The School Scholarship Programme
In 2006 Blue Ventures launched a scholarship programme that provides bright children in the Velondriake region with funding so that they can attend the Catholic Mission’s primary and secondary schools in Andavadoaka, Morombe, and Tulear. Without this source of funding, many of the chosen primary school students would be forced to attend the public school, which is free, but in comparison, is very limited in its resources and teaching capabilities. For secondary school students wishing to progress to higher levels of education, paying a fee and attending a private secondary school is mandatory, as there are no public secondary schools anywhere in the Velondriake region. The Mission, along with members of the Velondriake committee, chooses which children are eligible to receive the scholarship, based on financial need and academic achievement.
Each year since 2006, the number of students requesting sponsorship from Blue Ventures has grown, and every year more and more children are being given opportunities for education that would otherwise be impossible for them. In the school year from 2009-2010, a total of 101 children from across Velondriake received scholarship assistance to attend school and to purchase supplies necessary for their education. Of that total, 76 were from Andavadoaka and 25 from remote neighbouring villages. Neighbouring villages include the communities of Lamboara, Ampasilava, Befandefa, Tampoleve, Bevato, Vatoavo, Antsatsamoroy, Ankindranoke, Ambaloroa, Ankilimalinike, Ambalarao and Belavenoke, and the remote island communities of Nosy Ve, Nosy Andragnombala and Nosy Be. Many of these villages lack decent education programmes of their own, especially upper level classes, forcing students to attend school elsewhere if they wish to continue their learning.