The two Akany Avoko centres are managing very well so far. Grants from MfM have helped them to stock up on food, soap and medicines before they went into lock-down. Akany Avoko Ambohidratrimo is blessed to have lots of space and well advanced vegetable growing and rainwater harvesting which all help to support their lock-down mode. Akany Avoko Faravohitra is more confined, having some 65 girls in one building and a relatively small garden. However they are keeping spirits up with lots of home-grown entertainment, music, quiz nights, competitions, dance shows as well as crafts and studies to pass the time of lock-down. In addition MfM (and others) have been paying the two Akany centres to sew hundreds of washable face masks which are being distributed to vulnerable children and their families in various poor communities that MfM supports.
On Sunday night the Malagasy Government announced that they have developed a remedy for Covid-19 called Covid-Organics. So they will be starting to lift the lock-down and will be reopening schools, initially to exams year students from next Monday. They plan to distribute this new Covid-19 remedy to school children. Whilst the effectiveness of this remedy to stop Covid-19 remains to be seen, it might improve the overall health of Malagasy students since it contains active ingredients against known killers like Malaria as well as ingredients that help combat regular coughs and colds.
This week the government is planning to ease the lockdown and allow people to start to go back to work and school, as long as they wear masks and respect social distancing in public places. This should ease the acute hunger that the lock-down has been causing. With these new plans to allow people to circulate again, the need for masks will be soaring. So MfM will be using more of the appeal funds to order more masks for distribution. We are especially happy to order the masks through the Akany centres as this provided vital work to the older girls and graduates of these centres, as well as increasing the supply of WASHABLE, REUSABLE masks to those who couldn’t afford/access them.
We will continue to make small grants to families who are suffering worsened hunger, until school canteens reopen and food prices return to normal. If the incidence of Covid-19 cases rises, we may need to focus grants on medical care. This is yet to be seen. We are also running a big public information campaign online, in market places like Maintirano, and through distribution of booklets to schools. Next we hope to step up our conservation work around Andasibe National Park to protect the forest and the people who live there against the shock of tourism being cancelled.
So there is plenty to be on with!
Thank you again for helping us to help these communities in their hour of need.