Serving the local population since 1992
As a cyclone-prone island, Madagascar often requires immediate response. But as a poor nation, it also requires long-term development in infrastructure, as well as the health, livelihood, and education of its people. ADRA Madagascar has specialized accordingly, implementing projects in food security, economic development, and health, in addition to emergency response.Make a difference around the world
Did You Know?
Our food and economic security program empowers approximately 492,500 beneficiaries in 120 rural communities.
We rebuilt a school that was damaged by Cyclone Giovanna, and implemented a school lunch program.
We are working with the local agricultural service centers to introduce new technologies and improve irrigation for 42 communities.
As president of her village savings and loans (VSL) program, Estelle runs a tight ship. Weekly meetings are orderly; fines are issued for infractions such as tardiness, absence, or losing the lockbox key; and she keeps a watchful on every purchase of shares or taking out of loans as they are recorded in detail by her secretary and treasurer.
Amazingly, Estelle is only 16 years old!
Her VSL group is specifically aimed at children and has members as young as 5 years old. Estelle is the oldest member of the group, one reason she was chosen as president, and is proud of how the group has grown and learned from their experience.
This is a unique group to say the least. It began as part of ADRA Madagascar’s Strengthening and Accessing Livelihood Opportunities for Household Impact (SALOHI) project. VSL groups were formed in the town of Ambositra and surrounding areas for grown-ups, and the kids couldn’t help but notice the success their parents were experiencing.
The idea of a youth VSL formed and was begun within the community, and this group of kids is the only one we know of in the region.
It is common in Madagascar for children as young as 8 to spend an hour or two a day, a few days a week, doing light work such as selling bananas alongside their parents or carrying bricks for workers. These children now have somewhere to invest the money they raise.
For the younger children—the youngest in Estelle’s group of 21 is 5—who don’t work, their parents provide money for investments.
For all invested, having access to more than the few dollars they earn or are given is truly life-changing! These kids can take out loans from the group sum for school fees and other vital resources.
A little bit is also held back as part of a social fund, which covers supplies for the VSL group itself and to provide the occasional hard-earned meal after one of their Sunday evening meetings.
This project is beneficial for each child, giving them more opportunity in a very impoverished community. It also teaches them valuable financial lessons that will serve them well in the long term.
The future looks especially bright for Estelle. Next year, she takes her high school exit exams and is training her secretary and treasurer to take over for her when she ages out of the children’s VSL program into the regular adult one.
This shy girl who prides herself on her ability to teach 5-year-olds the value of investing (while also keeping them quiet!) dreams of being a judge one day. If she leads a courtroom in the same way that she leads her savings and loans group, she will have no problem!
Voahary is 15 and is a growing boy in the outskirts of Antananarivo in Madagascar. He sits restlessly in his seat at school, but today he’s lucky. His distraction these days is brought on by his desire to get outside and play, but it wasn’t that long ago that his lack of concentration came from hunger.
A rumbling tummy while in class is much more than a distraction for a child like Voahary, whose family is too poor to provide him with breakfast or lunch. When kids go hungry, they aren’t able to concentrate and lack the energy to keep up and get the education they deserve.
ADRA has begun school lunch programs in Madagascar, feeding 1,115 children during the school year with more than 20,000 meal packages.
Impoverished families often have to choose either food or education because they don’t have enough to provide resources for both. Schools in the area where Voahary lives had seen enrollment decrease dramatically in recent years. In less than five years, Voahary’s school went from more than 900 students down to 380 students.
ADRA supports education through several projects, including school feeding programs. These programs improve students’ learning and motivate parents to keep their children in school. ADRA distributes meal packages to six primary schools and one orphanage in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
In total, 20,050 meal packages have been distributed, providing lunches for 1,115 students. Each package contains a complete meal of rice, dehydrated vegetables, soy protein, and a seasoning packet fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Voahary’s father is a street sweeper, and his mother is a laundry maid—neither brings in much income, and they depend on their children for household chores and fetching water. So before ADRA’s program began, Voahary was using a lot of energy but not eating enough to keep up with it.
Regular lunches have transformed Voahary into an active student with big dreams. He hopes to become a physician one day so that he can help others stay healthy.
Capacity Statement OverviewThe Strengthening and Accessing Livelihoods Opportunities for Household Impact (SALOHI) is a food security program operating in 21 districts in southern and eastern Madagascar. These districts encompass approximately 492,500 beneficiaries in 120 rural communities. These zones have been selected based on nutritional data, poverty indicators, and susceptibility to natural disasters, ensuring that those most vulnerable receive the help necessary to survive. Along with USAID and CARE, ADRA Madagascar fosters health and nutrition, farm productivity, and empowerment through SALOHI.
Our website further highlights the projects, programs, and people of ADRA Madagascar. Download the ADRA Madagascar Capacity Statement
Country OverviewMadagascar is blighted by countless socioeconomic challenges: high infant and maternal mortality, under-5 mortality, restricted access to health care, child malnutrition, and food and water insecurity. Additionally, the island nation is vulnerable to tropical cyclones, torrential rains, and destructive floods, which regularly render many people homeless.