Madagaskar- Narrative 2
The day after we arrived in Madagascar, we had a meeting with Antonnela, head of "Centre Mere Enfant". We talked about how shoes from bisgaard, as well as our collected amount of money should be handed in and we got an insight into the situation and everyday life of the center as well.
We arrived for lunch in a small canteen and were nicely welcomed by the many curious children and the adults who work as volunteers. The school children got rice and pasta, which was cooked in a small kitchen.
Access to school in Madagascar has become a financial challenge, as public schools now require own payment of 70% of the tuition amount. Public school classes contain up to 80 students with a single teacher, so only the students in the front get something out of the class. A good education is the single most important thing to break out of poverty. The students who have access to the "Centre Mere Enfant" get homework and undergoing tests during their stay to constantly develop their skills.
One of the reasons for the rising poverty in the world's now 4th poorest country, is that the middle class have always used the most disadvantaged - by far the widest part of the population - to wash their clothes and get them water. Only 11% of the population have access to water from their own supply. But the economic situation has forced the middle class to take care of these tasks themselves and that means absolutely no income for a large part of the population.
Antonella Puccini and Madame Michelle were incredibly pleased with the many new shoes from bisgaard and the new socks as well. The shoes are of a completely different quality than they normally receive. The difficult task is to equally distribute the shoes to the mothers and their children. Shoes are much harder to get than clothes so the bisgaard shoes are of great value.
It was a very special experience to visit the center in the middle of school time. This time there was more peace than when we visited the last time. But it was also a challenge to be in a room with so many children being cold and sick. They are not ably to take showers and do laundry like many of us – which was evident by the smell in the room. We are always met by curious, welcoming and smiling children and adults even though there isn't much to smile for.
Every Tuesday, a doctor visits the center and looks after the mothers and children who need the most help and medicine. Diarrhea and lung diseases are the most common due to the poor hygiene and high air pollution in the capital.
Every Wednesday, the classroom is transformed into a room for crafts where mothers can do different types of crafts for sale and get a small income.
There are many challenges for a normal family in Madagascar. But it is for sure that the help from project will make a big difference to those who have access to the center, where they have access to medical treatments, diet, school, entertainment and social work - a valuable thing in everyday life.
We send a warm greeting and a big thank you back to bisgaard and everyone who contributed to the collection.