Friday, 23 March 2018

Marking success by making a real difference

Money for Madagascar is very grateful to Sara Mros (from Sweden) and her colleagues for raising funds for Akany Avoko Faravohitra (AAF) as a way of celebrating the completion of her PhD! Together they raised an amazing £758 to support the work of the centre. Sara and her colleagues hope that this will be an opportunity to build on the existing work that the centre does with girl children.

The centre provides food, clean water and a place to stay for the children. It also helps these children get a good education – boosting their prospects. Donations from people like Sara and her colleagues also help fund the staff in the centre – meaning that there is always someone there for the children.

Any money which goes to centres like AAF is guaranteed to change the lives of the children who live there, giving them the chances which we often take for granted.

Thank you Sara and friends for making the dreams of these children a reality.

If you would like to make this difference too, please consider making a donation at

Thank you.

Matthew Ward

Friday, 16 March 2018

Oliver’s Give Jar

Money For Madagscar (MfM) which is a UK-based charity has a latest donor from quite some distance away – America!  Oliver, aged 5, keeps a ‘give jar’ – putting aside part of his weekly allowance, and then each year deciding on a project to which he could donate the money. MfM are delighted that this year Oliver chose to donate £10 to our partner in Madagascar - the Akany Avoko Childrens centre, just outside the capital.

You may be surprised at quite how much £10 can do in Madagascar. It can provide nutritious lunches for one child for a whole month, fund clean drinking water and also provide water for cleaning. Oliver’s money can also be used for education which will form a good basis for the lives and future prospects of the children. MfM helps to finance education from pre – school age all the way to high school – Oliver’s money could support education for some people in his own age group. This money can also go towards funding the staff, meaning that there is always someone there for the children, whatever they may need. Alternatively, it could be used to replant around 10 trees – helping the lemurs which Oliver likes, to survive.

Ultimately, it is stories like that of Oliver’s give jar, which show how the world may be united if there is the wish to make real change, also that even sums like £10 can make a huge difference.

Once again, MFM are truly thankful to Oliver for his generosity and desire to make a difference in the world. Thank you also to his wonderful parents and family that encourage him to think of the world beyond their own home. His parents, Paul and Alison were former Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar and they try to keep close ties with all things associated with Madagascar.

If you wish to change the world too, please consider making a donation at

Thank You.
Matthew Ward

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.

Main source -

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.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Cyclone Ava Update

The storm has hit, people are suffering – Madagascar seriously needs our help.

Madagascar is an amazing land – the home to a variety of unique animals and plants. There is a catch though – it often experiences severe storms and also excessive droughts – these sadly leave Madagascar’s people struggling to survive, so one thing is clear - they need a helping hand.

Madagascar is now trying to recover from Cyclone Ava which hit on the 5th and 6th of January. This cyclone affected mainly the eastern coast, killing over 50, leaving some missing and around 54,000 (1) were displaced. With wind speeds of 87 - 119 mph (2), Madagascar has been left in shock and the worst is unfortunately not over yet – many schools have been closed due to the risk of flooding and landslides. Madagascar’s infrastructure is the main priority at the moment – with many roads and bridges having been damaged, potentially leaving some remote communities isolated.

Now that Madagascar has got through the worst days of the cyclone itself, the recovery process is everyone’s priority. Cyclones are far from new -often hitting Madagascar between November to April. (1) Whilst flash floods are still a dangerous possibility, the priority is to help those affected try to regain at least some normality. In Madagascar though, where some people struggle to find food, shelter and safe drinking water even away from ‘the cyclone season’ – the people need all the help they can get.

MFM has a strong history of acting in times of emergency. We always provide support based on the needs identified by our partners on the ground. Although the work we support emphasises long-term goals, such as disaster resilience, in a crisis, immediate needs must be met.

If you would like to make a real difference in Madagascar’s time of need – please consider making a donation - - Whatever you are able to give will make a difference to people's lives. Thank You.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Hoping for a smoother year for Madagascar’s Vanilla

When you start a refreshing ice–cream or one of the many other desserts that contain vanilla, the ‘politics’ of - where it comes from, who makes it and under what conditions they produce it – is probably not something you consider. You are certainly unlikely to link your dessert to Madagascar – the home of Lemurs but sadly also one of the poorest countries in the world. Vanilla sales play a large part in Madagascar’s ‘wellbeing’, as one of its main exports. The farmers ultimately are often pressured with targets and often not given a decent or reliable wage.

The process of production is complex - separating the flowers, extracting the right pods, being picked and cured at the right time -this can all take around 6 months (2) and during this time, the weather, (Madagascar experiences devastating cyclones and extreme droughts) can change everything. Working against the odds, these small-scale famers need our help. It is not all bad news though, Madagascar has managed to do better than its target last year (1) but the price of vanilla remains unusually high due to the adverse weather.

Hopefully, the weather in 2018 will be less unpredictable, the markets will stabilise and there will be a chance to pursue a more sustainable means of production. With more and more people turning to the Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (2), the farmers are guaranteed ‘a life line’ in times of trouble, and exploitation is hopefully prevented. This initiative has many benefits and comprises of many organisations, from food manufacturers to fragrance outlets, it seeks to stabilise the prices and ensure farmers get a reliable living wage. It also goes further – helping farmers time pollination and possibly even get two harvests instead of one.

Whatever the future holds for these small farmers, one thing is certain – they need help. Could you lend that helping hand? Money for Madagascar has played a key role in fostering enterprise – offering support in times of need – especially offering support in the aftermaths of droughts and cyclones.
If you feel you would like to make a difference, please consider making a donation –
Anything you give will go to those who need it most, Thank you.

