Wednesday, 20 November 2013


The Money for Madagascar 2014 Calendar is now on sale! This is a perfect present to delight you and your friends throughout the new year. 

As Autumn blusters into Winter and you are down to the last pages of your 2013 calendar fear not! Money for Madagascar has a vivid new calendar lined up to brighten your wall with sunshine and smiles through the new year ahead.

Thank you to everyone who bought the Malagasy birdlife calendar last year which raised £1000 for our much needed work with the most vulnerable people of Madagascar.

The 2014  calendar features stunning photos of Malagasy people and places donated by the photographer and author Kris Pierscieniak. We met him this year at the Andasibe National Park, in the eastern rainforests, our necks stretching skywards to catch glimpses and photos of elusive lemurs. He was interested in MfM’s work and offered to share his photos with our supporters. Kris has included a very personal commentary on his photos. In his preface he writes:

‘The real story of Madagascar is the story of her people. It’s the story of their zest for life, their sense of humour, their hand-to-mouth survival in spite of all the odds. It’s exactly they, the people, who make the spirit and soul of Madagascar real.  Through my photography, I invite you to look into their world. The Big Red island of Madagascar is a place like no other...’

We hope the beautiful photos, coupled with the vignettes of MfM's work will give you a taste of the magic of Madagascar. 

All calendar sales will help MfM to fund low-cost, low-technology and community-led projects which can make a real difference to improving people’s lives and protecting Madagascar’s unique bio-diversity. 

To order your calendar please follow the link to the shop on the MfM website  or post your order to the address on the flier above. Beautiful Christmas cards and alternative gifts are also available in the MfM on-line shop. Thank you for your support this Christmas.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Ex-Street Kids Embark on Teaching Career

These two young men were abandoned on the street at the ages of three and five and were brought by the police to Money for Madagascar’s partner, Pasteure Helivao.  Helivao is a remarkable woman with a heart so big that she will always find a way to overcome even the most challenging of situations that she comes across.  She took them in to her street kids' project in Isotry and supported them through primary and secondary education. Both boys passed their Baccalaureate in 2009 and then MfM funded them to do teacher training in Antananarivo.  After successfully graduating from university in 2012 they are just about to start their second year of teaching experience.  If all goes well, in 2014 they are hoping to go on to do Masters’ degrees in education. This will equip them to fulfill their dreams of teaching in secondary schools.

In Madagascar about 40% of the population is illiterate. Put another way an average adult has only completed 4.4 years of school education. These young men know what it is like to have a tough start in life. But they have proven that with a little timely care ones fortunes can be totally transformed. Having narrowly escaped a life condemned to ignorance and desperate struggle these young men are resolved to share the wonders of education through a vocation in teaching. We wish them every success.

MfM educates hundreds of street kids every year

Friday, 13 September 2013

Knight from Llangadog

Theresa is made a Knight of the National Order of Madagascar
During her recent trip to Madagascar Theresa Haine was 'flabbergasted' to be made a Chevalier de l’Ordre National Malagasy in recognition of  her work as Coordinator of the charity Money for Madagascar.  

Theresa’s passion and compassion for the Malagasy poor dates back to 1967 when she taught at a rural secondary school with no electricity and no running water.  (Fifty years on most schools in Madagascar are still without power, water or indeed books!)

Theresa recalls “On completing my teaching assignment in 1971 I knew I couldn’t just walk away.  Having seen the poverty, but also the ingenuity and hard work of the Malagasy people I was determined to find a way to help. So in 1986, when Barbara Prys-Williams called on Friends to start the first British charity dedicated to helping Madagascar I jumped at the chance to get involved. Before long I was a Trustee of Money for Madagascar.”

On hearing the news of Theresa’s Knighthood Barbara (now a Patron of MfM) expressed her delight in this “richly deserved award.” Adding “Many have worked hard for Money for Madagascar but no-one has approached Theresa in her long-term devotion to and belief in the cause. Money for Madagascar has been in existence for twenty-seven years. For twenty-four of those, Theresa has been centrally involved, first as a trustee and then in the demanding role of coordinator. Her compassion for those suffering and determination to do something to help has been awe-inspiring.”

