Friday, 3 October 2014

Starting to think about gifts for winter and Christmas?


The MfM calendar, Christmas cards and alternative gifts will soon be available from our on-line shop on the MfM website

Advanced orders can be made now by email to or by post to Madagascar Calendars, Llwyncelyn Isaf, Llangadog, Carms. SA19 9BY.

On the Road in Madagascar - 2015 Calendar


Our beautiful calendar evokes a sense of journey for travellers in Madagascar as well as for the Malagasy people themselves. Our guest photographers this year have recently been ‘on the road’ in Madagascar and brought back colourful images of the rich diversity of Malagasy life, both human and natural.

Calendars cost just £8.50 each, inclusive of postage and packing. All proceeds will be used to fund projects and local organisations addressing the serious environmental, social and economic challenges facing       Madagascar. 

Each month of our calendar includes a stunning photograph and a short story of our life changing projects in full A4 size. A perfect way to give something back this Christmas knowing you helped make a difference to some of the poorest people in our world today by purchasing one of our lovely photographic calendars.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Opportunities to Recognise Land Rights for Local and Global Benefits

Planting a hedge helps stake claim to your land.
Since 2002 legislation that recognises Indigenous People and local community land and forest rights has been enacted.  However,  momentum has slowed since 2008 according to a new report issued by the
The reality is that the land which Indigenous People and local communities traditionally claim is much larger than that which is currently legally recognised by governments.

Research has shown how recognition of land rights of Indigenous People and local communities delivers local and global benefits.  For example, support for community forest tenure promotes carbon capture and reduces threats of deforestation by extraction companies and loggers.

More decision-making control for Indigenous People could bring both local and global benefits. The preservation of biodiversity and carbon capture in Madagascar’s unique forests could bring long term benefits for all.

Money for Madagascar has worked with forest communities for over two decades. We are now exploring new ways to gain carbon credits for the work we do with tree-planting and water installations. More information about this will be featured on our blog as plans develop. 

E Grisenthwaite

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Inspiring Malagasy Women

For more than 25 years Money for Madagascar has been dedicated to investing in Malagasy people who can be agents for change in their own communities. Training of leaders of national and regional Malagasy NGOs cascades down to benefit thousands of people at the community level. Investing in the education and training of destitute children and vulnerable teenagers has produced teachers, social workers, doctors and development agents with an exceptional commitment to helping their fellow citizens. MfM is always looking for new opportunities to help Malagasy people to help themselves. Below are the details of a new opportunity:

Malagasy women studying abroad may be eligible for financial support toward doctoral or post-doctoral studies in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The Schlumberger Foundation is accepting new applications for the 2015–2016 Faculty for the Future Fellowships from September 10th to November 14th, 2014.
Candidates should prove their commitment to returning to their home countries to contribute to the economic, social and technological advancement of their regions, pursuing careers in the teaching and research faculties of their home institutions and also taking positions in the public sector.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Amazing Jane completes her challenge

Jane has every reason to be proud of her medal after completing her mile long challenge swim on Sunday 13th July in Ullswater lake.

Jane says, “Thank you for your incredibly generous donations, helping to raise almost £600 for the children of Madagascar.  This is almost double my target and at such short notice! 

The sun shone and Jane swam a mile in 42 minutes which she is pretty ‘chuffed’ with.  She enjoyed every minute surrounded by the beauty of Cumbria thinking about how wonderful it will be for the children who will now have clean water in their own school yard. 

Donate here to show your appreciation for Jane’s brave efforts.

How will your money be used?  It’s going to bring clean water to a whole school and a well water supply to grow healthy vegetables and improve nutrition. 

We’re going to install a sink so the children will have somewhere to wash their hands providing easy access to clean water for the youngest child.

‘Jane’s swim will make a huge difference for children in Madagascar.

Every year children die from highly preventable diarrhoea but we’re putting an end to needless death by providing safe water. 

Thanks a million Jane, for helping us raise the money to protect young lives.’

(Irenee Development Officer for Money for Madagascar)

Monday, 7 July 2014

Wishing Well

It's a heavy job carrying water to school
On Sunday Jane will be swimming a mile across Lake Ullswater for Money for Madagascar because children are in dire need of access to clean water.

