20:30 on February 24th 2012
For over sixteen years I have been involved in designing, implementing and developing the work of theAndrew Lees Trust (ALT), helping it respond to the needs and development challenges of the local people in the south of Madagascar. See www.andrewleestrust.org
This year I asked Vodafone to support some of the time I give to the Trust – now on a voluntary basis- to enable me to have a dedicated period where I can offer some much needed assistance to the local Malagasy team.
Why now especially?
Standing on their own two feet
During 2009-2010 the Trust realised its long term strategy and handed over to its local Malagasy team. We trained and supported the local team for more than ten years and were pleased to transfer all our assets and know how to them, enabling them to set up their own legal entity, NGO Andry Lalana Tohana (ALT MG), and continue the work under their own auspices and local leadership.
In the UK the Trust became virtual, but continues to give a helping hand to its sister Malagasy NGO with mentoring, technical advice and especially with fundraising. More help is needed at this particularly difficult time….
More recently it has been very hard for ALT Mg to secure funding in country. In 2009 the country fell to a coup d’etat and the current administration (Haut Authorite de Transition, or HAT) has not been formally recognised as a legal and democratically elected government amongst the international community.
The political stalemate has meant that many funding ‘envelopes’ have been closed and what money is available is sought after with fierce competition from all the remaining international aid agencies and NGOs.
Because ALT Mg is relatively small, and quite isolated down in the southern corner of the island, it is harder for them to meet with donors in the capital (a two and a half day taxi brousse ride away!), present their ideas and compete for grants.
My Vodafone sponsored Mission
So my mission this next two months is to draw attention to Madagascar and to find ways to help ALT Mg secure more funding for their vital development projects in the future. In particular I will help them develop and expand a new radio/telephony project that we launched only this week! …more of that to follow…….
Sharing with the community
I am looking forward to sharing the news and developments with the Vodafone community as we progress.
I also hope to share more information about Madagascar – its an island that we seldom see or hear much about ( except for its cute furry lemurs!) – and link the community in ways that it can learn more about the island’s social, political and cultural heritage.
CHECK IT OUT!
Latest News: This month 31 people died and more than 30,000 people in Madagascar have been displaced by Cyclone Giovanna http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17025328
Events: if you are in or visiting London – go to the V&A museum where there is curretly an exhibition of a golden cape made in Madagascar solely from the silken thread of the Malagasy golden orb spider! seehttp://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/g/golden-spider-silk/
Check out Music from the south of Madagascar by D’Gary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk6-qDTaCr0