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.”