This time last year Jane’s QES folk band plucked their strings to raise money for a new classroom for children who risked drowning to get to school. This time Jane is plucking up her courage and donning her wet suit to help children who don’t have enough water. 

Jane says
“I'm wanting to make a 'splash' through my swimming and help fundraise for a well to be installed in a rural primary school in the highlands of Madagascar. This would improve the children's health in two ways. Firstly access to clean water is a vital step to reduce the tragic levels of sickness and diarrhea, which can be fatal. Secondly the water supply will be used to irrigate a small kitchen garden so the students can combat malnutrition by growing and eating fruit and vegetables.

We need to grow food  but our crops need water

To help Jane bring water to a school that desperately needs it please donate via Jane’s JustGiving Page . Or you can donate via the MfM website

Monday, 30 June 2014

Bradt Backing

Intrepid explorer and author of the definitive guide to Madagascar, Hilary Bradt is also a dedicated Patron of the charity Money for Madagascar. Jumping out of a plane and running the London 10K are amongst the bold and fearless ways Hilary has helped us to fund education and training for vulnerable street kids in Antananarivo. 

Now Hilary and her co-author Daniel Austin are showing their solidarity with MfM by offering a special 40% discount to MfM supporters who wish to purchase the brand new Bradt Guide to Madagascar. Simply visit and enter the discount code MFM40. This code will also get you a 40% discount on Madagascar Wildlife and Madagascar Highlights.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Happy Independence Day!

On this special day, the 26th of June, Money for Madagascar would like to take the opportunity to wish every Malagasy citizen hope, health and happiness. We wish you the courage and strength to make your beautiful country prosperous for all.

To all those who share our struggle to reduce poverty and raise dignity in Madagascar, we share our thanks. 

"Tratra ny Fahaleovantena"Madagasikara

Friday, 20 June 2014

Wessex Strings serve up Concerto & Cake

This Sunday residents of Sherborne (and beyond) are in for a treat. The Wessex Strings will be performing a benefit concert in support of Money for Madagascar. The line –up is exciting:
Their conductor is a Venezuelan cellist who has performed in many prestigious venues all over the world, including in the Royal Festival Hall in London. The programme includes a Mozart piano concerto.  The soloist, also originally from Venezuela, was a prize-winner at the Royal College of Music and in a number of international competitions.   She has also performed with the celebrated Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Tea with home-made cake is included in the ticket price and some wonderful crafts from Madagascar will be on sale.  This promises to be a wonderful evening in aid of a good cause. 

Do come if you are anywhere in the area!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Cooking up funds for Akany Avoko

Lancaster supporters of Akany Avoko are raising money by hosting ‘Pampered Chef’ cooking parties.

Earlier this year, Helen Speakman, from Lancaster, hosted a party with Helen Cullen-Williams, an independent consultant for Pampered Chef, and raised £120 for Akany Avoko.

Both Helens are members of Lancaster Millennium Choir, long-time supporters of both Akany Avoko children's home and Money for Madagascar. 

Choir members, together with friends and colleagues of Helen S, attended the live cookery demonstration, which encouraged people to get hands-on and take part in preparing recipes and trying out utensils. They could then buy the items on show, with a percentage of profits going towards Akany Avoko.

Mouth-watering Mediterranean Ring
Helen C-W said, “We are always trying to find different ways to raise a bit extra for Akany Avoko and thought what better way than getting people along to one of my shows. It’s such an easy way to raise money. It’s great fun and everyone gets involved, and of course there’s delicious food to sample at the end!”

Irenee Rajaona-Horne received the proceeds on behalf of Akany Avoko saying
 “This is wonderful. It will pay two teacher's wages for a month!”

Maggie in Madagascar
The next Pampered Chef fundraising night in aid of Akany Avoko is coming up soon at the end of May. It will be hosted in Lancaster by Maggie Bremner who has supported the children's home over many years through singing in the Millennium Choir and even volunteering at Akany Avoko in person. 

Many thanks to both Helens and Maggie for giving their time and homes and donning their hostess hats for us!

