Rose Madagascar

In 2005 a group of UBC students visiting Madagascar met an inspiring  young Malagasy man, Bina, who dreamed of building a school in his remote village. By working together in 2007, they built and opened the Mahastara School with just 43 pupils and a single classroom.  Today the school has grown into an important community education centre with over 300 hundred students.

Who we are:

Rose Madagascar is a small, volunteer-run group that is committed to improving access to education in rural Madagascar. While our Canadian team is based in Western Canada, the heart and soul of our work lies in the hands of our Malagasy partners who work tirelessly to improve the quality of life in rural Madagascar.

Our story:

In 2005, while working at a centre for abandoned children in Madagascar, a group of UBC Students  met a young, passionate Malagasy man by the name of Bina Andriamanjato. Bina grew-up in a small, rural village called Tsarahonenana about 350 kilometers off the beaten path. Having just finished law school, Bina had a unique understanding of the importance of education and was committed to improving access to education in his village. In consultation with community members, Bina devised a 10 year vision for improving the quality of life in his community and we were eager to be a part of his vision.

The students returned to Vancouver, Canada in 2006 to seek funding for the project. After soliciting anyone who would speak with them, the Mahastara School opened in September 2007 with an eager 43 students. Mahastara School has since grown into a full fledged community rural education initiative and we now have over 300 children who attend the school on a regular basis.

In 2008, support of this school became a project of Rose Charities Canada and the original  Canadian team that started the project now volunteer with Rose Charities and continue to fund-raise  and monitor the progress of the school

To learn more about the programs and to see more photos: Click Here.

Our objectives:

  • to reach out to individuals and communities facing adversity;
  • to empower individuals and communities to improve their quality of life from within;
  • to provide children and adults with access to academic and vocational training;
  • to encourage sustainable and holistic development through programs that consider the environment, health, education, and social well-being of communities as fundamental principles guiding development.

How you can help:

Lend a helping hand

As an entirely volunteer-run group, we welcome any help that we can get. Whether you are interested in helping with fundraising efforts, event planning, spreading the word, or have any other skill that you think we could benefit from, we would love to hear from you. You can reach us at

Make a donation

We pride ourselves on keeping overhead costs at next to nothing and are committed to making sure that every cent possible makes its way to Madagascar.

Even a small donation can make a difference: with little overhead costs, your donation will go where it is needed most and not be wasted on administration.

You can make a donation online either directly through our site or through Canada Helps by clicking here. Please select “Rose Madagascar” from the drop-down menu. If you would like to donate through cheque or another way, please visit our donate page and it will give you more information. Thank-you for your support!

Send us your creative ideas and feedback

We value any input that you can give us, whether it is fundraising ideas, ways to improve what we do or feedback on our project. Please feel free to send us an email at

Thank-you for your support of our project! Together we can improve education and enhance the quality of life in rural Madagascar.

What we do:

Quality Education

In addition to providing access to education to children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend school, Mahatsara is committed to ensuring that each child receives a quality education. We are very proud to report that the 2011-2012 school year has been a great success for Mahatsara students. Our grade 5 students ranked amongst the top in the Alarobia region. In addition, all 27 Mahatsara grade 9 students passed the difficult National High School Entrance Exam to receive their Junior Diplomas. This is an important exam as it is the gateway (and often the barrier) to high school education in Madagascar.

Community Garden Project

The school has a series of community garden plots that are cultivated by parents, students, and other community members. A portion of the harvest from each garden plot is contributed to the Mahatsara nutrition program.

Lunch Nutrition Program

The nutrition program provides lunch to students in an effort to ensure that each child receives at least one healthy meal per day. Parents volunteer at the program on a daily basis and students take turns bringing firewood for cooking from home each day.

The Mahatsara Parent’s Association

The Mahatsara Parent’s Association is the driving force behind the project and the school. While the parents of Mahatsara do not always have the ability to contribute financially to their children’s education, they contribute in many other resourceful and much needed ways.

Community Library

The school has a library with a small collection of books and educational resources. Books are very expensive in Madagascar so virtually all of the books have been donated by international volunteers.

Sports Programs

The school is engaged in a variety of sports teams and programs. In 2011, the Mahatsara basketball team made it to the regional finals.

Health Education

Throughout the years Mahatsara has organized community health education sessions at the request of community members. Some of the topics that have been covered include: sex education, nutrition training, dental hygiene, and training on the hazards of cooking on a fire indoors.

The Mahatsara Store

The Mahatsara store sells school supplies and other small items to community members who can afford them. All proceeds are put back into the project.

Field Trips

The school has taken students on several field trips in the surrounding area. Among the most significant field trips has been a trip to the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo through which older students at the school had the opportunity to see the capital and tour the University. For most students, this was their first trip to Antananarivo.