What we do

Fianarana enables needy, motivated young people to study at university and receives support in starting a career.

Preparatory year

From our own interim evaluation in June 2023, we learned that young people have major educational deficits in their previous school education after completing their local secondary school. 94% of the beneficiaries at the time had an A1 level in French, Madagascar's second official language. This is particularly problematic as only French is spoken at universities and in the professional world in Madagascar. In order to increase the impact of Fianarana, we are now introducing a preparatory and familiarization year in Fihaonana before the start of studies, which is repeated annually with each new project round and takes place during the day from Monday to Saturday. An intensive French course is held four days a week, with a further day dedicated to career guidance, personal development, preparation for university and the acquisition of basic IT skills. On the sixth day, the beneficiaries work free of charge on the adjacent organic farm, where we produce food for them as part of our Sakafo project. They also continue to live with their families in the surrounding sub-communities.

An additional advantage of this service is the two-stage selection process. Before the preparatory year, 25 young people are carefully selected on the basis of an application including a letter of motivation, entrance examination, interview and home visit. Participation in the preparatory year is not a guarantee of support. During or at the end of this year, a second selection process takes place in which the intermediate and final grades of the preparatory year, social behavior, motivation and career and life goals are reassessed. We assume that at least 20 beneficiaries will start their studies. At this point, the budget will be adjusted to the correct number of students.


Career guidance

Knowledge about the various professions, career opportunities and fields of study is very limited in Fihaonana. As part of the preparatory year, our qualified social worker Nomena Ramarozatovo informs the potential beneficiaries about this. She also organizes active taster days and visits to career-specific exhibitions. Individual career counseling is then carried out and suitable universities are selected. Fianarana is a quality project and obliges the beneficiaries to choose one of the best universities in their field.


Personal development

Having the confidence in yourself to express your own opinions, interests or visions is essential - in career guidance as well as in later professional life. In our experience, many young people in Fihaonana have a lack of self-esteem, which we address, especially during the preparatory year, with the help of a qualified external coach.


Study and living costs

After the preparatory year, the needy beneficiaries benefit from 100% coverage of all relevant study and living costs for the Bachelor's degree. In the event of a repeat year or a stop in support, the young adults and their families must pay for this (in installments).

  • Studies: enrollment, semester and examination fees, school bags, uniforms, etc.
  • Tutoring: French, English, computer science, management, law, etc.
  • Additional needs: clothes, health insurance, health costs, etc.
  • Housing: Rent, ancillary costs, furniture, etc.
  • Food
  • Bus rides (public transport)

Shared accommodations

Daily commuting between the village community of Fihaonana and the capital Antananarivo, 60 km to the south, where the universities are located, is not possible due to the poor infrastructure. As a result, the beneficiaries live in segregated shared flats in Antananarivo, which we look after. As there are often only rooms available for subletting in the metropolis instead of rentable apartments and these are relatively expensive, it has proven to be a good idea to rent simple single-family houses with up to four residents per room and twelve residents per house. From a financial and organizational point of view, these are more efficient than smaller shared flats

During office hours, when our project staff and fundraisers are working, the apartments and houses are empty. We therefore also use certain shared flats in the Fianarana project for our work on site and do not need to rent external premises. Tutoring courses are also held in the shared flats.


Tutoring services

During your studies, we remedy educational deficits by organizing needs-based tutoring and providing books from our in-house library.

  • French
  • English
  • Information technology, management, law, etc.‍

Social work

At Fianarana, we attach great importance to a close and direct relationship with the beneficiaries. The qualified social worker and co-project manager Nomena Ramarozatovo is supported by our supervisor Manitra. The latter visits the young adults in their shared apartments at least once a week to ensure their well-being, reimburse costs, hand out food including cooking plans or to maintain personal contact.


Involvement of parents

The parents or persons with custody rights are actively involved in the project and have to make their own contribution by paying for the rice for the midday meals during the preparatory year and then providing their children with rice themselves for the first five months after the regular rice harvest each year during their studies. They also help with the rice planting in our fields. In addition, the parents form a joint parents' council. They communicate their interests to us via self-appointed representatives, with whom we are in active contact. We also meet all parents in person at quarterly intervals to discuss important news and ideas for improvement with them.


Organic food

Food is one of the most expensive items in the cost of studying and living. We are increasing Fianarana's cost efficiency with the help of a 44,500 m² organic farm in Fihaonana, which is owned by CHANGING . We produce the following food on this farm and supply it to our students.

  • Rice
  • Vegetables: tomatoes, onions, beans, peas, carrots, etc.
  • Fruit: bananas, avocados, strawberries, guavas, oranges, physalis, etc.
  • Fish: Tilapia and "Madagascan fish"
  • Meat and eggs: sheep, chicken, duck and rabbit meat as well as chicken eggs

Data collection

We collect data and conduct our own surveys, which help us in particular with impact analysis. We are currently still working on measuring the social return on investment (SROI) - the social added value of Fianarana.


Job application training

In order to support the beneficiaries in their job search, they receive professional application training in due course, including learning how to write a good application and conduct a convincing job interview.



To enable future agricultural engineers or tour guides, for example, to develop their full potential, self-employment can be useful and effective. Although it is not part of the regular benefits, we will support committed beneficiaries in becoming self-employed with separate measures in due course.