There is a school project that I developed with two architects, a collaboration with the municipality of Tana, including a waste management project, and Solidarité Madagascar that I do on a voluntary basis.
For Solidarité Madagascar, it’s a pooling donation system. The idea was developed following the announcement of the first lockdown by the Malagasy government. I gathered friends from Madagascar, Canada, and France, who are used to associative actions, and we thought about a system to help people who are living in precarious conditions such as washerwomen and cart pullers. We created a Facebook page, we condensed the ideas, we created a fundraising; companies in Tana offered us their surplus yogurt, eggs, … We naturally became an informal charity.
With our project, we first wanted to help the municipality: they had created a center for precarious people but it was welcoming only 338 people for about 1 million inhabitants. There was a real gap between the need and the response of the government. So, we went on the street to identify groups, associations, and individuals who could become partners at a neighborhood level (FKT). We tried to find areas that were not targeted by current charities to identify the precarious people in Tana. For example, while doing an interview with a fish seller in the street market, he told us “my wife and children cannot come here and help me because they don’t have masks. They’re waiting for me to come home so I can give them my mask and they can sell the rest of the fish that I couldn’t bring on my own”. Health workers, sometimes, didn’t have masks either.
As a result of this research, and thanks to donations, we decided to set up food kits made up of 1L of oil, 1kg of sugar, 1kg of legumes, a sachet of salt, and 5 kg of rice. We also distributed 2000 masks donated to us by a local shop. It’s not much, but we thought it might help. In total, we fundraised 15.000€ and distributed food to 3.037 families (families are about five people): 1.150 families in Tana, 1.000 families in the port city, and 887 in other cities.