By Matthew Ward

Monday, 25 December 2017

Money for Madagascar and all its partners working at the grassroots would like to wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Miarahaba anao nahatratra ny Krismasy 2017. Mirary taona vaovao 2018 feno fiadanana.

Thank you for your interest, support and encouragement.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Money for Madagascar launches Christmas Appeals

Christmas is a time for giving. While people at home may have plenty, Madagascar is home to some of the world’s poorest people and most endangered species of wildlife. To mark the beginning of advent and the Christmas season, MfM have launched two festive themed appeals: to buy a Christmas meal for each of the 1000 children being cared for by our partners; and our ‘Christmas tree’ appeal to plant a tree in Madagascar and aid the reforestation effort.

MfM supports centres which care for over 1000 destitute children in Madagascar, providing them with a home, education and food. These centres rely on the generous support of donors around the world. One of the biggest costs they face is to provide meals for the children in their care. Just £5 can provide a meal for a child this Christmas and we hope to raise £5000 to provide a Christmas dinner for each of the 1000 children living in our centres.

Madagascar’s rainforests are also home to amazing and unique species of wildlife – but they are under threat. Deforestation is putting extreme pressure on the country’s rainforests, and destroying vital habitats putting many species of flora and fauna at risk of extinction, forever. Just £1 can buy an extra-special ‘Christmas tree’ which will aid in the restoration of these rainforests and also provide a gift to the animals which call them home.

To buy a meal for a child this Christmas, visit or text  MFOM77 £5  to 70070 to donate £5.
To plant a tree in Madagascar text   HAZO77 £1   to 70070 to donate £1 or visit
A donation of any other amount will also be gladly accepted.

Make this Christmas count. Please share these appeals with your friends and give a present to Madagascar this holiday season. Thank you. 

Friday, 24 November 2017

FAMINE PREVENTION UPDATE: An overview of MfM’s work to help vulnerable families rebuild their lives in the wake of prolonged drought followed by cyclone Enawo.

Despite being one of the world’s lowest emitters of carbon dioxide, Madagascar, is numbered amongst the  ‘Vulnerable Twenty’; a group of nations that  will see their future development severely impacted by climate change. Already this year, we have seen the south of the Island afflicted by such extreme drought that 850,000 people were taken to the brink of famine. Further north, in and around the capital, Tana, drought caused severe power cuts (no water to drive the hydroelectricity!) and crop failure. Just as the rains returned and people began planting, cyclone Enawo hit the island, leaving flooding and devastation in its wake. 

Southern Malagasy boy eating cactus plant (Nicholas Kristoff/ NYT 2017)
Your generous response to our appeal for those at risk of famine could not have been more timely! Funds were rapidly distributed to our partners enabling them to meet the immediate nutritional needs of four communities and start them on the road to recovery:

Famine Prevention in Beloha Androy:

In the South, our partner SAF has been working with all 150 households in the drought stricken community of Beloha Androy. To meet immediate nutritional requirements we delivered 19 tonnes of rice, 4 tonnes of beans and 1500 litres of vegetable oil to starving local families.

SAF truck arriving at Beloha Androy with rice supplies
Sacks of rice stored in local church awaiting distribution
Supplies were distributed through a system of food for work. This enabled local households to recover from acute hunger whilst improving key community facilities. Tasks were identified and prioritised by the community to ensure that they responded to local needs. Vital works undertaken included: planting trees and protective hedges, cleaning and restoring the community water tanks and building new class rooms.

Families collecting their food rations
Community members forming working parties

1.8 tonnes of improved maize and cowpea seeds were also distributed to households in conjunction with training on improved agricultural techniques for a drought prone environment. The seeds were selected due to their: drought resistance, local popularity (and therefore acceptance); nutritional value and potential to produce 2 crops in one year.

Community members have expressed their gratitude for this emergency assistance in their time of acute need. They are now able to face daily life and plan for the future. Unfortunately, insufficient rain has hindered the planting of new seeds. Farmers are hoping to be able to plant in November if the rains come. 

Responding to drought and cyclone in Analamanga and Amoron'i Mania:

On the rural outskirts of Tana our partner WTDM helped 250 households in 3 villages where farmers had lost their crops to drought and then to cyclone Enawo. As well as helping farmers to replant their crops, we also helped the communities to rebuild cyclone-damaged homes, classrooms, toilets and water points. 

The distribution of new tools and improved seeds, adapted to better withstand drought and flooding, is helping families to replant their lost crops and look to the future with greater optimism.

Rehabilitating water points and providing watering cans is allowing farmers, like Aina, to keep their crops irrigated when rain is scarce.

Providing families with small livestock or poultry is helping farmers like Richard to diversify their farming practises.  Agricultural diversification is a great way to improve resilience and increase income. Richard now breeds ducks alongside his arable agriculture so that he can provide his family with eggs and meat as well as generating additional income.

Planting a range of improved adapted seeds cuts the risk of losing all crops to a climatic disaster. By planting improved rice with a variety vegetable crops Armand is spreading his risks and increasing his family’s resilience.

Despite the damage done by cyclone Enawo, Hanitra is happy to see her new crops are growing well thanks to the improved seeds and tools provided by WTDM.

Next step: adapting to climate change:
Thanks to your generous response, our disaster appeal has prevented crippling hunger and started four communities on the road to recovery. However, there is more work to do. According to the World Bank, Madagascar is likely to be hit by ever-stronger cyclones that possess double the intensity of today’s storms. The southern region of Madagascar, which already suffers periodically from drought, is likely to receive even less rain.
It is no longer enough simply to respond to disasters as they happen; we need to act now to help the people of Madagascar build their resilience to face future climatic extremes. MfM has always invested in people over time. Next, we want to help farmers to further adapt their livelihoods so they can survive the threats of climate change.