Madagascar, Africa

MAD02 - South Androy Development Project : Partnership Reports

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Report Date: July 21, 2015

Report from BHW Field Director


Key person: Hanitra (Yant) Andrianomanana

Recent Events


OM teamThere are three major aspects of the work in the South. These are: 1) church planting, 2) literacy classes in the churches and community and 3) womens’ training classes - baking and sewing and then selling the products they have made. There are only two team members so they cannot do everything. They work alongside the existing local churches and teams come from time to time to help them.  

28 families have so far been assisted by the funds sent. This has been delivered in the form of training, support and loans. They get women together from churches and communities and train them to cook and sew and sell the items they make. This is a revolutionary concept to most of them. Most women in this area are uneducated, they get no support from their families or communities, they do not understand basic concepts (including economic) and will not try new things. They also teach about basic economics and how to use money. Most of them have never had money to use, save or spend.  

On many occasions the women refuse to leave the training seminars and stay all night because they feel so encouraged and so lonely and in such danger when they get home.  


Personal Stories

I was told a number of stories about life in this area but none of them are really suitable to be printed. The level of abuse of women and young girls is very high and rape is a constant threat. They feel like cattle and indeed are worth less than cattle. The cows in the South have identity cards (to be able to breed, own and sell them) but the women have no papers or legal identity. They kind of laugh about this, but it hurts very deeply. 


Partnership's Influence within the Community

OM teamThe South of Madagascar is the least developed area of the country and there are many desperately poor living there. It is isolated geographically, socially and spiritually. It is an area that is very dark with strong ancestral spirit influence and worship. 

The women in the programme are totally blown away by the care and love they have experienced from the team. For the first time in their lives they feel valued by someone. 

This programme has caused a number of issues in the community to the point where the team members live in constant fear of attack. They are challenging the social norms, especially that of polygamy and the ownership of children. The family structures are very confusing. 

It goes something like this. Women have no identity and gain none from marriage. The only way they can get identity is to have a child. However, once the child begins to get older, the father of the child and the family of the woman determine everything about that child and she becomes a bystander. This alienates her even further and most women live very lonely lives. 

Many young girls get pregnant to get away from difficult circumstances but then find themselves even further alienated and desperately poor. 


Plans for the Future

They intend to continue with the teaching programmes for women, literacy and church planting. 

There is a real opportunity here for Foundations for Farming. A seminar in the South was planned for July 2015 however it was postponed because of airline strikes making it impossible for Yant to get to the area in time to set up the seminar. This will be rescheduled as soon as the BHW team can get there. The training material is already translated and ready to go. 


Current Issues and Challenges

They really need more team members to be living in the South. This would give them more security and share the load. 

They also lack some on-the-ground leadership. It would be great to have a natural team leader there to provide more structure. 


Prayer and Praise Points

1) For safety for the two team members. They feel quite vulnerable and under physical threat. 

2) For the breakthroughs that have begun. This is a long term work. There are a number of newly established churches in the area and there needs to be a lot of discipleship and leadership development. 



I think there is an ongoing journey with the team in the South. It is still not entirely clear what all the components of the journey might be. Their main components will continue to be the church planting, literacy and developing the women. Added to that would be the Foundations for Farming. 

Somehow they need more support and I think we should become involved in supporting the two women in the team to some level once we get the information from the team.