By Holly Walter, Madagascar Chair LCUSA National Board
Madagascar is a small island country off the southeastern coast of the continent of Africa. The people of Madagascar suffer from extreme poverty due to environmental factors and social and ethnic conflicts. The people are primarily farmers dependent on the land and favorable weather conditions. Tropical storms cause environmental havoc and forests and trees are often destroyed by natural causes and land misuse by the population. There are few factories and no jobs for most of the population to depend on and no governmental intervention to help the citizens when times are tough. Many volunteers from around the world have come to Madagascar to help the citizens become more self-reliant and productive. Women and children in particular need help in overcoming extreme poverty and lack of education.
Our own Vincentian family and other Catholic organizations have come to Madagascar to aid and direct the population to strive for greater independence and financial stability. The Catholic Mission of the volunteers of AIC and LCUSA, priests from the Congregation of the Mission, and the Daughters of Charity work very hard to help the people of the area by providing spiritual guidance, land for the families to farm, technical assistance in the breeding of animals and in the growing of crops, educational opportunities for both boys and girls and help in the formation of a sense of real citizenship for the people.
More and more children have been able to receive an education and graduate from high school and college. All of the Vincentian volunteers and missionaries have worked to help the families help themselves in maintaining their basic needs and protect their environment. Then, of course, 2020 came along and with it the Corona Virus Pandemic. Madagascar fell victim to widespread outbreaks of the virus just like many other populations around the world. The need for assistance has never been greater.
Since 2003, the Ladies of Charity USA have been committed to helping the people of Madagascar through a Twinning Project with the island nation.
Every year we strive to raise funds so the children of Madagascar are educated and the women of the nation achieve more economic independence. Unfortunately, this year has been a time of suffering and isolation due to the Corona Virus Pandemic for us here in the United States too. Many of our associations and groups have been forced to curtail meetings and activities since March. We were forced to postpone our National Assembly in Knoxville Tennessee to August of 2021. The assembly was the biggest single contributor of donations to assist the people of Madagascar. Without the assembly, we are dependent on donations this year from associations able to meet and individuals from around the country. That is where you come in. I am asking everyone to send in a donation of any size to help the people of Madagascar continue their drive to educate their children and become more financially solvent.
This commitment to Madagascar through the Twinning Project has lasted 17 years and hopefully it will last many more. Please send your contribution to our national office as soon as you can. The address is:
LCUSA National Service Center
2816 East 23rd Street
Kansas City, MO 64127
Please put Madagascar in the memo line of your check and/or otherwise indicate that the contribution is for the people of Madagascar through the Twinning Project.
Or, donate online by clicking here:
Thank you for your donation to this very worthy cause.