Not wishing to dwell on the personal achievement of her knighthood Theresa is quick to point to the achievements of MfM such as building over 100 classrooms, planting forests the size of 60 football pitches, feeding and educating thousands of destitute children, training hundreds of impoverished and vulnerable women and girls, and helping forest communities to prosper whilst caring for their unique environment. None of this would have been possible without the hard work of MfM's Malagasy partners and the kind support of MfM's donors.
Guard of Honour

The public ceremony to make Theresa a Knight of the National Order of Madagascar was conducted hundreds of kilometres from the Madagascar’s capital in the small village of Ambohipo. Theresa was both delighted and moved by the ceremony reflecting..
The Malagasy have taught me so many things about good human relationships that we are in danger of losing in the west and this occasion was a perfect example.  It was held with all possible ceremony (A uniformed officer presented the award with a guard of honour complete with gleaming white gloves!) but it was not held in an anonymous public building but rather in a village in an area where MfM has done a lot of work. So the crowds were made up of friends and supporters most of whom would not have been able to attend a ceremony held in some distant city.”

Celebration Dance
UK, Malagasy and Welsh flags salute decades of collaboration and friendship 

“As the sun shone on the green, white and red of the Welsh and Malagasy flags we gave thanks for the friendship between our people… for those who have gone before us, and those whose lives still depend on us.” 

Monday, 19 August 2013

Turning the Tide on Poverty

It’s time to turn your donations into action!

We are delighted to announce that the Money for Madagascar Concert, Ceilidh and Cross-Bay Walk raised over £13,000 and donations are still coming in. Thanks to the strong legs and deep pockets of MfM supporters from across Britain, the MfM knees up will benefit four needy projects, bringing new hope to hundreds of people across Madagascar.
Parents and teachers at Ambohidava are already using £6000 raised by our wild waders to build 2 new classrooms. They hope to have these ready in time for the students to use in October.

The ‘rentrée scolaire’ is an expensive time for any parent. But for community projects providing education to destitute and disadvantaged children the worry of how to provide pens, paper and books to hundreds of children at the start of the new term can be the cause of many a sleepless night. So we are happy to be able to send grants to Akany Avoko children’s home and La Source special needs school to help them fund educational supplies for the new school year.
With donations surpassing our wildest hopes we are delighted to have raised enough to launch a new project to help women and their children in Toamasina prison. This programme will provide food, education, counselling and hope to the bleak lives of these incarcerated women and children. MfM is very concerned that prisoners should be treated with humanity and given the opportunity for rehabilitation. We feel the need to help these vulnerable women and children is even more compelling since the legal system in Madagascar presumes people to be ‘guilty until proven innocent’. This will be the fourth prison project that MfM has delivered in partnership with SAF- FJKM Toamasina.

Well done to all the musicians, dancers, waders, swimmers, bakers, crafts-women, lemur carriers and sponsors who came together to make the MfM knees up such a great success. Thank you all for playing a part in turning the tide on poverty in Madagascar! We look forward to reporting on the progress of these projects.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

See the MfM knees up for yourself!

On 13th and 14th of July Money for Madagascar's charity ceilidh, concert and Cross Bay Walk in aid of destitute and impoverished children in Madagascar was keenly supported by local Lancastrians as well as Trustees and supporters from across the UK. Special guests included Dom one of our beneficiaries from Madagascar, who held the MfM banner high for the  86 MfM supporters weaving through 9 miles of quick sands on Morecambe Bay.
 (Never try this walk without an official guide!)

To enjoy a fun selection of photos of the weekend knees up please follow this link

Thursday, 18 July 2013

MfM makes a big splash!

Guided by a Malagasy lemur

On Sunday the 14th of July 70 adults, 16 children and 4 dogs gathered from across Britain to take wild wade in aid of destitute and vulnerable children in Madagascar. 

MfM's Development Office and Trustees wade into the waves.

Thanks to the 'Queen's Guide' 100 MfM supporters safely negotiated 9 miles of Morecambe Bay's infamous sinking sands. 

