Friday, 22 April 2011

Celebration in Swansea

On Saturday 16th April about sixty MfM friends and supporters sat down for a meal in celebration of 25 years of work in Madagascar. 

The Malagasy first course (a choice of coconut chicken with green peppercorns, pork meatballs with ginger and garlic and a tasty bean casserole) was very popular, and the wonderful Welsh desserts brought oohs and aahs from everyone.  

The Mayor and Mayoress of Swansea came and we discovered that the mayor’s father had spent some time in Madagascar after the second world war working as a doctor !   

This picture shows the Mayor with Hilary Bradt, a very generous and supportive patron, and Barbara Prys-Williams who dreamed up MfM in Swansea 25 years ago.

With crafts to buy and exhibitions to look at, there were no dull moments and a thoroughly good time was had by all.  Very many thanks to all who gave so unstintingly of their help.

Further 25th birthday celebrations are planned throughout 2011 to which you are cordially invited- please visit our Events page to learn more.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Hand-washing Malagasy style

A few years ago MfM gave some money for cyclone relief in an area of the central highlands where a particularly bad cyclone had flooded all the ricefields and ruined the rice crop.  There was great concern that the children were in danger of becoming seriously malnourished so part of the money was spent on a feeding programme at three remote primary schools.  The rest went on seed potatoes which their parents could grow on the hillsides out of danger of the floods. 

Children use an improvised handwashing contraption
We arrived at the first school just as the children were getting ready for their lunch.  There is no water supply to the school so the older children fetched some in buckets from the well which was some distance away.  They then filled half a dozen empty plastic bottles. These had holes drilled in the lids and were attached to a plank. One child squeezed gently while another washed their hands in the fine spray of water that came out.  Some 300 children washed their hands by this method in a very short time.  I fear that British children would be more likely to use the bottles as water pistols, unlike the Malagasy children who were impeccably well behaved! The ingenuity shown by this school in creating an innovative solution using receycled materials is typical of what we see in communities across Madagascar in the course of our work.

Pupils at Akany Avoko primary school.
In a country where diarrhoeal diseases are responsible for almost 10% of all deaths providing access to clean water is a vital part of our work. In addition to building or improving wells Money for Madagascar has also sent funds to enable Akany Avoko Children's Home to construct a rainwater capture and storage system to enable students at its primary school to wash their hands in clean, fresh water. 
All of the projects that Money for Madagascar funds depend on local resourcefulness and ingenuity for their success. Your support enables us to back the Malagasy people in finding small-scale solutions to the big problems facing the country, its wildlife and people.

Happy birthday to us!!

This year Money for Madagascar celebrates its 25th birthday. That's 25 years of funding ingenious, driven, Malagasy people to solve the problems that their communities face.
Our 25th birthday seems like a great excuse for a party (or three!!)
 We have a number of events planned to celebrate our 25th anniversary year, please visit our Events page for the latest details.

Please join us at one or more of them to learn more about our work and of course to enjoy a great party!