Apêl Undeb yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg

Undeb yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg yn codi mwy na £156,000 ar gyfer prosiectau ym Madagascar.

Trwy eu hapêl ar gyfer 2018-19, i ddathlu 200 mlynedd o waith cenhadol ym Madagascar, cododd yr Undeb arian ar gyfer pedwar prosiect yn yr ynys, gan adnewyddu’r hen gyfeillgarwch.
  • AAF Manonga Cafe

Trwy’r Daucanmlwyddiant Mawr yn 2018-19, daeth pobl Cymru a Madagascar at ei gilydd unwaith eto, gan ddathlu ynghyd yn y ddwy wlad, drwy theatr, dawns, cerddoriaeth a gwasanaethau diolchgarwch.  Aildaniwyd hen atgofion a chrëwyd cyfeillion newydd.  O’r dathliadau hyn, atgyfnerthwyd teimlad cryf o frawdgarwch rhwng y Cymry a’r Malagasi. Cynhaliodd Undeb yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg apêl godi arian hynod o lwyddiannus, gan gyrraedd y swm rhyfeddol o £156,000.  Mae Arian i Fadagascar wrth eu bodd yn cael y fraint o reoli’r grantiau hyn ar ran yr Undeb.

Wedi cau’r apêl a phennu union swm y grantiau trefnodd AiF fod pedwar prosiect yn sgrifennu ceisiadau i ddweud sut y bydden nhw’n defnyddio’r arian.  Bydd AiF yn rheoli’r prosiectau hyn yn ystod yr 1-3 blynedd nesaf, gan adrodd yn gyson, gyda’r newyddion diweddaraf, am y gwahaniaeth rhyfeddol y mae rhoddion Undeb yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg yn ei wneud.

Dilynwch y ddolen yma i ddysgu rhagor am Apêl Madagascar Undeb yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg, gan gynnwys ffilmiau fideo am y prosiectau a fydd yn elwa o’r apêl. https://annibynwyr.org/madagascar-2/fideos-madagascar

 

Akany Avoko Faravohitra

Residential Centre for Girls: Akany Avoko Faravohitra

‘This isn’t a job. It’s my life’

 

 

Akany Avoko Faravohitra (AAF) is a residential centre to rehabilitate and retrain young girls, and around 85 girls are living there at present. Most of them are in their teens, some are under 12 years old, and some are single mothers. AAF is run by a woman called Hanta Randrianarimalala, alongside a team of 9 members of staff and local and international volunteers. Girls are usually sent to AAF for one of two reasons:
They’ve been arrested for minor crimes stemming from their hopeless situations, e.g. stealing food or clothing, prostitution or drugs. Young people come to the capital to find a better life, but there is no work or money there, and they are forced to live on the street or in slums. The girls at the centre are either awaiting a court hearing which could take up to a year, or have already been sentenced. They are sent to the centre for assessment, rather than being sent to prison. They’ve been abused or abandoned by their families, and have been living on the streets from a young age.
For whatever reasons, they are vulnerable, and have had to face dangerous situations and experience trauma and loss. As Hanta said, ‘Our job is to look after them, educate them and protect them.’ Hanta assesses them to find out what educational needs they have. Over half the girls go to the local school, and the rest are taught at the centre. They are also taught practical skills such as embroidery, sewing and dressmaking, as well as parenting skills. The girls are given every support to continue their education or vocational training after leaving the centre. The girls share dormitories, which they themselves are responsible for keeping clean and tidy. Hanta explained that the aim is to help them become independent adults who will contribute to the life of their communities. She said: ‘I want them to have aspirations and feel they are part of society. But above all, I want them to be happy.’
When their time at the centre comes to an end, the girls have to go before the judge of the children’s court. Most hope to rejoin their families and be allowed to go home. Preparing for this is a key part of the work at AAF. An effort is made to contact families, and a programme of meetings is arranged between the girl and her family, under staff supervision. Hanta prepares a detailed report on the girl for court, including suggestions as to what should happen to her. ‘In 99% of cases, the court is prepared to accept my recommendation’, she said, ‘and releases the girl without further punishment.’
AAF is helping to change the lives of poor, vulnerable girls in Madagascar, and is doing so on a very tight budget. They receive no money from the country’s government, nor from any other internal organisation. Most of their money comes from individuals, churches and foreign organisations, and they rely heavily on their sponsorship programme. The monthly cost of running the centre is 8.5 million Ariary (£1,900), and care, food and education for one girl costs around 130,000 Ariary (£30) each month. Lack of funding means that the girls face an uncertain future as they become independent. More funding would enable AAF to help them, and other girls, avoid going to prison and grow up to be happy, independent adults who are an asset to their communities.
Hanta creates a great impression because of her vision and commitment to ensuring the well-being of the girls in her care. It’s obvious that they think the world of her, too. The centre was in a terrible state and had no furniture when she took over, but she worked hard to make the building somewhere worth living in, although considerable work is still needed. Hanta spent a year in a centre similar to AAF when she was in her teens, so she understands the girls’ needs. Later, she had an opportunity to come to Pen-rhys in the Rhondda valley for a while, and that influenced her greatly. Her initial greeting was, ‘Welcome, I’m Hanta from Pen-rhys.’ In her own words, ‘Pen-rhys made me want to be a social worker. While there I realised that if I could help children and young people at Pen-rhys, I could also help children and young people at home’. And she added, ‘This isn’t a job. It’s my life!’
AAF will receive a grant of approx. £46k from the appeal. To find out more about how this will be spent click here...