Thanks to your support our wade looks set to raise enough funds to build 2 new classrooms in Ambohidava. Last year over 100 children from 5 villages were risking their lives to wade to school across a flood plain. In 2012 MfM supported villagers to build the first 3 classrooms of a new secondary school within safe walking distance for their children. With funds raised from the MfM wild wade we should be able to complete the school building so that when school starts back in October no children will need to risk their lives wading across a flood plain to try to get to school. 

wading to school

Instead they will have a secondary school within safe reach of their homes. 

Happy students at the new Ambohidava CEG school

You can still donate at 

Watch this for more news of the grand total raised and who else will benefit..

Monday, 1 July 2013

Striding out with hope..

A boy tests the depth of the water as he wades across a flooded valley to get to school in Ambohimandry.

MfM Trustees have just returned from visiting many of our projects across the Red Island. It is always moving and inspiring to witness first hand what can be achieved in the face of such desperate poverty. Over the coming weeks we look forward to sharing with you some news and success stories witnessed on our visits.

As Trustees roll up their trousers ready for our grand ‘Stride into the Tide’ on the 14th of July, we are filled with great hope of raising enough donations to make a very real impact on the lives of some of the world’s poorest children.

Children set to benefit from our wild wade include students such as Tojo, a child who took his first stride at the age of eleven. Tojo has severe learning disabilities and poor motor skills. La Source, the special school that he attends, has a programme of therapy and independent living skills which is showing wonderful results. When Tojo arrived at the age of eleven he could only crawl and had very little language or self-expression. Thanks to intensive physiotherapy and hydro-therapy Tojo can now stand up on his own and walk a few steps unaided.

Tojo (right) has learned to walk!

There is no state funding for special schools like La Source. The school is run by a dedicated team of staff and is totally dependent on student fees and grants. Money for Madagascar makes an annual grant to the school but there is so much more that we would like to provide. MfM runs a sponsorship scheme for young people like Tojo whose parents can’t afford the modest fees at La Source. Any regular contribution, from as little as £5 to £35 a month can help a child to receive the education they desperately need and deserve.
For information about the sponsorship scheme please contact the MfM Coordinator on
To sponsor Trustees and MfM supporters on our epic Stride across Morecambe Bay please go to our online donation page

For more information about the MfM Stride into the Tide please see our events page .

Thank you!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The cost of the Political Crisis in Madagascar

The plight of ordinary Malagasy people looks increasingly bleak as the much needed presidential elections are postponed again in Madagascar. 

The political crisis choking Madagascar since 2009 has taken a heavy toll on the vulnerable population, with 92% of the population now living on less than $2 a day.

Last week the World Bank gave the following assessment of the impact of the political crisis on the economy and the people of Madagascar.

Antananarivo, June 5, 2013
Madagascar is a country with enormous potential. When it was not in crisis, Madagascar grew at an average 5 percent a year. But overall economic growth has been flat over the period 2009-13. Against a benchmark of 5 percent annual growth, GDP in 2013 would have been 20 percent above its current level. The gap between where the economy could have been and where it is suggests that the cumulative costs of the crisis now exceed US$8 billion.
Since January 2009, Madagascar has been in the throes of a political crisis, generated by an unconstitutional change of government, following the nomination of Andry Rajoelina who was, at that time, the mayor of Antananarivo, the capital city, as head of state. This was rejected by the international community. The political crisis and the enormous uncertainty it created for private investment acted as a brake on economic growth. Four and half years into the political crisis, the effects on Madagascar’s economic and social outcomes have been very severe.  
The lost years of socio-economic development
The economy has stalled, income per capita has fallen: With high population growth (2.9 percent), the population of Madagascar has increased by over 3 million people from 2008 to 2013. As a result of economic stagnation, income per capita in 2013 has fallen back to its 2001 level.

Poverty has sharply increased: Preliminary estimates suggest that, from 2008 to 2013, the proportion of the population living under the poverty line (which was already high before the crisis), may have increased by more than 10 percentage points. With more than 92 percent of the population living under $2 a day, Madagascar is now one of the poorest countries in the world.

