Since 2010 we have been working in close collaboration with the University of Antananarivo, Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques et Forestières (ESSA) which trains good foresters, Bachelor and Master level.
The students know our reforestation site since they come on a study trip for a week to consolidate their knowledge with a 360° vision, from the conception to the realization of a reforestation project.
Each year we have the pleasure to recruit at the end of their studies 1 to 2 young forestry engineers who, in principle, after 2 years at the service of the project could benefit from our support to carry out a postgraduate training in forestry engineering in Switzerland (1 year of training at the Bernese University of Applied Sciences in forestry engineering).
After 10 years, only two Malagasy engineers have followed this postgraduate training in Switzerland, what are the reasons for this? Is EcoFormation too demanding? The job of forest engineer does not meet expectations? The activities in the field are too difficult? The expatriation during one year is too long?
To find out more, we conducted a small study of 27 former students at ESSA. The results were astonishing, and what stood out was not being too far away from one’s family, but the fact of continuing one’s studies without income, when the family has already invested a lot.
Another point, the attractiveness of the job depends on a motivation that escapes us, to obtain a “safe job” in the Malagasy administration! And indeed the numerous job searches carried out by our engineers are indeed aimed at a position in the administration. In this case, how do you keep a young forester in the bush for more than a year? In a very difficult context certainly, in the field and not in front of a computer?
Everyone knows that salary cannot be the driving force behind the professional development of a first-time job seeker, we have all been there and gritted our teeth, sometimes, for several years.