TYPICAL EXAMPLE COSTS
Supporting a girl at the centre for 1 month: £30
One month’s medical care for 1 girl: around £7
One month’s materials for the girls’ practical education: £150
School materials for 1 girl for a year: £39

Click here for a short video about AAF 
SAF/FJKM Dispensary

SAF/FJKM Dispensary: surgery, dentist and pharmacy

‘Healthy people grow to their full potential.’

 

 

In the centre of the capital, as part of the offices of FJKM (Fiangonan’i Jesoa Kristy eto Madagasikara ), which stands for the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, a pharmacy and dental clinic are run by an organisation called SAF (Sampan’Asa momba ny Fampandrosoana).  SAF was set up as part of the FJKM development programme, to tackle the huge deficiencies in health care.  In Madagascar, a population of 25,000,000 is served by just over 3,000 doctors and 5,500 nurses.  Medical care is expensive, and beyond the financial reach of the average person.  A course of antibiotics can cost as much as a fortnight’s wages for an ordinary worker.
SAF has a plan to set up pharmacies across the country, where ordinary people can go and see a doctor for 10% of what they would have to pay at a normal surgery.  The medication is also cheaper.  They now have a network of 36 pharmacies, 3 of them in the capital.
There is no free health service in Madagascar, and what SAF offers is a far cheaper medical service, i.e. a consultation and medication from SAF costs £2.20, compared to £11 at a private surgery, and use of the ultrasound camera costs £1.75, compared to £4.50 at a private surgery.
SAF recruits doctors, nurses or midwives, and provides a suitable building, 6 months’ supply of basic medication and supervisory support.  By charging small fees for consultations and medication the medical staff can support their families, renew their stock of medication and ensure an important community service which is sustainable and affordable.
The team at the main pharmacy is led by Dr Philipe Ramarosandratana, and includes 2 doctors, 2 nurses, a dentist and administrative staff.  All the medical staff see 50-60 patients a day. Dr Philipe was Director of the Madagascar National Community Health Programme, but he left that post to come and work with SAF, and has been in charge of the main pharmacy for over 25 years.  ‘It’s a pleasure and a privilege to work with the church’, he says, ‘I’m not motivated by earning money’.
The staff treat various diseases that are affecting adults and children, dress sores and wounds, provide medication for long-term illnesses, give vaccinations, run maternity clinics and provide advice on contraception, family planning and general medical advice.  If more specialised treatment is required, patients are referred to hospital.
The maternity and contraception clinic is run by the maternity nurse, who carries out routine examinations and gives advice on family planning.  The clinic has an ultrasound camera which was donated by a church in Korea.  A new camera is needed, but that would cost around £5,000 (25 million Ariary). Post-natal clinics are also held, where advice is given on feeding and nutrition, with the aim of doing everything possible to ensure that the newborn baby survives and is protected from the children’s diseases which are still prevalent in the country. For example, Dr Philipe said he had seen 7 cases of polio during the past year.
The main pharmacy offers a dental service, which is very rare in a country with only 57 dentists.  The dentist is there 4 days a week, and the waiting room is overflowing on those days!
SAF place great emphasis on disease prevention in their work.  They run a campaign for polio vaccinations, and prepared a special poster about it for schools and churches.  Recently the pharmacy distributed information about the plague, and provided practical advice on how to ensure protection from it.  Since malnutrition is a problem which affects around 51% of the population, SAF runs a National Nutrition Programme in the rural villages where they have pharmacies.  They also work to raise awareness of common diseases such as TB and malaria, and provide advice on HIV and AIDS.
SAF now has independent NGO status, but the close relationship with FJKM continues. FJKM ministers and their families pay only for any medication given, and not for medical consultations, and retired ministers receive all this free of charge.
The greatest problems are a lack of funds, a shortage of medication, and qualified medical workers being lured abroad by higher salaries.  However, the pharmacies make a crucial contribution to health in the communities of Madagascar.  As Dr Philipe says, health care is high on people’s list of priorities, ‘Since healthy people grow to their full potential.’
SAF/FJKM Dispensary will receive a grant of approx. £27k from the appeal. To find out more about how this will be spent click here...

