Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's almost Christmas time!

The center will organize some christmas or holiday celebrations on December 21 at the center in Akorondrano

On December 22 we will visit some of the homes of the children, talk to parents, and offer some small gifts and candies.

Anyone is welcome, donations too, of course!

Happy faces the center for street children. Images from 2011 and 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yippeee, school started again!

YES, dear people, thanks to everyone's generous support, the centre Akani Fitahiani's school reopened this week. Just came from a visit and the children are so happy, in the (more or less) clean uniforms!

A special big thanks to Nuno, Vivianne (and Telma) and my American friends in Tana!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

SOS Back to School

Letter from Alex and staff of the center,

Dear people,

Times are hard in Madagascar, everyone knows that. The center is still there, we just ended our 7th year!  We are preparing for 'La Rentree". Our teachers have not been paid throughout the break because there was no money. But they have received teacher-training. 

Sadly, our rice reserve is empty. We have lost one of our key donors, Secours Islamique who are withdrawing from Madagascar. Without food many children will not come to the center for their eduation, their 'parents' won't let them.,,

I am asking for your help. We are in urgent need donations for:

1. Rice, rice, rice - Our children consume at least 50 KG per day. For most children this is their only meal of the day. Feeding a child during one day costs 500 Ariary (20 cents) per child. Per month 2,500.000 Ariary at least (888 Euro).

2. Teachers' salaries. Our dedicated teachers work for a low salary, we would like to upgrade it from 70,000 Ar to 80,000 Ar per month (from 25 to 28 Euro per month). You could adopt a teacher!

3. Other running costs (rent, internet connections, other cooking stuff (oil, gas etc)

4. Inputs, the center collaborates with local communities for cultivation of rice, vegs, raising ducks and brick making. There is always need for donations for inputs, cash or kind, for seeds, fertilizer and other inputs.

You can make a donation through PayPal (see link on right) or by transfer (see bank details), by Telma Mvola or pass by the center!

On behalf of the children,


Saturday, September 1, 2012

A year full of ups and downs

With many ups and down the centre has gone through another year of providing education, food and fun for over 250 very poor street children in Antananarivo.

Some of the "ups" include:
  • Many visitors and volunteers have passed through and lent their support. They came from Germany, France, Australia, Belgium,...
  • Ad-hoc support from private donors and well-wishers, including Soroptimistes, and many 'friends of the center' in Tana.
  • The system to foster a child (parrainage) is up, and 7 children have already found foster parents.

Some of the "downs" include:
  • The land on which the center is located has been bought by a nearby company
  • One of the key rice donors of the center, Secours Islamique, has withdrawn its support (for the time being) from Madagascar.
  • Alex's salary from his job, with which he personally paid a great deal of the teacher's salaries, has terminated.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Children's Cook Out for Independance day

It's party time in Madagascar! Yesterday was the annual independance day, June 26. This day is a feast for everyone. But is it really? Many poor people have no means to celebrate. Street children are sent by their masters to beg, because a national day of celebration is also an excellent day for begging.

To avoid letting children go beg on the street, the center for street children I'm supporting had a great idea: organizing a Tsikony. This is a Malagasy tradition whereby children are cooking! But how to finance this? I sent an email to my generous friends here in Tana and raised a good sum of money and support. Thank you Amanda, Patricia, Anita, Nieves, Kyong, David, Pascale, Alain and Fedor!

It was a lovely event. All the food and cooking utensils bought by the center were displayed like a market. The children were getting 'monopoly money' worth 30,000 Ariary per group. They had to buy stuff and prepare the food, in the cutest little dishes, with mini spoons and minuature pots and pans, like in a giant doll house. We the guest, were 'selling' chicken, sausage, even shrimp, and veggies, rice, pasta, fruits, etc and giving points for cleanliness and cooking skills.

So we watched three-year olds cutting tomatoes, six-year olds sweeping the floor, toddlers fanning the  charcoal cookers and all ages running back and forth to buy spoons full of cooking oil. 

Honestely, got to give it to these kids...I don't see 'our' little ones preparing a whole mini-meal in one hour. Bravo!

What donatations bought - a true feast
Three types of cooking gear

The market is open, for the first group of children

Monopoly money - give children some commerical sense

Cute little dishes

Yoghurt: 1 Ariary, Banana 2 Ariary

The guests are 'selling' the stuff

Carrots 10 Ariary per piece

Buy mine! No mine!

Here's your change

The first sales are done

Tables clothes and minipots are indispensible

Wait for your change....

Hmmm, shall I buy chicken or shrimp?

A luxury! Chicken for 10 Ariary

Even dish liquid could be bought!

Mr World Bank counting his money!

Six year old boy cutting chicken

What's on the menu girls?

Boys job: lighting charcoal

Peeling carots

It's getting smokey in here!

Fanning with a slipper

Three year old cutting tomatoes like a chef!

It is starting to smell so good!

Never to young to fan up a fire

Stir so it won't burn

Another technique to light up charcoal

Soleine is cooking too

Alex and I celebrating this great event

This is what's left at the end....nothing!

Cleanliness is important!

Bon app├ętit les enfants!