% of which is found nowhere else on Earth. But the island’s wildlife is under threat from major deforestation and ocean pollution, with 90% of the native forest cover having been lost. Whilst planting trees creates new habitats for wildlife, it also acts as an active tool to teach people the important role plants play in the long term sustainability of the island, whether that be as a source of building materials for houses, creating sanctuaries for wildlife, or an important part of the infrastructure for eco-tourism. Trees are a vital part of Madagascar’s future.”

“We’re really excited about how this project brings together so many core values and goals, not only from our charity, but the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations Member States, and we’re determined to make this project a success to showcase to other organisations how attainable this kind of eco school build can be.”

The whole cost of the project is just £57,960. SEED are currently seeking funding for the remaining shortfall of £20,000. If you feel you can help, please visit to donate to this life-changing work.

For more information please contact David Ferguson at New Chapter Marketing & PR on 01547 540 651 or email