Friday, 11 May 2012

Cutting Edge News..

Sorry the Blog has been so quiet! If you’ve been wondering where we’ve been, the short answer in  - Madagascar!

I have just finished a fascinating month of visiting MfM projects across the Red Island . With the excited chatter of successes , frustrations and future plans still buzzing in my ears, I’m delighted to take time to pause and share the latest news with you. First up this week, the Tana street girls who will  blow you away.

Madagascar is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for child poverty. For hundreds of children sleeping in the streets and slums of the capital, daily life is a harsh struggle for survival. For over a decade MfM has funded community centres like Centre Fihavanana, which offer food, safety and an education to hundreds of Tana’s destitute children.

Sister Annamma brings new hope to street kids

When I visited Sister Annamma in April I was touched to hear her describe her recent efforts to save one homeless family…
 “Homeless people are surprised that I come to the rubbish dump to talk with them. Life is so hard for people here now.” Sister Annamma recounted.
Striving to protect vulnerable girls
 “For months I have been talking to an alcoholic couple who sleep under a bridge. I have been very afraid for their young daughters who are so vulnerable, especially at night. I couldn't sleep at night thinking about what might happen to them. At last I have found an orphanage that will look after the girls until the parents can offer them a safe home. I am so relieved. Perhaps these girls will be saved. Already the parents are making an effort to sober up. Of course it is not easy. But we must not despair. Even if we can lift a few people out of misery it is worth it!” Concluded Sister Annamma.
 Not every child can be rescued and this can weigh heavily on your heart. But after sharing some of her sadness and frustrations the radiant smile returned to Sister Annamma’s face as she lead me enthusiastically to meet her students.

Destitute girls delight in the chance to study

 In October MfM was happy to sponsor the launch of a new training programme for vulnerable teenaged girls. So it was a delight for me to meet them and witness their enthusiasm. In addition to academic studies, catering and Information Technology, the girls have just begun a new course in hairdressing.

From the fringes of society

These girls will blow you away!

 Before coming to Centre Fihavanana these girls wandered the streets in search of food or money. Now they are delighted to have the chance to study and learn vocational skills like hairdressing. Each year at least 20 students should be ready for employment. With at least 80% of the population unemployed, the best option for most girls is to set up their own small enterprise.

Our next dream is to be able to provide each graduate with a small business start-up kit, so she can take her first vital step from destitution towards safety, dignity and independence.

Please get in touch if you want to help the Tana street girls.