Social outcomes have worsened: despite crisis-related aid, the number of out-of-school children has increased, possibly by more than 600,000. Acute child malnutrition remains critical, having increased in some areas by more than 50 percent. Numerous health care centers have closed, and poor parents have had to shoulder a heavy proportion of the cost of putting their children to school, due to a lack of government funding. These developments put the welfare of future generations at risk. At this point, Madagascar will not reach most of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015, even the ones which in 2007 were deemed potentially achievable (e.g., reducing child mortality, increasing enrollment in primary education, and eradicating extreme poverty).

Public finances are increasingly under stress: Sustaining macroeconomic stability has come under increasing pressure. Tax revenues are falling, tax evasion has increased, and the capacity to hold the line on overall spending is strained in the face of political pressures, strikes, and shocks .While macroeconomic policy remains prudent, the risk of transferring the mounting costs of cleaning up a weakened fiscal position to the next government is real.

Foreign aid remains muted: Aid dropped sharply in 2009, and has remained subdued. Official aid over 2009-13 dropped by about 30 percent, with a larger share shifted to humanitarian programs, raising issues of sustainability.

Infrastructure has deteriorated:  In addition to damages from cyclones, severe budget cuts in investment and maintenance have resulted in increasingly deteriorated roads, power and water infrastructure, impairing the medium- and long-term development of the Malagasy economy.

The ability to deal with exogenous shocks is severely curtailed:  Current risks to the global economy, especially in Europe, make Madagascar’s economy even more vulnerable, given its dependency on exports and tourism. The country is also highly vulnerable to natural disasters (cyclones of 2008 and 2012).The political crisis is a major impediment to confronting and mitigating these shocks.

The resilience of agriculture had helped avoid a food crisis so far, but new risks have emerged: The ongoing locust infestation threatens agricultural production and food security. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that up to 60 percent of the rice crop is endangered. Here too, the political crisis acts as an impediment to mounting an appropriate response.

Madagascar’s longstanding governance problems have only been exacerbated: the weakening rule of law, increasing insecurity, poor governance in natural resource exploitation (rosewood, gold, precious stones), limited progress on the anti-corruption front, and the lack of transparency in the management of public resources have only become more pressing.

The resilience of the private sector is increasingly being tested: There has been little new investment, domestic or foreign, in the highly uncertain environment of the past few years. The lack of overall economic momentum, the mounting infrastructure problems, especially in roads and electricity, and the deteriorating governance environment are hurting the short-term prospects of the private sector and its long-term plans. No significant number of jobs has been created, or can be created, in this environment.

Madagascar was already among the poorest countries in the world and the crisis has only made matters worse. The crisis is diverting attention from the crucial challenges the country needs to face and mortgaging the future of Malagasy citizens. From a strictly developmental point of view, a political resolution of the crisis is urgently needed.  While the first round of presidential elections was scheduled for July 24, 2013, the elections have been postponed to August 24.
In response to this sharp increase in need coupled with a reduction in international aid, Money for Madagascar has remained steadfast in our commitment to helping Madagascar’s most needy people. Our charity is a-political. Thanks to our partnerships with trusted Malagasy NGOs our work has been unshaken by the political turmoil. In the face of worsening poverty MfM has strengthened our core activities with the urban and rural poor as well as extending our work to provide durable benefits. We remain profoundly grateful to our kind donors for sticking with the Malagasy people in their hour of deepest need. 

Friday, 3 May 2013

I didn’t wet my pants for nothing

As the 2013 MfM Stride into the Tide approaches, let me bring you up to speed on the wild wade of 2011 and what it achieved.