If you’d like to hold a Pampered Chef fundraising party, contact Helen Cullen-Williams at or via her Facebook page at

Read more about the choir’s sterling efforts:

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Discover Madagascar and make a difference!

We are happy to offer you a unique opportunity to explore Madagascar and help to combat poverty at the same time.

Kris Pierscieniak, who provided the photos for our 2014 ‘Magnificent Madagascar’ calendar has just released a stunning, new, interactive ibook revealing hidden stories of THe Red Island entitled 

 ‘Madagascar: The Land Amidst Moving Waters’

Photographer & Author Kris Pierscieniak writes:
“I’ve been working on my Madagascar book these last few months. The need there is certainly very great. I’ve seen enough to realize the extent of the challenges the country faces. In all my travels, among all the many projects I’ve observed, all the countless people and organizations I’ve been introduced to, I have never seen more done with less. What Money for Madagascar accomplishes is truly remarkable, so I would like to help.”

So why not treat yourself or a friend to this wonderful experience! If you buy the ibook by the 15th of June 2014 then the entire cover price will be donated to MfM to help provide education, sanitation and hope to forgotten communities across the island.

To view / purchase the ibook ‘Madagascar: The Land Amidst Moving Waters’ please follow the link

Thursday, 13 February 2014

"Vision without action is just a dream; action without vision just passes time; and vision with action can change the world!"   
Nelson Mandela

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Dr Alison Jolly, primatologist, conservationist and friend of Madagascar 1937-2014

It is with sadness that we share with you the death of our dear friend and supporter Dr Alison Jolly. Alison was a renowned world expert on lemurs, who cared passionately about conservation and development in Madagascar. We were honoured to count Alison amongst our dedicated supporters. In recognition of our work she recently said:
 “I applaud Money for Madagascar’s local level, long term, investment and involvement. This is the only real way to help local people conserve their own environment”

We thank Alison for her important contribution to science, for her support to our charity, and for her friendship. By supporting forest communities in Betampona and Melaky MfM helps to protect the forests upon which Madagascar's lemurs depend. Although our friend is now departed, it will be our pleasure to continue this community conservation which Alison valued so highly.

The tribute below will take you on a journey through Alison’s career as an eminent primatologist.

In Memorium Dr Alison Jolly
A chance invitation to babysit laboratory lemurs at Yale University in 1959, where she was a graduate student immersed in the study of sea sponges, triggered a change of direction and a distinguished career as a primatologist for Alison Jolly, who has died at home in Lewes, East Sussex, aged 76.

Driven by a commitment to the wildlife, ecology and development of one of the world’s poorest yet most iconic countries, Madagascar, Jolly became an expert on lemurs. David Attenborough recently wrote: ‘not only they but the people and land of Madagascar captured her heart’.

She made her name as the first scientist to do an in-depth account of the behaviour of the ring-tailed lemur, L. catta, beginning field work in 1962. She discovered that this species ‑ and as it turned out most other lemurs ‑ have female dominance over males, breaking the then orthodoxy that primates were male-dominant. As she later observed, the ‘king’ of the DreamWorks animation Madagascar ought to have been a ‘queen’.

Jolly also pioneered the argument that the evolution of intelligence has more to do with social behaviour than ecological factors. When she published her breakthrough Science paper in 1966, many thought intelligence evolved to master simple tools. Jolly speculated that more likely it evolved through the challenge of maintaining complex social relationships, a position now taken for granted.

Working primarily in the south of Madagascar at Berenty, a private reserve of forest set in a semi-arid desert, her forty-year research of ring-tailed lemurs expressed a love and scientific fascination for another species and its environment. Lords & Lemurs: Mad Scientists, Kings With Spears, and the Survival of Diversity in Madagascar (2004) is a compelling account of her work and connections with the local Tandroy population and the aristocratic semi-feudal French landowners, the De Heaulmes.

Jolly’s perceptions were articulated with precision and clarity, notably in her classic textbook The Evolution of Primate Behavior (1972), and later in a consideration of the evolution of co-operation and inter-dependence, Lucy’s Legacy: Sex and Intelligence in Human Evolution (2001). These and other works reflected her position as a woman challenging the individualist bent of masculinized sociobiology, though her passions were directed towards conservation and ecology rather than feminism. Her achievements were remarkable for a mother of four who never had a full time faculty position.

