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Project information

Literacy Training in Madagascar

‘It’s as easy as ABC’ suggests an effortless task but what if you can’t tell the difference between A, B or C? Our literacy project delivers vital training in Madagascar, where over a quarter of the population can’t read, write or count. Each year we give 10,000 people life changing literacy skills.

6 months

Charity information: The Adsum Foundation

The Adsum Foundation logo
  • Need


    In Madagascar, over 25% of the population are illiterate. 28% of those aged 15+ and 51% of those over 65 can’t read or write.

    71% of the Madagascar households are involved in farming. Inability to read and write, alongside financial illiteracy, is a barrier to the advancement of the farming community, where they can often be taken advantage of at market.

    Illiteracy is a barrier that our Literacy Training Programme aims to overcome.


    Running over 6 months, our literacy training is delivered by 300 centrally trained teachers at 300 learning centres (schools, homes or under the shade of a tree).

    Each teacher is supplied with all the materials required including chalk, writing materials & a bike (if required to get to & from the villages). We also create & publish a literacy training manual, which is given to every student.

    Over the past 5 years, our literacy training has reached 30,000+ people & remains in high demand.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Recruit, train & support teachers to deliver the training


    » Recruitment of teachers and supervisors – selected based on interviews and teaching experience.
    » Training of teachers – trained centrally in the Androy region before assigning them to a community.
    » Supply of bikes for transport – provision of donated bikes to teachers to assist with getting to and from rural villages.

    What success will look like

    Success can be measured by the number of teachers recruited & trained, the effectiveness of training delivered (measured by exam results) & through the number of bikes donated

    Aim 2

    Our main aim is to deliver the literacy training in rural villages


    » Supply of resources – provision of teaching materials, including chalk & writing utensils. Issue a Literacy Training Manual to each student.
    » Teaching over six months – financially supporting teachers for their work. Monitoring student knowledge and progress with course exams.

    What success will look like

    Success can be measured by exam results and roles/jobs undertaken by students as a result of the course

  • Impact


    Many former attendees have been appointed to roles in local organisations, including presidents, secretaries & book keepers. Individuals & their communities are benefiting from new literacy skills, from filling out animal licensing forms to reading literature aimed at advancing farming techniques. We monitor the effectiveness of training through surveying past students.


    The south of Madagascar has security issues – we partner with the NGO, Satraha, which has been present in the region for many years and is trusted by the community. Together we are delivering training at the request of the communities.

    Roads are in very poor condition, so getting to and from communities can be difficult. Alongside our literacy training we also run a bike project, where we collect, recondition and send bikes to Madagascar.


    We prioritise donor communication throughout the project stages via verbal, written & face-to-face channels. We receive regular updates from the field both through written reports & photos, which we pass on to our donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £55,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £42,470 Teacher salaries Paying teachers for delivering the training
      £2,180 Bikes / Travel Transport costs for getting to & from communities
      £2,620 Teaching Materials Material costs including chalk & writing materials for students
      £1,950 Literacy Training Manuals Printing costs for our training manual, given to every student
      £320 Bank Transfer Charges Fees charged for transferring funds to Madagascar
      £5,460 Administration Costs Local administration & management costs to run the project
  • Background


    Androy is the most southerly region of Madagascar. Our project covers the Androy region, which has an area of around 20,000 km2 and an estimated population of almost 750,000. Getting to and from the rural communities where we deliver the training is difficult because the distances between villages is vast and the roads are in very poor condition or non-existent.


    The majority of beneficiaries are adults. Due to the lack of schools or inability to pay school fees, some children attend training too. Since training is delivered in rural villages, most beneficiaries are from the farming community. Most attend training to gain the skills to fill in animal licensing forms or to undertake administrative tasks. Over 60% of females aged 65+ can’t read – which results in a section of our beneficiaries falling into this category.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Adsum Foundation has grown steadily over the past 10 years. We have great relationships with our donors, with a retention rate of over 90%. The personal approach we take to communicating with donors & beneficiaries, results in an excellent reputation & positions us to run sustainable projects.

    We have a generous donor who covers 100% of our overheads. This allows us to be in the privileged position of sending all raised funds directly to the projects on the ground in Madagascar.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Steve Lellelid

    Steve works for a local NGO, Satraha, and is overall coordinator of the project in Madagascar. His passion for literacy training is infectious.


    The 300 teachers are the face of the project. They are dedicated to the work, travelling to & living in rural communities for six months each year.

    The Adsum Foundation Staff

    The Adsum Foundation staff, based in Belfast, oversee the project, giving direction to its work & engaging donors with this vital training.