Friday, 8 December 2017

Money for Madagascar launches Christmas Appeals

Christmas is a time for giving. While people at home may have plenty, Madagascar is home to some of the world’s poorest people and most endangered species of wildlife. To mark the beginning of advent and the Christmas season, MfM have launched two festive themed appeals: to buy a Christmas meal for each of the 1000 children being cared for by our partners; and our ‘Christmas tree’ appeal to plant a tree in Madagascar and aid the reforestation effort.


MfM supports centres which care for over 1000 destitute children in Madagascar, providing them with a home, education and food. These centres rely on the generous support of donors around the world. One of the biggest costs they face is to provide meals for the children in their care. Just £5 can provide a meal for a child this Christmas and we hope to raise £5000 to provide a Christmas dinner for each of the 1000 children living in our centres.


Madagascar’s rainforests are also home to amazing and unique species of wildlife – but they are under threat. Deforestation is putting extreme pressure on the country’s rainforests, and destroying vital habitats putting many species of flora and fauna at risk of extinction, forever. Just £1 can buy an extra-special ‘Christmas tree’ which will aid in the restoration of these rainforests and also provide a gift to the animals which call them home.

To buy a meal for a child this Christmas, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/help-madagascar2 or text “MFOM £5” to 70070 to donate £5.
To plant a tree in Madagascar text “HAZO77 £1” to 70070 to donate £1 or visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helpmadagascarplanttrees.
A donation of any other amount will also be gladly accepted.

Make this Christmas count. Please share these appeals with your friends and give a present to Madagascar this holiday season. Thank you. 

Friday, 24 November 2017

FAMINE PREVENTION UPDATE: An overview of MfM’s work to help vulnerable families rebuild their lives in the wake of prolonged drought followed by cyclone Enawo.

Despite being one of the world’s lowest emitters of carbon dioxide, Madagascar, is numbered amongst the  ‘Vulnerable Twenty’; a group of nations that  will see their future development severely impacted by climate change. Already this year, we have seen the south of the Island afflicted by such extreme drought that 850,000 people were taken to the brink of famine. Further north, in and around the capital, Tana, drought caused severe power cuts (no water to drive the hydroelectricity!) and crop failure. Just as the rains returned and people began planting, cyclone Enawo hit the island, leaving flooding and devastation in its wake. 

Southern Malagasy boy eating cactus plant (Nicholas Kristoff/ NYT 2017)
Your generous response to our appeal for those at risk of famine could not have been more timely! Funds were rapidly distributed to our partners enabling them to meet the immediate nutritional needs of four communities and start them on the road to recovery:

Famine Prevention in Beloha Androy:

In the South, our partner SAF has been working with all 150 households in the drought stricken community of Beloha Androy. To meet immediate nutritional requirements we delivered 19 tonnes of rice, 4 tonnes of beans and 1500 litres of vegetable oil to starving local families.


SAF truck arriving at Beloha Androy with rice supplies
Sacks of rice stored in local church awaiting distribution
Supplies were distributed through a system of food for work. This enabled local households to recover from acute hunger whilst improving key community facilities. Tasks were identified and prioritised by the community to ensure that they responded to local needs. Vital works undertaken included: planting trees and protective hedges, cleaning and restoring the community water tanks and building new class rooms.

Families collecting their food rations
Community members forming working parties


1.8 tonnes of improved maize and cowpea seeds were also distributed to households in conjunction with training on improved agricultural techniques for a drought prone environment. The seeds were selected due to their: drought resistance, local popularity (and therefore acceptance); nutritional value and potential to produce 2 crops in one year.


Community members have expressed their gratitude for this emergency assistance in their time of acute need. They are now able to face daily life and plan for the future. Unfortunately, insufficient rain has hindered the planting of new seeds. Farmers are hoping to be able to plant in November if the rains come. 

Responding to drought and cyclone in Analamanga and Amoron'i Mania:

On the rural outskirts of Tana our partner WTDM helped 250 households in 3 villages where farmers had lost their crops to drought and then to cyclone Enawo. As well as helping farmers to replant their crops, we also helped the communities to rebuild cyclone-damaged homes, classrooms, toilets and water points. 



The distribution of new tools and improved seeds, adapted to better withstand drought and flooding, is helping families to replant their lost crops and look to the future with greater optimism.



Rehabilitating water points and providing watering cans is allowing farmers, like Aina, to keep their crops irrigated when rain is scarce.


