W – Water:
Less than half the population of Madagascar has access to a treated water supply. According to WaterAid 62/1000 children aged under 5 in Madagascar die from diarrhoea each year. We fund the building of water stations in villages and schools that are beyond public water supply. In the past 5 years we have providing safe drinking water, washing facilities and water for irrigating school kitchen gardens to 26 communities.
H – Health:
One in ten children in Madagascar does not live to celebrate their 10th birthday! Basic health care is both inaccessible to the largely abandoned rural population and unaffordable to the urban poor who are eking out an existence on $2 a day. Every year we look after the basic medical and dental needs of over 1000 children who take refuge in our day centres and residential centres in and around the capital of Madagascar. In serious cases we pay for life saving treatments and surgery in hospital. The long-term support that we provide in the form of nutritious meals, health education, and systematic treatment of aliments enables these children to regain their health, strength and resilience.
E – Education and Child Welfare:
In a country where 1 in 4 children don’t go to school and only one third of those completing primary education… There is a lot of work to do to make education accessible. Inadequate classroom facilities is a key problem, so MfM provides grants for the construction of new school classrooms or to replace those devastated by cyclones. Since 2005 we have funded the building or renovation of over 100 classrooms. For children to succeed they need skilled, motivated teachers and basic resources such as text books. MfM’s Education for Life programme helps equip teachers with the resources they need to inspire the next generation. Over 10,000 students at 56 schools have benefitted from this programme during the past 6 years. All schools benefit from: teacher training, environmental education, school libraries, solar power, water, toilets, school kitchen gardens, and school canteens.
For some children it is impossible to access mainstream education. By supporting 7 centres for destitute and vulnerable young people, we enable over 1000 children per year to access education. Long-term support of individual children enables them to stick with their education and achieve academic and vocational qualifications. Assistance is also given to help young people find or create their own employment at the end of their studies.
E – Environment:
In more than 100 villages we fund projects including reforestation, food security and environmental education. These projects protect precious wildlife habitats while enabling the local communities around them to develop livelihoods in agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry alongside the forests.
On the far western coast of Madagascar we support a women’s project that has set up their own tree nurseries planted over 50,000 trees to create new sustainable woodland both for wildlife and for their own domestic needs.
David Attenborough has recently recognised our vital work to extend the unique, indigenous Eastern rainforest of Andasibe. By planting wildlife corridors of indigenous trees we are enabling the forest to recover and isolated wildlife to find new breeding partners. We are currently planting 10,000 trees per year. We would like to increase this annual rate.
One project on the East of Madagascar focuses on food security and conservation in 100 villages around the Betampona Reserve. Thousands of farmers in environmental hotspots have been enabled to set up and manage their own fruit and vegetable smallholdings and run a profitable market stall for their produce. After 3 years of support a sample of 40 households had increased their income by an average of 50%, enabling families to improve nutrition, send their children to school and pay for medical treatment.
Destitute and vulnerable young women receive vocational training in 4 centres supported by MfM. After 2 years of training they receive a qualification and help with setting up their own small business. On the east coast our partner has developed a successful project enabling landless people to grow food both to eat and to sell. Using recycled containers and worm compost even the tiniest yard or window sill is used to grow nutritional and medicinal plants. This project has now extended to improve the nutrition and life skills of juveniles in Toamasina prison.