By Molly Siedlarczyk, Committee Chair
Rose daLima, National President of AIC Madagascar, has stated below the work that has been done in various regions of Madagascar. A collection was taken during Friday’s Mass at the Kansas City National Assembly. Those receipts, in addition to what had accumulated in LCUSA’s treasury from donations made by our members this year, allowed for Treasurer Mary Ann Morovitz, to prepare a check written to AIC Madagascar in the sum of $5,000. It was presented to Natalie Monteza, Secrétaire General AIC, for delivery to Rose daLima.
Thank you to all concerned for making it possible for LCUSA to be so supportive of its twinning mission, providing resources to AIC Madagascar’s programs to help women and children. Rose’s article below shows the various ways your contributions have supported people throughout the Madagascar region. Thank you so much for being there for our family abroad.
Rose daLima Ramanankanan
National President, AIC Madagascar
Manakara, August 2011
This twinning began a few years ago and is still going on thanks to the generosity of the AIC- USA volunteers. Originally, the financial help was dedicated partly for the poorest children from the streets of Manakara and the surrounding area, and also for animation expenses for the formation of volunteers in the association in Madagascar, because the 14 regions where the AIC groups are settled are very far from the national office in Manakara. However, in these last few years, additional areas of need have been identified, along with the number of the children needing help. New groups were created in the southeast region of Madagascar, and thanks to the financial help, different projects have been working quite efficiently so far.
I. Schooling and Nutrition
Hundreds of children go to school and are learning well and have good attendance: Manakara (320 children); Vohipeno (150); Farafangana (215).
In the southern region, a large orphanage with 60 children was established last August and AIC- USA has contributed a significant amount of money for the building of the house.
The group at Marillac which looks after handicapped children benefits from the support of AIC-USA as well. The children receive good nutrition and the improved results at school are quite obvious. The children’s performance has developed and they are happier and feel just like any other children. Now they have the same rights as the others and their parents have stopped using them in child labor in order to get money (such as fetching water or working in houses).
At Pelatsara, a young girl who lives alone with her brother now has a house and can continue her studies thanks to the AIC-USA. She says in her testimony:
“I’m a young poor girl of 18 but I know that my small brother and me aren’t alone; charitable ‘mothers’ are thinking of us and help us somewhere in the world. We are very happy for that and I’d like to assure them that I do my best in order to succeed in my studies.”
II. Empowering the mothers in a small micro-credit project
This year, a project of poultry breeding will start with a new group in Vohipeno. Sixty poor mothers will be financed for poultry breeding and vegetable gardening so that they can work toward independence. These women are already being formed by the AIC volunteers in collaboration with the Vincentian priest in the area. In the past the women and their families were begging in the streets, but are now very proud to show their houses and gardens. The project didn’t succeed completely last year because of a cyclone, but they would like to continue this year. Thanks to the subsidies we’ve just received, these poor women will be very happy to breed poultry, and the national president has worked with them to begin anew.
This year we’d like to extend the AIC–USA twinning to the deep south of Madagascar. In Tolaganaro, the AIC volunteers are taking care of a few small handicapped children and sometimes problems occur when the children need expensive medical care. The poor children will get better treatments this year because of the AIC-USA assistance.
III. Urgent needs
Madagascar is always suffering from violent cyclones which destroy houses and agricultural products and cause many infectious diseases among the poorest people. Last February hundreds of people died, a great number disappeared and the number of homeless people increased. The AIC volunteers were able to help people in that difficult situation thanks to the financial help from AIC-USA.
Twinning between the AIC–USA and Madagascar is one perfect example of collaboration and partnership which has been efficient and helpful so far. We can say that it is more than “simple twinning” because we’ve exchanged so many mails and reports. Friendly relations have been established and reinforced through international meetings. We can also say that many children have been given the opportunity to live correctly and happily, and many mothers have been given the chance to stand on their own feet and become responsible for their own development. Twinning is a very good example of the application of our guideline “working together to fight against poverty.”
The beneficiaries, together with the Malagasy volunteers, are so grateful to AIC–USA Ladies of Charity. ?