Her approach to lemur life was holistic, arguing for approaches which worked with local people and government, and in particular nurturing a generation of Malagasy scientists, sometimes at her own expense. In many ways this reflected the influence of her beloved husband of fifty years, Sir Richard Jolly, the development economist.

Her pragmatism together with her concerns about Madagascar’s parlous political and economic state could sometimes sustain uncomfortable involvements, such as with Rio Tinto in the development of the QMM titanium mine on the country’s southern coast. She was an advisor on the independent Biodiversity Committee set up to oversee the company’s commitment to net positive improvement in both environment and society during the life of the mine and its pledge not to cause the extinction of a species. As she said: “If you think that people and forest will somehow muddle through before the hills are scraped as bare as Haiti, then there is no reason to think that money and organization will improve life. If you look at the statistics of forest loss, you opt for the mine.”

Enjoying an idyllic childhood in Ithaca, New York, she was the child of the artist Alison Mason Kingsbury and the humorist and Cornell scholar, Morris Bishop. She quipped that since her mother knew everything about art and her father about literature, her only choice was to become a scientist. However she was herself a marvelous story teller about animal behavior, and vivacity peppers her writing, with sifakas ‘silently soaring against the blue sky in great ballet leaps’, stopping ‘to feed with no fuss or bickering’. This approach drove The Ako Series (2005/12), a ground-breaking project to protect Madagascar’s biodiversity jewels through books aimed at the country’s children, which she wrote with her Malagasy colleague, Hanta Rasaminanana.

She stood out as a tall American-in-England in her trademark Tilly bush hat, colourful necklaces and man-sized sneakers. Her gentle professional style and dislike of competition could veil her impressive achievements. She held a BA from Cornell, and a PhD from Yale. She had been a researcher at the New York Zoological Society, and the universities of Cambridge, Sussex, Rockefeller and Princeton. At the time of her death she was a Visiting Scientist at the University of Sussex. She was President of the International Primatological Society 1992/96 and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. She was awarded a Knighthood by the National Order of Madagascar in 1998 and the Osman Hill Medal by the Primate Society of Great Britain in 2008.  She received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Antananarivo and the Università degli Studi di Torino both in 2012. In June 2006, a new species of mouse lemur, Microcebus jollyae, was named in her honour, while a parcel of recently restored mining forest in Madagascar was named for her in January 2014, reflecting the hope that in so doing the people involved will be more likely to sustain it.

Her books include Lemur Behavior: A Madagascar Field Study (1966); Lucy’s Legacy: Sex and Intelligence in Human Evolution; and A World Like Our Own: Man and Nature in Madagascar (1980). Her final book, Saving Madagascar: Conservation Diaries of Alison Jolly will be published posthumously. Jolly wrote over 100 scientific and popular articles and was featured in 20 television programmes. Her writing for children included the Fiddle stories, featuring the time-travelling adventures of a young girl, modelled on a beloved granddaughter.

Alison Jolly is survived by her spouse, Sir Richard Jolly, four children, Margaretta, Susan, Arthur and Richard, and four grandchildren.

Nick Fairclough, Margaretta Jolly and Arthur Jolly.

Friday, 7 February 2014

In Memory of Stuart Paterson Cassie 1941-2013

Treasurer of MfM 2002-2013

Stuart, on a recent visit to Madagascar
 with two of his ex-pupils, now both teachers.
A wonderful, funny, enthusiastic, highly intelligent and hard-working man – Stuart was one of the miracles that have helped to keep Money for Madagascar running over the past 27 years.

Our previous treasurer had given us plenty of warning of his retirement but the date was fast approaching and no replacement had been found.  Out of the blue I got a phone call from Stuart who had spent a year as a Quaker volunteer in Madagascar in 1966.  We chatted for some time and he told me of his career as a Principal Education Officer on the Wirral, particularly concerned with the building of new schools, and said that since his retirement he had been thinking of doing some voluntary work and wanted to support our efforts in Madagascar – had I any suggestions?  Of course I had, and that was the start of eleven years of fruitful collaboration which saw the charity grow from a small organisation with just three trustees and an annual income of £67,000 to the present with eleven trustees, one paid employee and an annual income of approximately a quarter of a million pounds a year.