Providing families with small livestock or poultry is helping farmers like Richard to diversify their farming practises.  Agricultural diversification is a great way to improve resilience and increase income. Richard now breeds ducks alongside his arable agriculture so that he can provide his family with eggs and meat as well as generating additional income.


Planting a range of improved adapted seeds cuts the risk of losing all crops to a climatic disaster. By planting improved rice with a variety vegetable crops Armand is spreading his risks and increasing his family’s resilience.


Despite the damage done by cyclone Enawo, Hanitra is happy to see her new crops are growing well thanks to the improved seeds and tools provided by WTDM.

Next step: adapting to climate change:
Thanks to your generous response, our disaster appeal has prevented crippling hunger and started four communities on the road to recovery. However, there is more work to do. According to the World Bank, Madagascar is likely to be hit by ever-stronger cyclones that possess double the intensity of today’s storms. The southern region of Madagascar, which already suffers periodically from drought, is likely to receive even less rain.
It is no longer enough simply to respond to disasters as they happen; we need to act now to help the people of Madagascar build their resilience to face future climatic extremes. MfM has always invested in people over time. Next, we want to help farmers to further adapt their livelihoods so they can survive the threats of climate change. 


Christmas 2017: Money for Madagascar alternative gifts and 2018 calendars now avaliable!

2018 GIFT BROCHURE


Give an extra special present this Christmas to some of the poorest people in the world! The MfM calendar, Christmas cards and a range of Alternative gifts are available from our on-line shop on the MfM website: 


Celebrate Madagascar all year round with our 2018 calendar. Focusing on local livelihoods, the photos show the strength and positivity of the Malagasy people through the struggles of daily life. Calendars cost £7.50 each (inc. free UK postage).

We also have a choice of 2 seasonal greetings cards


The first is a colourful market scene entitled “Fish for a Feast”. The second shows the joy of playing (“Joie de Jouer”) with smiling Malagasy children helped by Money for Madagascar.

Cards cost £4.50 per pack for 10 cards and envelopes including UK postage.


Are you looking for a different gift this Christmas...


If you are fed up with giving or receiving yet more socks, toiletries or chocolates… you can bring the gift of joy for someone in Madagascar? It's simple really... visit our online shop and choose an 'Alternative Gift' like schooling, hot meals or precious trees...something that is desperately needed in Madagascar. Then you either buy it for your friend or you could ask your friend to buy an alternative gift for you. That way you can be sure this year’s Christmas present will be VERY much appreciated by you and your friends and especially by the people in Madagascar whom you have chosen to help.


Put a smile on a Child's face this Christmas...

Money for Madagascar works with childrens centres which care for 1000 vulnerable children and young adults. 

While you are tucking into your chistmas lunch, know that thanks to your generosity a child in Madagascar is doing the same. 

Just £10 could buy a Malagasy child a Christmas meal and present. 



Save my Home

Over 80% of the flora and fauna of Madagascar is found nowhere else in the world but only 20% of its original forest remains. The rich biodiversity is at risk.

Help replant primary forest and save Madagascar’s unique flora and fauna.

£20 could fund the planting and aftercare of 20 native forest trees.


These gifts and many more can be found online on the MfM shop


Don't delay, get your gifts now! 

Thankyou for your support. 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Madagascar Plague Outbreak update

One of Madagascar’s biggest current medical problems is nothing new, it has simply struck the wrong place at the wrong time. The Plague killed millions in England between The 14th to the 17th Centuries. Thankfully though, England and Europe got this under control. Unfortunately, some centuries later in Madagascar, the battle is still on. The only solution?  Madagascar needs our help to win.

Recently there have been outbreaks of pneumonic and bubonic Plague in Madagascar but these are the facts you need to know. The outbreak in Madagascar started in August and has killed over 120, whilst it is thought to have infecting almost ten times as many – the WHO believe over a thousand people may have been infected (1). This form of the Plague seems to have come from animal bites and then passing from human to human. Geographically, the outbreaks started in the east of the country, and worryingly also in the capital – Antananarivo. (2)  

Still, on a more positive note, responses have been quick.  At a national level, many precautions are being taken, such as trying to prevent infection by holding fewer large gatherings. Madagascar has also reacted quickly to safeguard some of the more vulnerable – for instance closing schools and universities. (2) As with any epidemic, the most important thing is to get medication to those who need it quickly, and The World Health Organisation is not failing it’s duties. Since the outbreak, WHO has delivered the required medication for 5,000 infected people, whilst also distributing medication for 100,000 who may have been in contact with those infected (3). The Government have also taken practical actions, creating helplines and preventing the spread of ‘fake news’ which had spread on social media. Aside from these national measures, at a local level, there are consistent efforts to trap infected insects and also the mass spraying of insecticides. Another innovative response, by The Red Cross, has been to work on removing the stigma attached to those who are possibly infected, meaning they will be more willing to come forward and seek medical help.  

