Everything you want to know about Madagascar and never dared to ask

Espérance Marianina Still Hoping for More January 30, 2012

Filed under: Children,Family,Non-Profit,Nyheter — madakanto @ 9:23 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Today I will be the spkokeswoman for Espérance Marianina Madagascar. You already know that I care a lot about children and especially about those from Madagascar.
As I promised to report regularly on the situation, it is time for me now to share with you the latest achievements of EMM.

Madagascar is very well known for its endemic fauna and flora but also for its poverty. Kids who live in the countryside do not have as many opportunities than kids from the city and their future cannot be more uncertain. When my cousin Arlette Ramiliarijaona discovered Marianina and its children she suddenly had a good reason for fighting and helping her homeland. Me too by the same occasion.

Espérance Marianina Madagascar has been working for already four years and it has been a great success indeed.
One of the most important goals was to supply the children of Marianina with nourishing and balanced meals allowing them to grow both physically and intellectually. Before the canteen opened in 2006 the truancy rate had reached almost 50% during the hot season (December until March). But this year the rate decreased to 8%.

Here are some of the things they accomplished:

–  opened a school canteen which serves meals from December 1st to late April (wet/hot season)
–  constructed a dining hall that can be used as a multipurpose hall when they do not need the canteen
–  purchased furniture for the dining hall
–  planted hundreds of fruit trees and started growing vegetables

A few words from Arlette:

“Hope. Without hope it is impossible for us and our wonderful volunteers to continue fighting for the children´s well-being. No hope, no success. And this is an everyday work.
But, we could not have done so much without the help and compassion of our generous donors and I would like to thank you again and send you all my gratitude for your valuable support.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you have ANY  QUESTION or information or if you want to send money, Please contact me.



January 24, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter — madakanto @ 11:06 pm

I just discovered this great great blog. Thank you Sarah for writing about Madagascar in such a terrific and moving way. I could not have said it better, everything about the people walking and walking and bearing stuff, things or kids, or babies. It is exactly the way I felt when I was there this summer. I am looking forward to reading more of you.
As we say in Malagasy, Veloma !

sarah steegar


We had this exact same thought, Wendy and I, as our first overwhelming impression in separate taxis to Antananarivo. There is no better way to describe the encompassing thrum as people piece together their daily survival before your very eyes.

“It” is simply life. As in food, water and shelter – in such a contrast from home where the jobs we perform have nothing to do with our actual daily needs. For us, the facts of life happen behind the scenes. Somewhere else. But in places like Madagascar survival plays out each day in a constant-motion drama. It’s arresting to see how hard most of the entire world works, for such incongruously humble lives.

View original post 432 more words


Where I Was Born January 22, 2012

Filed under: Antananarivo,Nyheter — madakanto @ 1:16 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

This is just a very short post inviting you to click on those links, to my photo blog, where I just posted new pictures from Antananarivo.

ARKanto´s Homepage

Album : Tana by Car


One of the greatest ads I´ve ever seen…or read ! January 19, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter — madakanto @ 9:21 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

The Truth …about Argentine


An Ode to My Family January 2, 2012

Filed under: Antananarivo,Family,Nyheter — madakanto @ 7:07 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Since we are still in the spirit of Holidays, which is the best time for family reunion, I am going to tell you more about my own family and what a Malagasy family usually looks like.

Let me start from the beginning or from two generations backwards. First, my grandparents.

On my father´s side I give you Isidore and Marie-Jeanne who had a daughter and son.

my father´s fatherMy father´s mother


The daughter, my aunt had seven sons, which means luck in the Malagasy culture, because when the sons get married they end up having seven sons and seven daughters. I guess it is partly true, because all my cousins find their right ones and they are all happily married and I when I visit them I always feel surrounded by a huge amount of love. Nevertheless, life did not spare them and they also got through difficult times, but I can say that it did not kill their optimism. Always rebounding.

The son to my grandparents, that is to say my dad, had two daughters, my sister and I. It was quite rare to have only two children in the late 60´s.


On my mother´s side you had Felix and Esther (I love her name), whom I never got to know. My grandfather, who was a Protestant pastor, died when I was a baby and I had already moved to France, when my grandmother passed away. But,…they were very productive. They got three sons and seven daughters and my mum was among the three youngest children. Then, each uncle and aunt got between one and six children. You can easily do the math…I have more than fifty first cousins.

Fifty cousins equal fifty siblings, because the word cousin does not exist in Malagasy.

All cousins are brothers and sisters; the word cousin does not exist in the Malagasy vocabulary. So, when two of my cousins came to France and lived with us, my parents treated them exactly as their own children and my sister and I got two more siblings.

All the children are under the authority of the elders. Parents, aunts, grandparents share the responsibility for the children. There is no such thing as a nuclear family in Madagascar. If a child does not behave, ANY adult, parent or relative who is physically near has the right to tell off. This would be unconceivable in Sweden. If I were to say something to a kid sitting next to me in the tube with its feet lying on the opposite seat, her mother would give me the don´t-you-dare-traumatizing-my-child-look or mind-your-business-look. There is no need to fear such a reaction in Madagascar and I think it is cool.



The most respected people are the oldest, the grandparents and the ancestors. They are listened to vary carefully and everybody tries to learn from them. It is not like in the Northern and Western countries were they are just considered as used garbage that do not have anything left to bring to the society.

At a second place come parents and especially mothers. Madagascar is a matriarchal society. I never thought of that before, but it suddenly struck me that all the ladies in my family inclusive myself are the decision makers in our respective homes. But in a nice and subtle way of course…I cannot say I do not like it!

In those very sad times of scandalous retirement homes it would be great to get inspired by other cultures – see in Asia and Africa – who treat their elder citizens as human beings and not just as juicy bank accounts.




Read this, an interesting chronicle by Jonas Gardell

Vad bäger en kissblöja?

Article about Madagascar on

A general presentation of Madagascar: 


%d bloggers like this: