As well as having links with the church and the wider village community, All Saints' School has links further afield through an orphanage in Madagascar, called Akany Avoko.
What is Akany Avoko?
Akany Avoko is a self financing centre that feeds, clothes, houses, educates and entertains. Akany Avoko struggles to bring hope to 120 destitute children in Madagascar. It is a place that provides love and care to those in desperate need.
It provides a Childcare centre, described as “best in Madagascar” - home for the younger children. Akany Avoko provides education at school or vocational training for the older young people. A Half Way Home provides intensive support for girls needing help moving to independence. The Training Farm is run by Akany Avoko graduates who are trying to make a new life for themselves in the countryside.
Young people are encouraged and supported to develop skills that will enable them to live independently and earn their own living. Even the youngest children are encouraged to use their individual talents to raise funds to cover the costs of Akany Avoko.
It costs Akany Avoko £3,000 a month to carry out their work.
During a time of political instability in Madagascar Akany Avoko has received virtually no financial support from the Madagasy Government. A grant from the British Embassy enabled much needed repairs and renovation to take place during 2003. Most of the funds raised are through child sponsorship schemes which provide security for half of the 120 children. When a sponsor is found, the individual child is delighted in knowing that there is somebody out there who cares about them.
Who do we support?
For many years, our school has sponsered a girl called Valentine, at Akany Avoko.
Until December 2004, Valentine and her brothers and sisters were living on the streets of Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. Their mother spent her days begging or searching bins and gutters for food, leaving five year old Valentine in charge of her 3 siblings often for days at a time. On these occasions Valentine would also have to try to find food for them.
After a long time of living like this, a night shelter eventually agreed to let the children sleep there but returned them to the streets every day. One day a group of council workers found Valentine and her brothers and sisters alone and took them to the police. Despite searching, their mother could not be found.
The police placed the children at Akany Avoko. After the police placed the children at Akany Avoko, Valentine has grown into a well rounded, independant and happy girl, and has recently moved back home to live with her parents. Akany Avoko still regularly send a outreach worker to provide support and assistance to Valentine.
More recently, the school has begun to suport a orphan called Misaina, a lively and enegetic boy who is learning to love life at Akany Avoko, as the pictures in the gallery show. The school keeps in regular contact with Misaina, and Akany Avoko. Here is a recent email from him:
Dear Sue all my friends,
Hello! I hope that you are all fine.
We are very excited because Christmas is coming very soon, we all like Christmas time.
We will perform our Christmas show on 18th December, it will take place at the town hall of the village, we hope that lots of people will come to see us. And our Christmas lunch will be on 23rd December.
School is going well but seems like time goes so fast, already we are going to have our end of term exam next week.
The weather has been really hot but also it rains in the afternoon.
Some of our friends were christening a week ago and we all were very happy to celebrate it with them.
There has been lots going on at Akany Avoko, two weeks ago we all went for a day trip to a place called Ampefy on the west part of the city, it is about three hours drive from Akany Avoko; this place is famous for its volcanic lakes and its geysers; please see attached our photo swimming in the pool filled with some water from the geysers, looks like a chocolate water!!!!!!! also a photo of us by the lakes . We really enjoyed our swimming, the weather also was so nice over there. We had rice with chicken and peas for our picnic lunch!
The second round of the election of a president in Madagascar will take place on 20th December, the grown up people hope that the politicians will behave themselves and will accept the result.
I think that's my news for now, I hope to hear from you soon.
Find out more about Akany Avoko at their exciting new website which is packed with up-to-date news, photos and videos.
Why do we want to support Misaina & Valentine at Akany Avoko?
Our children have love, care and hope for a bright future. We would like them to begin to develop an awareness of children who are not as fortunate, through personal contact and knowledge. Our link with Misaina enables the children to get to know and support an individual child so that they can begin to appreciate that their actions can make a positive difference.
Personal contact is the key to sustaining contact. We have supported Akany Avoko for many years and have an in depth knowledge of their work. We are keen to keep in direct contact with Misaina and Akany Avoko and monitor the impact of our support.
£20 a month supports Misaina. 20p from each child per month gives Misaina his childhood back and so we encourage each child to bring in 20p for Misaina on the first Monday of each month.
Since we first began our link with Akany Avoko a number of families have made the commitment to sponsor a child at Akany Avoko.