One thing is clear – Madagascar needs help and it needs it quickly. Money For Madagascar works on the front line and has a proud record in providing basic needs such as clean water, better sanitation and also health education so that problems can be found and dealt with more quickly.

If you feel that you could play a part in making a direct difference in Madagascar’s time of need, please consider making a donation at https://moneyformadagascar.org/  – anything you give will go to those who need it most, Thank You.
 

Written by Matthew Ward.


Friday, 27 October 2017

Stories from Madagascar: Betampona

In our latest ‘Story from Madagascar,’ to mark World Lemur Day, we look at the work carried out by MfM and our partners’ in communities around the Betampona reserve, a vital rainforest habitat home to Lemurs and other species of Flora and Fauna.  


Chronic malnutrition is a major problem in Madagascar. Like any father, Solo wanted to ensure that his family had enough food to keep them healthy and strong. With few sources of protein available he would go hunting for bushmeat such as Lemur to supplement their limited diet. In the past this was not such a cause for concern as it only occurred on a modest scale. However, deepening poverty has led to an increase in the hunting of wildlife both for food and to sell and this is threatening endangered species even within protected reserves.

Our team in Betampona in the eastern rainforest has tackled this problem by encouraging families to rear poultry and pigs so that there is no need for them to hunt for bushmeat. Solo and his family have benefitted from this support. Now they are the proud owners of about 50 healthy chickens, providing them with eggs and meat.  The team gives them all the advice they need on housing, feeding and vaccination to ensure that their chickens thrive and keep providing the family with the protein they need in their diet. 


MfM has been funding work in Betampona for over 20 years focusing on supporting families like Solo’s to improve their livelihoods whilst living in harmony with their unique environment. In addition to securing a sustainable food source for local communities, our work has also helped lead to a noticeable decrease in slash and burn agriculture, and a 26% increase in the income of those supported by the project over three years which has been spent on education and health. Projects such as Betampona are a shining example of how helping communities is vital to protecting Madagascar’s unique wildlife.

To support our work to preserve Madagascar's amazing flora and fauna, and to help people like Solo, visit https://moneyformadagascar.org/make-a-donation/

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Fantastic Flora in Madagascar!

Madagascar boasts one of the most diverse and exciting eco-systems in the world with many species waiting to be found. Many of the species of fauna and flora cannot be found elsewhere, meaning scientists have always got something to look forward to in terms of new discoveries. It is also, however, one of the poorest countries which leaves its people struggling to cope with the problems of the changing modern world.

What is new then for Madagascar? Firstly, to the fantastic flora – Madagascar has added to its already complex family of orchid; – with the discovery of new species of the Cynorkis Thouars orchid (1). The country already has over 170 species of orchid – around 120 of these (1) being indigenous to Madagascar. Due to the destruction of habitat, despite having only been discovered recently, plant specialists have already put the new find on the ‘red list’ of plants which are critically endangered.  

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12225-017-9715-4
Staying on the topic of Madagascar’s fantastic flora, it has made the news elsewhere with the president (Hery Rajaonarimampianina) visiting Kew Gardens for a meeting with scientists, members of Kew’s specialist team that work on Madagascar, representatives of the UK government, members of DEFRA and several others. In this meeting the president explained his vision and plans for Madagascar’s unique environment and also talked on broader topics such as Global Warming. He pointed out how Madagascar is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity (3) and then went on to highlight his plans to conserve and support it. He highlighted the same approach as that of MFM – the only way that the environment can be maintained is to support the population so that they do not need to exploit it. His words were welcomed as he highlighted the importance of dealing with global warming and extending protected areas to reduce human impact on the natural world.

