Friday, 23 February 2018

Water, water everywhere……well, not in Madagascar.

In Europe, it is difficult to imagine much time without rain – it is just part of our lives. Thousands of miles away in Madagascar though, water can be ‘harder to come by’, and can sometimes be a luxury. Parts of Madagascar are currently suffering from severe drought, particularly in the south – at times like this, they really need help.

Families must make long journeys to collect water because of the drought currently affecting the country

It is thought that the El Nino weather system has decreased the rainy season in Madagascar by one or two months. With the drought, basic needs are increasingly difficult to find. Lakes have become puddles, crops have decreased severely and malnutrition, particularly amongst children, is worryingly high. The droughts have changed the very way in which people live. Families must now wake early and make long distance trips to collect water, bathe and wash clothes, as there is no ‘oasis’ near them – but they must find water somehow.

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, yet people are having to use what money they have to buy water cans. In a country where 92% of people live on less than a couple of pounds a day, having to then use this just to get water is shocking. but a price they must pay.

The drought exacerbates other issues which affect Madagascar, such as abject poverty. 

This problem adds to a list of issues which Madagascar must face – such as poor infrastructure, a struggling health system and lack of access to education. It is at times like this that we can really make a difference and improve lives. MFM has a strong track record of responding to natural issues such as droughts, using our partners ‘on the ground’ to get what is needed to those who need it most. Subsequently, MFM has played an influential part, for instance by installing easily accessible wells in some of the more remote areas.

If you would like to make a difference and change the lives of those in need, please consider making a donation at Thank you.

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By Matthew Ward

Friday, 9 February 2018

Conservation in Madagascar – a matter of getting the balance right.

Madagascar is one of the most diverse lands, with 95% of its reptiles, 92 % of mammals, and 89% of plants (1) unique to the country. There is a catch though – around 70% (2) of the population live in or close to poverty, and those who are hungry, needing medical attention or struggling to find their daily needs, cannot wait – so there are two questions – who and how do we help?

In the last 20 years, Madagascar has gained over $700 million to fund over 500 conservation projects, yet in a recent report and series, Rowan Moore Gerety (3) calls into question quite how effective these projects really are.
There are practical difficulties in assessing how effective conservation is – for instance it can take days to reach destinations and obviously – in a land of so much diversity, which parts do you pick?

One highlight from this report is that whatever is done, Madagascar’s population and environment simply cannot be viewed separately. In a country experiencing rapid population growth, the only way to support the natural environment is to ensure that people can access their requirements, without needing to exploit the land.

Even in areas where investment has been made for sustainability, the local people do not always profit and those who cannot access their land are forced to exploit the nearby habitats. The report makes it clear that these people must be helped too, if long term progress is to be made as people in need cannot wait.

The people are keen to help protect their country. A presidential adviser suggested that ‘“There has been a monumental leap in awareness of conservation’s importance in the population: they are against trafficking protected species, they say it’s important to protect natural resources, and they are acutely aware of climate change,” (3) The people know what needs to be done, they just need help, due to the poverty which many experience.

It is to offer this help that organisations such as Money For Madagascar exist. We can help sustain the people, providing funding for education, sanitation and medical needs, and generally funding a better future. The Malagasy can then build stable lives alongside the natural world.
If you feel you could play a part in this process by making a donation, please click on the link below. Your support will act like a stepping stone, enabling them to do the work ‘on the ground’ – building a livelihood alongside protecting the environment.

Thank you.

By Matthew Ward

Friday, 2 February 2018

Stories from Madagascar: Mami's Story

In Madagascar, destitution among children is all too common. This arises from a number of reasons, including death of a parent, abandonment, or simply because the parents themselves are destitute and unable to afford the basic needs of their child. Children may find themselves living rough on the streets of Madagadcar’s cities where they are vulnerable to exploitation and may end up turning to petty crime or prostitution to survive.

Money for Madagascar works with a number of childrens’ centres in Madagascar to help combat this issue. One such centre is Akany Avoko, Ambohidratrimo (AAA) located near the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo. AAA provides a home for destitute children of all ages where they receive care, support and education. For older children they also teach them a skill so that they may sustain themselves independently in adulthood.

Mamy* arrived at AAA aged 15 with a three month old baby. She had been abandoned by her mother when she was small and was brought up by a woman who took her in. When they were unable to provide for her needs, she was sent to work as a live-in maid to survive. Here Mamy was mistreated by her employer and was fired after she became pregnant. This was when Mamy was referred to AAA.

At AAA, Mami received psychological support to help her come to terms with the ordeal she had gone through. They also provided her with education, and support to help her care for her son. Mami is an intelligent person, and wanted to go to university. With AAA’s support she passed her baccalaureate and went on to study at University. Mami hopes to be able to support her son independently and in December 2017, she graduated from University with a degree in Nursing. She now volunteers at AAA, giving something back to the centre which supported her.

Mami’s story is all too common in Madagascar where poverty and destitutution lead to children being exploited or turning to petty crime to survive. Organisations such as AAA play a vital part in securing a future for children like Mami. As an organisation they rely on the generosity of donors to fund costs such as providing meals for the children in their care and to pay their staff. To find out how you can help children like Mamy visit our website,

*Names have been changed to protect her identity.