Report for 2013Dear friends: You that have been supporting us for years in this fight against this extreme poverty, we say THANK YOU! Thank you for staying with us in this unique adventure to defend the dignity of each person!
Throughout 2014 to come, we will celebrate our 25 anniversary of humanitarian work and development, and before all to respect the family, women, children and people excluded from society. In just one word to respect life !
It’s a rare event in Madagascar for an Organization to last this long and still be standing, with strength, passion, faith and hope! We will celebrate this anniversary with simplicity but with much joy!
During my travels across Europe especially in France (including Reunion Island ), the country that helps us the most with Monaco, Slovenia and Australia, since the beginning of our adventure to raise human dignity and justice for the poor, I am amazed that so many you are to be interested in our struggle, so many you are to follow us with your thoughts, to support us with your prayers and with your regular donations .
You help us to support our fight for the rights of children who need food to eat and survive, go to school, to have medical care, and decent housing .
This is our 24th report about our work amongst the poorest. Those of you, friends, benefactors, who were able to keep all reports in recent years, may realize that the political and economic situation in Madagascar has not changed in nearly a quarter century!
Nevertheless at Akamasoa we have shown that if there is faith, an ideal, a passion, a desire, then there is also a solution to all problems no matter what! We have shown, not with words, but actions with our work with the rejected people of this society!
We are at the end of the year and we recently had the presidential election which should normally end a political crisis of 5 years in the country, with the grace of God! Madagascar was deprived during this time of international aid from friendly countries! We never understood why the Malagasy people were punished by its politicians!
The international community is in fact “nobody” and on the same time “everybody” for us. The international community don’t have to give ideas and advice, but You need to know the true and real situation in which people and the entire population live !
We all have the right to expect an improvement with the new political class that takes power in Madagascar! We have the right to hope but we must be realistic!
Nobody can do miracles in politics, especially in a country which has had long time corruption at all levels, no control of any kind nor justice or security for the people!
The best evidence of what I am talking about is that criminals have grown like mushrooms and are everywhere in the country, especially in the big cities. Nobody can control them.
Police arrives always at the last moment, when the bandits are already gone!
How it is possible that these bandits have access to weapons of war to attack poor citizens?
What we see every day is poverty out comes understanding and insecurity increases.
At the end of the year, the capital Antananarivo was abandoned and garbage was everywhere! City officials say that they do not have enough money to pick it up and they complain about not having enough cars or trucks. But garbage will not remove by itself. The government representative had to go seek help in a friendly country to help to create a fleet of garbage trucks to take care of the collection! How this city, which receives taxes from its citizens, can say that they cannot pick up the garbage? Garbage collection is of outmost importance for public health! Because of this neglect, there has been this year dozens of cases of plague in Madagascar, several of which have been fatal! This is outrageous and unacceptable! We can’t, at the 3rd millenary, remain still and do nothing against this terrible disease, which had disappeared from many other countries and as we well know is a result of dirt and lack of hygiene!
The economy is totally paralyzed. Young people do not have jobs, unemployment is everywhere. Many become alcoholic and use the local drug called “ rongony .” This drug drives people to craziness and finally to death! It is also present in the villages of Akamasoa, even though we apply a strict control so that it does not invade us. We are an oasis in a desert of temptation, debauchery and prevent the rise of so many dangers is not easy to do and we do not always succeed!
Young people are also attracted by the easy life. Images of life in Europe and where money flows, where people have everything they want, where everything falls from the sky easily seduces! These false images of reality in Europe are unfortunately conveyed by the media and tourists passing by. For these young people to live in Europe is paradise!
Each year, during several months, I have to take my pilgrim’s staff to testify about the situation in our country and to raise the funds necessary for the survival of thousands of poor people.
When I visit the countries of Europe, Reunion or even Australia, which has the same population as Madagascar I still wonder why we are so poor.
When I see this big difference in living standards, a powerful energy encourages me to help my brothers who are working for the construction of houses and earning less than 2 dollars per day!
I redoubled my force to persuade all those who come to listen, to share some of their wealth, voluntarily and freely with those who love their children and want to prepare for themselves a better future!
I am sure no one on earth can bare to see a hungry child, and if everyone is convinced that his help will arrive to the poor, especially children who are hungry , nothing will prevent him to participate in our fight against poverty and at all time he will be ready to share some of his wealth.
I thank all of you who received me with such kindness and respect and whom generously provided us with financial support enabling us to continue the miracle of Akamasoa for this last 24 years.
Here are our achievements of the year 2013 which we are pleased to share with you: Near the capital Antananarivo :
Manantenasoa : 41 homes built – 120 units repaired – finished a high school with library, computer room, laboratory room, staff room, meeting room , golf, basketball, paved courtyard – finished kindergarten ( already operational with 400 children ) – construction of two new water connections and electricity for 50 households tanks.
Mangarivotra : a street was paved over 1km – finished the cemetery and built a new house of 100m2 dedicated to funeral ceremonies- Construction of 2 new asphalt basketball courts and two small playgrounds.
Bemasoandro : school sports complex were fenced with 300m retaining wall – finishing stands of the stadium.
Tolotra : Finish educational school with 12 classrooms .
Safata : construction of the multipurpose room and two new classrooms – new latrines and showers in the maternity – construction of a bridge 15 meters of concrete. At Bethany near morondova - finish and inaugurated of the hotel.
Ranomafana : construction of a retaining wall – Toilet – a cottage reflection.
Antolojanahary : finish the paved road 800m – construction of a large communal grave yard for the village – concrete paths so that people do not slip during the rainy season – closing stage was coated and painted – planting 20,000 trees Mahatsara . Creating a nursery for more than 200 000 trees with Seed Association of Life.
PROJECTS FOR 2014
Manantenasoa : build 70 new houses – repair 100 existing houses , build an annex primary school with 10 classrooms – build a lumber room for up to 500 people – pave a road to Antaninarenina - Enlarge our prayer place- connect electricity to 70 new families – build 2 new water tanks , build latrines.
Bemasoandro : build two basketball courts , locker rooms and a meeting room and party inside the stadium – 300m paved road – tar entry to the stadium and school sports complex.
Tolotra : 250m paved road – carry water supply
Ambaniala : rehabilitate and pave the entrance in the village.
Mahatsara : perform remediation work – build gutters and sidewalks for the quarter consisting of 36 housing – build latrines.
Ampitafa ( by province) : build a large party room
Kimony near Morondava construction of a Maternity and housing midwife. Plant 25,000 trees in all villages Akamasoa .
To conclude this report I would like to thank you for your perseverance in supporting us during these 24 years, fighting to bring a ray of light and happiness in this place of extreme poverty !
I also want to thank all the good wishes, men and women of France , La Reunion, Monaco , Italy , Slovenia , Switzerland, Austria , Canada and Australia that help us to live with hope in the midst of the poorest of our brothers and sisters !
On behalf of our 11,353 children and youngsters enrolled in our schools, on behalf of all leaders and especially on behalf of Akamasoa people, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014!
God bless you ! Father Pedro Opeka