What if you had no alternative?
Some of you know that my wife & I were in Madagascar last year. There we met Andry.
Andry was abandoned on the streets of Madagascar when he was 12. His life was in danger because of a local superstitious curse. Luckily, he was rescued and brought to the Betikara orphanage where he struggled heavily at first after spending 12 years on the streets. Now, he speaks 4 languages and helps the orphanage. Sadly, his kidneys failed a few years ago and he’s been on expensive dialysis ($30,000/yr). The orphanage can no longer fund the dialysis and maintain their operation.
If anyone knows an influential person in an NGO that would consider helping Andry, we would be super grateful. If anyone is in the tech/health community & has connections to a company working on cheap/innovative dialysis technology, that could potentially help as well.
If you could donate, share the Facebook page & story with your friends, pray, etc. that would be much appreciated.
Here is the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PleaseHelpAndryNow
Here is a picture of Andry with me (Apr 2012). Donate to Andry here. http://www.madagascar-mission.org/orphanage.htm#PayPal1
More about Madagascar
I had a surreal moment last year when I was in Madagascar visiting Betikara…we watched a Hollywood animated film about Madagascar (Madagascar part 1) with the kids. Sometimes it is hard to believe just how similar entertainment experiences around the world can be.
Madagascar is a country of about 22 million extremely poor (and increasingly desperate) people. I’ve visited some pretty tough places in the developing world before, but I wasn’t fully prepared for Antananarivo…a city that just moved ahead of Port au Prince, Haiti as the 3rd dirtiest city in the world according to Mercer’s Health and Sanitation Index.
Needless to say, the contrast between cheerful, “make-believe Madagascar” on the big screen and reality on the streets and villages of “real Madagascar” is stark.
Madagascar has long been one of the poorest countries in Africa, and the recent government coup (2009) of a democratically elected govt. has not been helpful. Yet some signs of hope do exist. The recent string of Madagascar movies (Madagascar 3 launches June 2012) have helped promote “Brand Madagascar” and tourism. And, though still underdeveloped, microfinance is starting to trickle in, helping entrepreneurs start small businesses. Side Note: Wouldn’t it be great to see Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith actually land in “real Madagascar” and use their star power to drive development interest in the country?
If you decide to visit Madagascar, there are plenty of NGOs offering volunteer opportunities. NGOs like Azafady offer short-term volunteer projects to people interested in getting more involved with Madagascar.