 

EXAMPLE COSTS
A 5-day course of antibiotics to protect an individual from the plague: £7.50

 
Click here for a short video about SAF Dispensary

 

Topaza Children's Home

Topaza Children’s Home

‘This isn’t an orphanage. It’s one big family!’

 

  • Topaza Children' s Home

There is plenty of space for the children to play around the building, and it is surrounded by a wall with locking gates to ensure their safety.  The children are cared for by team of 12 staff members, lead by Tantely Rakotoarivony, who has been in charge of the home since 2004.  Although FJKM is responsible for Topaza, children are sent there by the state via the courts.  Some are orphans, in other cases the court has ruled that their parents cannot care for them, e.g. for mental health reasons, and there are also several children who have been abandoned by their parents.  Madagascar’s communities are very traditional, and unmarried girls who become pregnant are in danger of being rejected by their families and excluded by society.  Very often, therefore, single mothers choose to abandon their children, rather than risking survival without the support of family and community.
Tantely is licensed by the state to be the children’s guardian and tutor.  Technically, all children are there on a temporary basis, since the licence is renewed every 6 months, but very few leave before they become adults.
The children attend the local school, and several have gone on to study at university.  Every effort is made to create a sense of belonging, and to develop a relationship between the children and each other, and with the staff. They eat together and take part in joint activities.  Every year, they have a fortnight’s holiday together at the seaside.
Children who have left the home keep in touch regularly, and make sure they return for birthdays and other celebrations.  Tantely mentioned one girl who came back to the home for her wedding reception, and several return for Church festivals, such as Christmas, Easter and of course Mothering Sunday.
As Tantely says, ‘This isn’t an orphanage. It’s one big family!’
The home is supposed to receive 1,000 Ariary a day, worth around 22p, for each child sent there by the courts, but it hasn’t received any funding from the state for several years, and neither does it receive funding from other organisations in Madagascar.  FJKM is also in a precarious financial position, so the food they supply to the home only arrives occasionally.  Topaza relies on gifts from individuals, churches and foreign organisations to keep the home open, and several of the children are sponsored.  It costs around 5,000 Ariary (around £1.10) a day, to care for a child in the home.
Malnutrition is a huge problem in Madagascar, affecting over half the population, so ensuring that the children at Topaza get plenty of nutritious food is a challenge. The food supplied by FJKM helps, but is not sufficient. Recently, with the help of Orlando Presbyterian Church, a quail farming project was set up. The eggs provide the necessary nutrition, and the project is sustainable.

Topaza Children's Home will receive a grant of approx. £30k from the appeal. To find out more about how this will be spent click here...

