|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.”
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.”
|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.”