Stuart was full of ideas and was always keen to involve schools, from a village primary school in France to “Sewell Park College” near his home in Norfolk. MfM was already supporting “Lycee Sewell” in Tsiroanomandidy, a secondary school named after the 19th Century Quaker missionary Joseph Stickney Sewell. Upon investigation it transpired that common ancestry linked the 2 schools across 10,000km, as the Sewell Park College in Norwich, was named after none other than the cousin of Joseph Sewell, a certain Philip Sewell - engineer, banker and philanthropist, who bequeathed the grounds upon which the Sewell Park College was built.

All we needed now was a descendant of the Sewells to bring this link to life. With great enthusiasm our Trustee Chris Sewell was happy to oblige! Letters were exchanged across thousands of miles, and in 2013 the deputy head of Sewell Park Academy was able to visit Lycée Sewell to meet the teachers and students face to face. 

Stuart was a creative catalyst. He was also very good at building friendships. We trust that his love and enthusiasm will live on in the many projects he initiated, such as this one.

Stuart had a highly developed sense of humour and lightened many fraught situations with a well-chosen joke.  There can’t be many people whose memorial service included a recitation of “The Lion and Albert” which produced gales of laughter from the mourners. 
The last two years of his life were very difficult and he spent many weeks in hospital but he showed incredible courage and was doing his best to help MfM right up to the last week of his life when he attended a meeting of the Trustees and, though physically very frail, was able to make insightful contributions to the discussions.  We miss him greatly and are deeply grateful for all that he did for MfM and for his beloved Madagascar.

Theresa Haine

February 2014

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Music for Madagascar

Passionate MfM supporters are hosting a recital in Dublin this month to raise funds to help impoverished children in Madagascar. Concert takings could combat sickness by paying to install a safe water supply to a school.  Donations could also combat malnutrition by equipping children with the training and tools to set up their own school kitchen garden. 

If you live anywhere near Dublin please come along!

If you can't come but want to show your solidarity for this project you can donate on the MfM 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Rain in Rice

In Madagascar people eat a lot of rice. Given the chance most Malagasy people would eat rice 3 times a day, but in reality many people struggle to afford a single bowl. How heavenly it would be then if in Madagascar it was raining rice! However this story is about rain in rice!

In a country where rice is so important, its not surprising that there is a hierarchy of rice dishes with ‘vary soa’ or wet rice ranking near the bottom. Like runny porridge it is appreciated by early risers and those with few teeth, but is not fuel enough for your average Malagasy labourer.

When Bernard & Marie from Dublin were volunteering at one of our projects in the village of Ambohidratrimo they stumbled across a new sort of wet rice. Sitting outside on the bare earth were malnourished children eating rice in the rain. This was the improvised feeding centre at Convent Hasina where, with next to no facilities, a small group of nuns were trying to provide some basic nutrition to the poorest children of the village. The nuns shared with the Irish couple their vision to build a small facility where they could serve meals to the poor in a dry and dignified way.

On return to Dublin, Bernard and Marie launched into fundraising immediately. With help from their Anglican community at Castleknock and Clonsilla with Mulhuddart they soon raised the €2000 needed for the building. MfM agreed to adopt the project and supervise the construction of the building, which was completed before the next rainy season set in. 

Bernard and the nuns dig foundations of the feeding centre.

The feeding centre is complete

Preparing food in the new kitchen

Enjoying 'dry' rice and vegetables

The Convent Hasina feeding centre is now up and running, providing a clean and welcoming refuge where children enjoy warm, nutritious meals. 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Last chance to see Madagascar's unique....

...2014 Calendars! 
The last few 'Magnificent Madagascar' calendars are

poised to bring a splash of colour and joy into your home.

Now reduced to just £6 each including UK postage.

All sales support our vital development work with some of the poorest people on the planet.

To place an order please visit our online shop 
or you email