EXAMPLE COSTS
Caring for 1 child for a day: £1.10
The price of a quail: £2.20
A loaf of bread: 10p
A litre of milk: 45p
A kilo of rice: 37p 

Click here for a short video about Topaza Children's Home
Ivato Theological College

Ivato Theological College: Environmental Education

... I was inspired to protect the environment, and to plant fruit trees in particular.’

 

 

Since the days when the first missionaries set up schools on the island, Madagascar has always placed great emphasis on education as a means of escaping from poverty.  FJKM (Fiangonan’i Jesoa Kristy eto Madagasikara), which stands for the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, has several schools, a training college for teachers and colleges where young men and women are trained for the ministry.
As well as studying the Bible and Theology, the theological students receive practical training, e.g. first aid, basic health care, legal knowledge etc.  Very often ministers have to fulfil a variety of roles, especially in far-flung communities!  One exciting development recently, therefore, is the environmental education provided at Ivato Theological College, in the city suburbs.  It costs around £33,500 a year to run the college.
The Environmental Education Programme is part of the FJKM Development Section, but it was the vision of Juliette Narijaona, director of the college, to create this innovative course at Ivato.  She explained a little of the background.  ‘I was fortunate enough to study in Taiwan, and I was inspired by what was happening there to protect the environment, in particular the planting of fruit trees.  I was determined to do something similar in Madagascar’.
The prospective ministers and their families come to the college for their final year.  There are around 50 there at present.  The college has vegetable gardens, an extensive orchard, and a plantation.  There is also a palm tree garden, containing several varieties which are under threat.
Practical education in the plantation takes place one morning a week.  Students are taught how to use the wormery and natural fertiliser on the land, as well as how to sow seed and care for the plants throughout the various stages of growth.  They are also trained in the techniques of transplanting and grafting.  Apparently there are over 20 different varieties of grafted mango trees growing in the orchard!
The college grows its own vegetables and is self-sufficient, with the long-term aim of growing enough vegetables to sell, thereby creating additional funds for the college.  Students are expected to work in the vegetable garden every day, and at harvest time all the families come to help.  They are allowed to take what they need, but according to Juliette, this happens under the eagle eye of the head gardener, who ensures that nobody takes too much!
Once a week they work in the orchard, which contains all kinds of fruit trees, e.g. apple, guava, mango, avocado, orange and peach.  They also experiment by growing non-native fruit such as lime, lemon, grapes, blackberries, bilberries, kiwi and canistel.  Any additional fruit is sold once the college’s requirements have been met.
In February, during the rainy season, the College’s Green Day is held, when everyone from the college, as well as additional volunteers, spends time preparing the land and sowing new seeds and plants.  Several of the young trees from the plantation were sent to a Fruit Tree Centre recently established by FJKM at the town of Mahatsinjo, north of the capital.  With the help of the local church 270 trees were planted there, on a site which covers more than 30 acres, and the long-term plan is to plant 4,000 trees.  The centre will be able to provide fruit trees of the highest quality to all parts of the island.
The centre is seen as a valuable addition to the work of the college, and students go there to work and further their learning.  It will also be open to visitors, and offer training on how to care for trees.  FJKM have plans to take members of their churches there, as well as pupils and teachers from their schools.  Nurturing environmental awareness amongst their people is a key element of FJKM plans.  Several regional school supervisors have already started their training, and new teachers in 35 schools are part of a trial programme.
When their time at Ivato College comes to an end, each student is allowed to choose 10 trees and young plants to take with them and plant wherever they minister.  They become a source of income for the new minister, and an inspiration for church members to do something similar and learn from their expertise.
The college is carrying out groundbreaking work as regards theological education in Madagascar, as a result of Juliette’s vision, enthusiasm and leadership, and she has exciting plans for the future, such as more workers becoming part of the project, more farming equipment, and extending the plantation.  But additional funding is needed to do so.
Ivato Theological College will receive a grant of approx. £ from the appeal. To find out more about how this will be spent click here {to follow}
Click here for a short video about Ivato Theological College

 

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