This is not the only example of Madagascar trying to ‘do its bit’ in the face of world issues. Recently the European Union (EU) has also been working with Madagascar to find sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to meet energy needs. The EU has also helped Madagascar with hydro-electric and solar power projects which form part of the ‘New Energy Policy’ - partly funded by the EU. (2)

If you feel that you could help Madagascar, please do consider making a donation. Anything you give would help to support both the environment and the people of Madagascar. For more information or to make a donation, please see https://moneyformadagascar.org/
  
(4)  WWF

By Matthew Ward

Monday, 11 September 2017

Malagasy Wildlife Exhibition in Dorset

An exhibition about Malagasy Wildlife is taking place at Durlston Country Park, Dorset from 12th – 27th September. There will be displays about wildlife featuring artifacts and photographs from  recent joint expeditions by the Bournemouth Natural Science Society and Bournemouth University.


Money for Madagascar will also be there with an information stand and display plus, on the weekends 16th-17th and 23rd-24th , a stall run by trustees and volunteers. We will have for sale a wide range of Malagasy crafts and photo greetings cards of Madagascar together with this year’s Christmas Cards, with all proceeds going to support the work of MfM. Crafts for sale will include raffia hats, baskets, scarves, jewelry, place mats and gift boxes.

The exhibition will take place from 10.00 to 17.00 every day between 12th - 27th September, at Durlston Castle, Lighthouse Road, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2JL and promises to be a fascinating showcase of the research carried out in Madagascar.

Here is a link to the website for Durlston castle: http://www.durlston.co.uk/

Please note: the sale of crafts will be on the weekends only, except for a small selection which will be held by the Gallery during weekday. 

We hope to see you there. Thank you for supporting Money for Madagascar (www.moneyformadagascar.org)

Monday, 4 September 2017

Madagascar President visits UK


President of the Republic of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, is to making a landmark visit to the United Kingdom today, as part of a wider effort to develop relations between Madagascar and the UK. During his visit, which starts on Monday, September 4th 2017, President Hery and his delegation will attend events including a trade investment forum and an event at Kew Gardens. He is also expected to formally announce the re-opening of a Malagasy embassy in London.

Image result for anglo-malagasy society
Madagascar’s former embassy in London closed in 2005 with diplomatic responsibilities since being managed by the country’s UK consulate and the British High Commission in Mauritius. As part of efforts to develop UK – Malagasy relations reports have been circulating that Madagascar are planning to reopen an embassy in London, with some reports suggesting that a building has been secured. If this is confirmed as expected during President Hery’s visit on Monday this will represent a major step in establishing further diplomatic and trade partnerships between the two countries.

During his visit President Hery is also scheduled to make a keynote address to the Madagascar Trade and investment forum in London which aims to attract international investment into Madagascar and showcase the opportunities the country has to offer. The President is also expected attend a special event at Kew Gardens, which undertakes vital work to conserve Madagascar’s unique flora and recent held the 2017 ‘State of the World’s Plants’ symposium with a special focus on Madagascar. Finally the community of Malagasy residents in Britain as well as the Anglo-Malagasy Society have been invited to meet the presidential delegation at a service of thanksgiving at Lumen United Reformed Church today.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Stories from Madagascar: Nirina's Story


As part of our ‘Stories from Madagascar’ series of articles where we look at examples of work carried out by Malagasy organisations which we work with, we visit the story of Nirina who was helped by Akany Avoko Faravohitra (AAF), a home for destitute girls which provides them with care, education and support.


Nirina was arrested for marijuana possession when she was 17 and placed at AAF. Before that, she had lived her whole life on the streets. Her mother picked through garbage to make a living, and Nirina dropped out of school when she was seven years old to join her. Nirina was only 13 when she had her first child, and now she lives at AAF with her sons, four-year-old Norbert, and nine-month-old Tsiry.



Thanks to AAF, Nirina feels safe for the first time in her life, and she is proud of the difference in how she parents her children now. The social workers at AAF taught her that it is good for her baby’s development if she talks to and plays with him, something she had never heard before. She learned to weave raffia at AAF and has become an accomplished artisan, but is facing a lot of uncertainty since she is now a legal adult. Her dream is to rent a small house near her older child’s school, and support her family with her handicrafts, but she needs financial support to begin living independently.



Centres such as AAF provide a life-changing experience for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet. However, AAF have found themselves in a situation where have been left unable to pay their bills or even buy food for the girls living at the centre until their next instalment of funding arrives in mid-August. Money for Madagascar is currently running an emergency appeal on behalf of the centre: please click here if you wish to donate to help Akany Avoko, Faravohitra stating that it is for the ‘AAF Appeal.’ Any donation, big or small, will be gratefully received.