Our Stories | Madagascar

Last updated: October 22, 2019

October 13, 2019

Cacti grow in the wild in much of southern Madagascar, blanketing the flatlands like giant weeds, their spiny stalks protruding menacingly. In the village of Belamboa Bas, however, cacti are not a threat, but a life-line. Edible varieties hand-planted in tidy rows just outside of town are the answer to a problem that has plagued the community for decades.

October 11, 2019

A single mother and high-school dropout leads her community toward prosperity and education. Miharisoa Mahatradrenibe Pauline Elisabeth, a.k.a. Hary, was in 11th grade when her father died. She was a good, serious, and hardworking young girl poised for academic success, but her family was left without a reliable source of income. They had a farm – a small plot of land with a few crops – but this was not enough to sustain both the family and the kids’ education.  

September 4, 2019

Malagasy children deserve the best possible start on their education, and knowing how to read and write is an essential skill. USAID Madagascar and the Ministry of National Education designed a new approach to improve how Malagasy schoolchildren in grades 1 – 3 learn to read. The program was called “Mahay Mamaky Teny” (MMT), meaning ‘I Know How to Read’. With the help of the World Bank, USAID ran a 7-month pilot project at 60 schools in the Analamanga and Boeny regions.

September 3, 2019

It is dark and cool inside the room. Students are seated on the floor, their backs pressed against an old wooden bed frame, the bare cement wall, or large sacks of grain. At the teacher’s command, a man rises from the floor and approaches the chalkboard. He is instructed to complete the two math problems displayed: 6,202 divided by 7; 2,313 multiplied by 3. He navigates the long division with ease; the multiplication even quicker. He takes his seat against a bag of grain as his classmates clap in unison.

July 22, 2019

When you come from a small village 27-kilometers south of the already remote town of Maroansetra, in north-eastern Madagascar, you don’t have many choices; you’re either a fisherman or a famer. Despite that, 52-year-old Jean-Michel Razafindrazaka has relentlessly sought to build a better life for himself, his wife, and their five children.