Here’s a blog post on the groups of women that work with MBP. I figured this would be good timing for International Women’s Day on March 8th which, of course, the Ambalahosy women are preparing a celebration for and even Dadalioka is excited about.
– MBP Volunteer, Nina
Vehivavy Vonona & the Women’s Teams
In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8th, I’d like to bring into the spotlight the awesome women from throughout Kianjavato Commune that help us around the nursery and with tree planting. This special day was actually brought to my attention by the Ambalahosy Women’s Association, from the fokontany nearest KAFS, in their efforts to raise money for a small celebration on March 8th. Here’s a little bit about the women I’ve gotten to work with over the last 7 months.
Vehivavy Vonona, a.k.a. Single Mother’s Club
This group of 5 women helps us with tasks around the nursery 3 days a week, from preparing compost for seedlings, to weeding, to repairing baskets that we use to transport seedlings to the field on planting days. The Vehivavy Vonona, or “women ready to work”, are all single mothers that work with us to bring in a little extra income for them and their kids. They even helped out at Conservation Fusion’s Lemur-O-Rama, handing out juice to the hundreds of kids that participated in the event, and came decked out in colorful bandanas and tie-dye t-shirts from Conservation Fusion. Though currently only at KAFS, MBP will soon be supporting a group like this in each fokontany where we have nurseries. It’s always nice to see their familiar smiling faces coming up the KAFS hill 3 times a week!
Fokontany Women’s Teams
Each time we plant trees (6,000 so far this year!), on top of the local men we hire to carry seedlings up the hillside, we also hire a group of 10 women to actually plant the trees. Similar to the group of single mothers, these women’s teams also bring their families a little extra income by planting with MBP. Each week we rotate the teams and take a team from the next fokontany. And, as I learned last week, not even rain will faze these women. They just go on planting, singing, and helping me improve my Malagasy one word at a time. Last week’s words were (appropriately) lavo, fall/slip, and maditsaka, muddy.
Thank you very much!