Friday, October 16, 2009

Children's photo's

On wednesday afternoon (14/10/09) I visited Fanantenane Orphanage to take photos of all 59 children! This has been added to a child database with details of their name, age and relatedness to other children in the orphanage. This gives you an idea of how many twins there are at Fanantenane at present and for some children to detail whether they are motherless or fatherless.

Each time RG sponsor gifts or arrange activities that are personal to each child, this will be documented in the spreadsheet and reported for your information.

Milk provision Catja Orphanage

Yesterday we visited Catja orphanage to deliver 30 cartons of Nestle Guigoz Milk powder like we did for Fanantenane Orphanage. We also provided 4 footballs sponsored by our feed suppliers, Skretting in Holland. These were greatly appreciated and it wasnt long before the boys were outside playing with their new ball.
Tomorrow we shall visit the orphange to obtain the names of all the children such that we can provide the information to the school in Mauritius for our FSC project.

Introduction to Catja Orphanage

The second orphanage in Mananjary is also in need of our help.

The orphanage is called CATJA “Centre d’accueil et de Transit des Jumeaux Abandonnes”. In English: “A Centre welcoming and transiting abandoned twins”

The orphanage was established in 1987. When children first arrived their main ambition was the immediate interests of the children to provide by means of; food, clothing and medical aid. After time they decided that the only solution for the abandoned children was through an adoption scheme. The idea being that adopted children grow up in Tana, Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa etc but return as adults to their biological families and work in collaboration with the orphanage to help educate the families in rural villages of the life he/she has endured and how the situation is construed in other parts of Madagascar. This is a form of indirect means to help those in the more remote villages rather than bringing them back to the orphanage to work on-site. The problem in Mananjary is that those people that live in the main town are used to the mix in cultures and beliefs and often accept twins for that reason. Those in more remote locations where the beliefs of the Panzac are influential on daily life; there is not the same mix of people. As such they are often isolated from the rest of the community and “set in their traditional ways".

There are 82 children in total ranging in age from only a few months to 20 years of age. The breakdown is as follows:

0 - 2 ( 16 children)
2 – 5 (18 children)
6 – 20 (48 children)

There are 68 abandoned children and 14 child workers that assist at the orphanage but who are provided for in the same way in terms of food provision, lodging and medical help.

Twins are mostly brought in after birth but they also cater for older abandoned children that are not necessarily brought in due to reasons surrounding the fady culture. Some may have no parents.

They also have a rehabilitation programme to take children that are in trouble with the law rather than sending them to Jail.

There are currently 112 people living at the orphanage, which is more or less their capacity but given the transient nature of their establishment they tend to work at capacity whilst maintaining new arrivals.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Milk Provision

There is a shortage of milk in Madagascar as it is but given that both orphanages need to provide “First stage baby milk” to those infants that are brought in imminently after birth, the provision of adequate nutrition is a high priority issue that these assocations are facing at present. They often rely solely on the milk brought in from Europe by director associates and/or volunteers travelling into the country.

RFI recognise the hard work, time and effort that each orphanage is putting in to care for abandoned twins. The next delivery of Milk from Europe for Fananantenane is only in November and this does depend on funding. As such RFI arranged yesterday for 30 cartons of Nestle Guigoz milk powder to be delivered to the orphanage to ensure support is there until the next delivery arrives.

Today, the family of Mr Lewis along with friends visiting from Mauritius and myself visited the orphanage to deliver the milk and also assisted Claudia and other staff with feeding the babies. See photos of both Cathy and Charlotte Lewis feeding an 18 month old baby named Toavina

Also see a great photo of Nicolas Lewis picured in bright blue playing football outside with the other boys at the orphanage; making fun use of the sponsored balls from skretting feed supplies.

Friday, October 9, 2009

orphanage projects

The main feed supplier for our eel stock "Skretting" based on Holland, have sponsored the production of 25 footballs, which they have kindly donated to our operations based locally in Mananjary. We have since donated 4 footballs to Fanantenane orphanage last Friday, which was greatly received and appreciated. Tomorrow (10/10/09) both myself and Cathy Lewis will donate 4 footballs to Catja orphanage.

Project objectives

  • Provide the financial means to develop each orphanage to a level that will facilitate their capacity for both volunteers and workers to integrate and educate the children.
  • To assess priority areas where help is needed such that RG can help on both a financial and work basis, and to make provisions for additional facilities that are otherwise unavailable to them due to limited funds.
  • To collaborate with the directors on site who can provide research into the current social context for each child's situation and background that led many of the children to the orphanage. Through this RG would like to propose and prepare for a means by which children from Mauritius can indirectly/directly integrate with each child through an FSC project operated by Tina Smith in Mananjary and Cathy Lewis based in Mauritius - "Friends stay connected". Children from Mauritius will have the opportunity to learn about the lives of children here in Mananjary and work together to operate small-scale fundraising events that can be donated directly to the children by way of toys and materials; items that will enhance mental and social development in each child. Furthermore, each child will be paired with an International friend who through this blogspot can access up to date information on activities and progress made at the orphanages, and/or any personal messages sent between friends online. Children may also want to send hand delivered mail, which can be delivered by Management on their regular visits to Mananjary.

Orphanage projects

Local Taboo or “fady” culture is commonplace in Madagascar and an important influencing factor in the ways of daily life. Fady varies between communities and from person to person. While fady culture may relate to daily actions, or food, there are fady’s like the situation surrounding twins that may be considered cruel among the more educated people who have a more modern way of thinking and approach to daily life.

There are currently only two orphanages in the town of Mananjary that cater for abandoned twins.

One is called Fanantenane, which in Malagasy means “hope”. The Director’s name is Gerrard Bouffet who is based in France in Poitiers. The orphanage has an on-site medical centre, which they have named Marie Christalle. This was named after the Director’s daughter who died at a young age. The onsite assistant director who manages the operations on-site is Andriamampionona Tovo Aina.

At this orphanage there are 59 children in total ranging in age from only a few months to 18 years of age. Twins are mostly brought in after birth but they also cater for older abandoned children that are not necessarily brought in due to reasons surrounding the fady culture.

The second is called CATJA “Centre d’accueil et de Transit des Jumeaux Abandonnes”. In English: “A Centre welcoming and transiting abandoned twins”. Here, there are 82 children in total ranging in age from only a few months to 20 years of age. The Director is based at the Orphanage. Her name is Madame Julie.

Ripple Group in Madagascar are in a position to help such local organisations both on a financial scale and through the provision of additional facilities and materials that may be used for and by the children as a means to improve and enhance daily life through; education and social awareness.