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First contact in Madagascar

Mis à jour : 31 juil 2018

A few days ago was the end of our first trip. The goal was to establish a first contact with the people who could and wished to help us achieve our first project as well as collect as many informations as possible and necessary.

After meeting several city halls, we have decided to work with the Antehiroka City Hall’s team as the pilot of our project. The reason for this choice is that the number of districts composing this municipality reflects a feasible and reasonable objective for our first implementation. The team has welcomed us with lots of interest, motivation and dynamism.

The municipality of Antehiroka is composed of 83,000 inhabitants, 0,55% of these (i.e. 462 people) represent the beneficiaries for our first action: people fighting to survive. In order to implement our project based on accurate information, each district Chief will provide us with the number of concerned people in their area before the 31st July 2018.

During our two working sessions, it was mentioned that recyclable products are necessary, in addition to food, clothes and hygienic items. This information has therefore led to us to decide to build our solidary stations bigger.

Out of the 9 district Chiefs (Chiefs FKT), only one (Ankadivory) has refused that food could be deposited in the station in his district. The other 8 Chiefs have accepted the deposit of basic food (e.g. rice to cook, tin cans, coffee, sugar,…), clothes, hygienic product as well as recyclable products.

Two district Chiefs (Amboarohy and Antanetibe) have also expressed their worries about the fact that many charities have in the past made promises to help out but have unfortunately not been able to keep these. This has made us aware that it might complicate our approach towards the people we want to help when we will try to establish a trust relationship.

We have started our next working phase: our awareness campaign on “behavior change” for these two populations:

- The people we want to help: during different working sessions, it was explained to us that some families live in the streets due to a generational “habit”. Due to this, it will be difficult to convince them to adopt new habits, others than those that appear to us inacceptable for human beings but that have become for them, for generations, normal daily habits (e.g. get food from street garbages, sleep outside, not going to school). These families do not necessarily find incentives to leave their life on the streets due to a certain form of “freedom” that they have always known, but also due to a certain “contentment” of finding the very bare minimum necessary to survive from for instance, selling objects they find in garbages and food remaining. Because of this difficulty, some Chiefs FKT think that the 4 months we have planned for the awareness campaign will not be enough. Although our objective still remains to lay the first foundation before Christmas, we are conscious that the awareness campaign will be a long-term work that we will approach in a continuous manner even above the 4 months planned.

- The donors: we cannot deny that today there is already many people in Madagascar who have adopted certain gestures of solidarity. We would like to not only keep these gestures alive and become part of a culture, but also, to expand the circle of people that they are already helping: we would like to expand the sharing circle. Having the incredible chance of having a roof and enough to feed themselves in Madagascar, modify some habits to help out their fellows’ life to be more human have become crucial: rather than throwing away recyclable items (e.g. plastic bottles, tin cans, plastic bags,…), these could be collected and deposited in our solidarity stations, in order to avoid that a major part of the population go through garbages. This way, we are hoping to be able to give them back their dignity as human beings.