The last Bay Walk raised over a thousand pounds which was sent to Madagascar in October 2011 to help children in prison. The children in Toamasina prison had no education and very poor food. The money raised was used to fund a programme to teach the children to read, write, grow food in raised beds, and also to provide some toys and balls so they can play. 
First attempts at breeding worms for fertiliser were a failure as the prison rats ate the worms! Lessons were learned and new rat-proof worm farms started. For the boys’ sake we’d dearly like to get rid of the rats but that’s another story!
 The pilot programme funded by our epic wade proved very popular with the boys and prison staff alike, but also raised awareness and hope of how much more could still be done to make a lasting impact on the lives of the boys in Toamasina prison. Thanks to this proof of concept MfM was able to use the success of the first year to secure a grant from Avonbrook to fund a second year of this programme. In the second year of the programme the boys have received individual counselling to help them prepare for life beyond prison. They have continued to develop their vocational skills in horticulture skills and worm farming, and they have started to generate a small income through the propagation of Comfrey for medicinal use.
If 6 waders could raise enough to transform the lives of 60 desperate boys in 2011 then just think what 100 waders could achieve on July the 14th 2013 as they stride with the Queen’s Guide across 8 miles of quick sands on Morecambe Bay! This year we'd like to raise funds to provide education and hope to mothers and infants in prison, and schooling to children with special needs. For those who find it hard to cross their legs as they cross the 8 mile expanse with no amenities, you might like to spend a penny or two to help us build toilet facilities for Malagasy school children who are currently 'dying for toilet'. 

Whether you want to roll up your trousers or sponsor from afar we would love you to get involved. To join the walk contact 
To sponsor us online go to  or contact MfM direct.

For more details about what to wear and how to get there etc see our events page 

Friday, 22 March 2013

Crossing The Sands

If you are thinking about joining us on our Stride into the Tide why not take a listen to this BBC feature on  Crossing The Sands of Morecambe Bay

There are still a few places left if you want to join us. Advanced booking is essential. Contact

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Stride into the Tide

Join us for a knees-up in Morecambe Bay! 
 Back by popular demand…. MfM supporters will once again stride into the tide of Morecambe Bay on the 14th of July 2013. Our last stride across Morecambe’s alluring quick sands raised over £3000 to fund education for boys locked up in Toamasina prison.

This year we have booked the ‘Queen’s Guide to the Sands’ to accompany an exclusive party of Akany Avoko and MfM supporters on this iconic adventure.This is a rare opportunity to step out onto the shimmering sands of Morecambe Bay, admire the backdrop of majestic mountains and maybe find some Ambergris (Whale sick!). This beachcomber’s jackpot is highly valued by the perfume industry. Last week a beachcomber found a piece of Ambergris worth £100,000 in Morecambe Bay! So keep your eyes peeled.

As well as being a fun day for a good cause this is a golden opportunity not to be missed. This year our guide, Cedric Robinson, is celebrating 50 years of guiding people across Morecambe's infamous sinking sands. Although the sea air has clearly defied Cedric from aging, one day, sooner or later, Cedric will retire, taking with him the secret of the sands and the art of how to cross them. 

Places on the walk are in high demand with supporters from Cambridge, Oxford, London,  The Wirral, Llangadog and Madagascar already signed up. Local Lancastrians aged 8 to 80 are also limbering up - including parties from Lancaster Girls Grammar School, Quernmore Primary School, University of Cumbria Pre-school, Lancaster Millenium Choir and Lancaster Quakers.
Please do support the big MfM Stride into the Tide on the 14th of July either by joining us for the knees-up or sponsoring someone else to get their pants wet!  Advanced booking is essential by contacting More details will soon be featured on the Events page of this blog. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Happy New Year 2013! Tratra ny Taona 2013!

In Madagascar it is never too late to say ‘tratra ny taona’ or 
‘happy new year’. 

Street children see in the new year with a party.
What are their hopes for 2013?

Since the arrival of the New Year it has been heartening to share greetings of support and hope with our tireless and determined partners who are steeling themselves for the year ahead. Working with the destitute and downtrodden is no picnic. But the Malagasy have great resilience and a wonderful capacity for finding joy in adversity. 

With your support our partners can offer people a new start this new year. Whether you help us to plant a tree, get a child into school, train a teacher, or perform life-saving surgery, your kindness in 2013 will produce benefits that will last decades. Thank you for joining us to make 2013 a happy new year.