Monday, 27 February 2017


In the United Kingdom, the days are slowly getting longer and supermarket shelves are filled with pancake ingredients in anticipation of Shrove Tuesday this week. But the following day, Ash Wednesday, marks the start of Lent. Traditionally a Christian period of fasting in the lead up to Easter Sunday, it is now widely recognised and practiced by people of all, and no, beliefs.

Typically, Lent offers the challenge for you to give up something you love, such as sugar, alcohol, smoking or caffeine.  Alongside the abstinence from a chosen luxury, it can be regarded as a time for increased mindfulness, and charitable giving.

Unfortunately, not everyone is currently lucky enough to have such luxuries to go without. In Madagascar, late rain is currently causing widespread famine, adding to the stresses of life for many in one of the poorest places on Earth. Vulnerable people are living on the street, with little access to clean water and healthcare, and children are growing up starving and without education.

However, Money for Madagascar is working hard to help these people, and can continue to do so with your help – so why don’t you use this Lenten period to really make a difference to someone’s life?

Every time you resist the luxury that you’re giving up, you could do something amazing with the money you save and change peoples’ lives for the better.

Here are a few examples of what you can achieve:

·         £10 saved on chocolate treats could provide a months’ worth of hot lunches for hungry,
homeless people.
·         Instead of grabbing that coffee from your favourite coffee shop before work every day for a week, you could spend the same £15 to help set up a family in farming, ensuring regular meals and a reliable income for those most in need.
·         By saving £45 on alcohol across the 40 days of Lent, you could get a child into school for a whole year!

It doesn’t take a large sacrifice for you to make a huge difference to people living in poverty in Madagascar.

Find out more about Money for Madagascar’s work here
Make a donation here.

Contributed by Eve

Friday, 3 February 2017

The Madagascar example

One question among many in philosophy of language concerns the nature of reference. Reference in this context is the relation between words (in particular names and nouns) and things, such as that between the name ‘Elvis Presley’ and the singer Elvis Presley. By what means do words refer? What makes it the case that ‘Elvis Presley’ picks out that person? 
One view (from Russell) suggests that any name is associated with a description which is true of a unique individual and it is via this description that the name refers to that person. Another view (Kripke) sees reference as involving an initial act of naming to which later uses of a name are connected by a causal chain linking one user or use to another. Each user succeeds in referring to the same thing because their use of the word is appropriately causally connected to the first use. So for example if I use the name ‘JRR Tolkein’ I succeed in referring to the author of LotR not because that name is attached to a description that uniquely fits him, but because I learned the name from someone who learned the name from someone…who was present at the christening of JRRT.

The Madagascar example was proposed by Gareth Edwards as a problem for this causal account, because it is a real-world case of reference shift via error (as opposed to reference shift via deliberate reapplication of a name such as calling a cat ‘Lenin’). The story goes that Marco Polo was the first European to learn and use the name ‘Madagascar’, but he applied it to the large island off the east coast of Africa while in fact the users of the term from whom he acquired it used it to refer to part of the mainland. It is assumed that Marco Polo intended to use the name as they did, but he made a mistake about what they intended. His mistake then led to the modern use of the word to refer to the island, not the mainland. The question for the causal theory of reference is: how can the name ‘Madagascar’ as used today refer to the island (as it clearly does) when its causal history leads back ultimately to the naming of a different place altogether?

Friday, 20 January 2017

Urgent Appeal: Madagascar Famine

Please help us support Malagasy families facing famine!

As the drought in southern Madagascar tightens its grip, 850,000 Malagasy people are facing extreme hunger. Having exhausted all their food reserves, many families are resorting to eating cacti and boiled ashes to quell their hunger. Without urgent humanitarian intervention, these families will face starvation. 

Cactus pads are the last available source of food
Credit: Ben. C. Soloman/New York Times
With your support, we can offer them an immediate lifeline and hope for the future. Emergency food supplies will sustain them through the crisis, whilst drought resistant seeds and farming equipment will help them get back on their feet. 

Please Donate Today to help us offer practical support and life saving nutrition to families facing famine in southern Madagascar!

If you would like to find out more about the causes and consequences of the emerging famine in southern Madagascar, Click here to read a powerful article from the New York Times.

Thank you for your support! 


Friday, 13 January 2017

Eenos’s Madagascan Tour: a summary

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Eenos’ journey around Madagascar was never something he expected to be easy. Travelling through some of the most remote areas of the world on roads which were often no more than muddy tracks and in some of the most inhospitable of climates, on a motorcycle, is never a challenge for the faint of heart. However, he prevailed and on the 6th of January 2017 Eenos announced that he had completed his challenge, traveling a total of 4539 kilometers. 

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The journey was not without its setbacks. A one point Eenos was caught in a flash flood following a severe rain storm; he was washed of the road by the waters and only by pure luck managed to drag himself out of harms way. Despite suggestions at that point that he abandon his challenge and his bike suffering damage from the incident, after a few days rest and assistance from a helpful local mechanic Eenos was back on the road. 

In a statement on Facebook, Eenos thanked Ony Rakotoarivelo and Money for Madagascar organisation for their work in helping local people and organisations, as well as Fran├žois Serrano and Moto Tour Madagascar for their assistance and advice, and for "making his dream come true."

Money for Madagascar also thanked Eenos for his efforts to raise both awareness of and funds for these vital projects to help Malagasy communities, and hope that he will visit Madagascar again soon. 

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Wednesday, 21 December 2016


To celebrate Theresa’s investiture and Christmas!


The cake

45g breadcrumbs

200g caster sugar

100g ground almonds

1.5 tsp baking powder

200 ml sunflower (or other) oil

4 eggs

zest of 2 oranges and 1 lemon

The syrup

Juice of 2 oranges and 1 lemon

85g caster sugar

Malagasy spices to taste e.g. vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper corns (3-4)

1.      Mix the dry ingredients.

2.      Beat well the eggs, oil and zests
3.      Mix all together. 
4.      Bake at 190c for about 40 minutes (start with a cold oven).
5.      While the cake is baking, make the syrup by simmering all the ingredients for about 10 minutes.
6.      Strain out the spices
7.      When the cake is nearly cool, pierce all over with a toothpick and drizzle in the syrup.

The cake keeps well because it's so moist but I've never known it last to the next day!

Serve and celebrate!

Clare Brown

Money for Madagascar and all its Partners working at the grassroots would like to wish you all

a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Miarahaba anao nahatratra ny Krismasy 2016. Mirary taona vaovao 2017 feno fiadanana.

Thank you for your interest, support and encouragement.