Feeding Families and Funding Futures: An Integrated Approach to Combatting Poverty in Madagascar
Throughout Madagascar poverty and food insufficiency is a daily reality for many people. With limited education and job training, widespread illiteracy, high unemployment and rampant inflation, people have few opportunities to create a better life for themselves and their families.
Education. Opportunity. Self-sufficiency. These are the hallmarks of CRMF funded programs in Madagascar. Our integrated approach to fighting poverty combines micro-lending and family gardens with literacy and skill training. These programs have helped participants succeed in finding financial independence, feeding their families and building their communities. All CRMF projects are done in collaboration with our partner organization ONG St. Gabriel, which has a permanent presence on the ground in Madagascar.
CRMF has funded rural micro-lending for over a decade, but last year marked the start of the urban program. It started with 80 participants and there is now a waiting list. All participants must take courses in literacy and mathematics. They learn the importance of budgeting in order to successfully manage their finances, including loan repayment – which stands at 100%!
The success is compelling. One participant shared how the budgeting course helped move her family towards their dream of buying a house. For Lea, the impetus was to better nourish her children. She was illiterate, had scarce income potential, and her rent kept increasing. Lea obtained a micro-loan and now has her own business as a hair stylist. She states that the courses in literacy and mathematics were critical to her understanding and repaying her loans.
Martine is a young mother with little education and no family to help her. She too joined literacy classes and obtained a micro-loan. Martine now operates a small souvenir shop and no longer has to worry whether she will be able to feed her baby.
Our 15 literacy centers also teach families to combat hunger through the cultivation of small gardens. Last year CRMF received thousands of packets of fruit and vegetable seeds from the Watson Foundation. Literacy students learned how to plant the seeds and cultivate the growing plants. They learned about nutrition and the value of incorporating fruits and vegetables into the diet. CRMF received enough seeds for 1,000 families and thirty schools – the resulting small gardens helped feed more than 7,000 people.
In addition, CRMF introduced a mushroom growing initiative funded by the BVM Hunger Fund. Those enrolled in this program are learning to grow nutritious mushrooms and will be able to take both the mushrooms and their new skills back to their rural villages.
When most people think of literacy, they think of reading and writing. In Madagascar, CRMF and ONG St. Gabriel think of literacy as the key to fighting poverty and malnutrition. How do you spell success? These days, we spell it: micro loans and gardens.
More About This Charity
Hunger and Poverty Relief
Caring Response Madagascar Foundation
Madagascar Foundation (CRMF) is a public charity. Its mission is to respond to the needs of the poor of Madagascar, particularly in the area of Toamasina/Tamatave. CRMF collaborates in its work with the Catholic missionary Brothers of St. Gabriel.
- This Achievement has raised $34,100
- This Charity has raised $144,291.32 in the past year.
- This Charity has provided 80 urban micro-loans, seed gardens and training for 1,000 families yielding approximately 7,000 food beneficiaries and seed gardens for 30 schools.
- This Charity has helped more than 15,000 people in the past year.