Since our visit to Madagascar last year we have supported the Avokany Faravohitra children’s home with ongoing financial sponsorship. The wonderful charity Small Steps for Africa who coordinate the sponsorship visited the home earlier this year. We thought you’d love to read about their trip below.
Taken from Small Steps for Africa’s annual report…
Our project at Akany Avoko Faravohitra continues to go from strength to strength. We now have 8 girls sponsored or part-sponsored by generous UK supporters, and it was fantastic to get the opportunity to spend time with them all during our annual trip in January.
SSFA has renewed its commitment to support AAF in the following ways for 2017:
– Supporting the wages for 3 members of staff: Julie, Josiane and Tantely
– Paying for the renovation of the home’s classroom, from the Brian Baker Memorial Fund
– Facilitating the sponsorship of girls, as well as finding new sponsors
– Providing one-off discretionary funding for specific projects
We were delighted to be able to give every girl a washbag filled with essentials and a teddy bear during our visit in January, made possible by the generous donations to our Christmas appeal. For most of these girls, this was their first proper present and a real treat, so many thanks to everyone who donated!
Charlotte and the director Hanta worked tirelessly to secure several successful grant applications and plan future funding, which we hope will ensure a sustainable future for the home. A huge thanks to everyone who provided a washbag and toy for the girls as part of our Christmas appeal; they have almost nothing they can call their own and the smiles brought about by having their own dolls and hair accessories were heart-warming – along with their discovery of the dog filter on Snapchat on my phone, which provided many hours of happiness!
Despite the difficult background of most of these girls, their loyalty and camaraderie with each other was wonderful to see. Charlotte and I were able to provide a few laughs too (at our expense), as we tried (and failed) at basket-weaving and playing a popular ballgame (we are still none-the-wiser as to the rules). Two girls also had young babies and another was about to give birth – the care and skills they were learning at the home will result in a better life for those children too. The final night was a highlight of the trip for me: Charlotte arranged a special meal of pizza and chips and the girls gleefully performed a thank-you song and dance they had been practising.
We are still seeking sponsors for many girls at AAF – most have experienced a great deal of trauma in their short lives, and are finally getting their lives back on track in the safe space the home provides. Part-sponsorship costs just £15/month, whilst full sponsorship is £30/month, and you are provided with regular updates and photos of your sponsored child, as well as the chance to send gifts and a card once a year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.