FANOMENJANAHARY ROBERT PROTAIS (1999) and
Fanomezantsoa Richard (1997)
Protais and Fanomezana are two brothers who formerly (until 2004) lived in the district. During a medical check at the school in 2005, it struck us that the oldest boy was completely covered in a skin rash. After we had taken him to the doctor and then got to know his story, we let him, his little brother and his sister, eat with our children in the afternoon at the orphanage. The father has never played a part in their lives and their mother left them just after she gave birth to the youngest one of the three, she never came back. When we met these three children, they were living with their grandmother’s sister in a house that did not even have a bed. Apart from the house they only owned one set of clothes. Fanomezana, the oldest of the three, had to take care of his little brother and sister: Getting water in the morning, gathering wood, boiling the little bit of rice there was and taking care of them. Nobody had ever noticed the skin rash before and the fact that all three of them were seriously malnourished. These children were treated badly by their family. We instantly decided that these children could come over to our orphanage for something to eat in the afternoon and that we should get Fanomezana treated for his skin rash. After a few weeks, the children were already looking and feeling a lot better, but one morning the sad news reached us that their little sister had suddenly passed away. She had started vomiting at night and had passed away that morning. The family had not contacted us, otherwise we might have been able to get her to the hospital in time.
From then on (2005), we took in the two brothers in order to prevent something like that happening to them as well. After two weeks, we had to take Fanomezana to the special ward for malnourished children in the hospital. Since the stay at our orphanage both belly and feet got swollen. This however, often happens with malnourished children: the malnourished body is not able to take in all the nutrition it suddenly gets. Normally, only children from the age of five months to 6 year were taken into this special department of the hospital, but Fanomezana was already 10 years old. However, he weighed as little and was as tall as a 5-year-old! Due to this serious malnourishment, Fanomezana was taken in. This special department of the hospital is financed by the EU and the children there are put on a diet that consists of milk with oil and vitamins, and two good meals a day.
After a further two weeks, he left the hospital and since then he is doing really well. He remains much too small for his age, but at school he keeps getting better and he even passed his exams in 2008, after which he started high school.
His brother Protais, however, is much stronger than Fanomezana. But that is because he has not been malnourished for as long as his brother. He has always been in pretty good shape.
In 2013, their mother came back. Since then, she has lived near our centre and we still take care of their education, their medical costs and their monthly portion of rice.
RANAITAFIKA MARCEL (LITA, 1995):
When Mme Honorine still lived in her apartment in town (2000) and walked along the roundabout to and from work every day, she one day discovered two crying boys underneath a big hibiscus tree. These boys were Lita and his little brother. Their mother had left them there that morning. When Honorine returned from her part-time job as laundress in a hotel, the two children were still there. After one hour the mother of the two boys showed up. She told Honorine that she went looking for a job in town, because she could not take care of her children anymore due to the fact that she had no house, land, work or money anymore. Honorine took them home with her. The next day she offered the mother of the two boys help. Honorine would take care of Marcel, the oldest of the two boys and would get him into school. The mother of the two would return to where she came from to get the required birth certificate for the boy, but strangely never showed up. We still ask around for her regularly, but we haven’t found anyone yet who can tell us where she went or might be.
Lita went to secondary school and graduated in 2014.
SAHONDRAMALALA MARIE VERONIQUE (1996) AND LALAONIRINA LISETTE (1994):
In 2001, these two sisters were begging in the streets of Ambositra. When Honorine asked them if they could take her to the place where they lived, she got the shock of her life. In a shed of 2 by 3 meters without windows, three adults, seven children (!) and one baby were living together. The adults were permanently drunk and even gave their children strong liquor to drink. The children were covered in lice and were malnourished. The Foundation directly came into action. Veronique and Lisette were taken away immediately (temporarily until a new building of the Foundation had been built) and were accommodated at an acquaintance of Honorine. From that moment on they also were sent to school. Their little baby sister stayed with their mother, but unfortunately died shortly afterwards. In 2007 their mother also passed away due to the excessive use of alcohol.
The remaining five children were the children of Rakoto and Jacqueline, more about them below.
As soon as the house of the Foundation was constructed in 2003, Veronique and Lisette directly moved in with the other children and Mme Honorine. Lisette graduated in 2014 and Veronique is in secondary school.
ROJOTIANA PHILOMENE (ROJA, 1999):
Rojo was living with the sister of her grandmother and her uncle in a cottage in the district. We very often saw her late at night and early in the morning on the streets, fetching water or doing the grocery shopping. She was only four years old, and always looked very sad. When we enquired about her family, we found out that it was unknown who her father was and that her mother had left a few years earlier and had never returned. The sister of her grandmother was too old to work, her uncle was more often drunk than was good for him and the fact that they both slept in the same bed worried us. We invited her to start at our kindergarten, but she was often ill. Quickly afterwards, we decided that Roja could come and live at the orphanage. Her family was very relieved that we wanted to take care of her. She is in secondary school now.
EMMANUELA LALASOA (EMMA, 1999):
This girl was wandering down the street with a man one day. A woman came to us immediately. Together we went to the police, who afterwards detained him because he had no identity papers with him nor could he prove that he was the father of the girl. Emma stayed with us that night. The next day, the man was released in order to retrieve his identity papers, but he left town and never came back. We knew nothing of this girl’s life because she could not remember much of it herself. She was only six years old by then. Through radio and the police we tried to find her family, but unfortunately we could not find them. We think that she is from the southwest coast, because she has the features of people from that area. She might be one of twins, because people from there think that having a twin is a curse and in the most favourable case these children are given away. We decided that she could stay at the orphanage. She appeared to be a very clever girl and now does very well in secondary school.
FANOMEZANAHARY LALATIANA LALA (1998) EN FANOMEZANAHARY HERINIRINA DANIEL (1992):
Together with her big brother Daniel (right on the picture below), Lala has been living with Honorine since 2001. Daniel was one of the first children who came to live with Honorine. Both Daniel and Lala are children of Marie, a blind lady who was begging at the bus station in town trying to earn enough money for a meal. Daniel as a six-year old boy, always carried his sister around and helped their mother begging for money. Nevertheless, Daniel dreamed of going to school one day and contacted a hotel owner of whom he had heard that he helped poor children. At first he was given a blanket, but soon this one got stolen during a night they spent sleeping at the market. When he returned for help and told the hotel owner that he really wanted to attend school, the hotel owner took him to Mme Honorine. Honorine told Daniel that he could stay at the orphanage and that he could go to school.
Soon after, he asked if his little sister Lala also could come and live at the orphanage, because their mother could not take care of her. This however was a bit more difficult, because Lala still needed breastfeeding, but after a few months Honorine also took in Lala. Their mother Marie was very relieved, as she would never be able to send them to school.
In the film made in 2004 about our Foundation, the complete story of Daniel’s live is told. You can watch the film on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvR0PSw45Fs.
Sadly, in 2012 their mother died.
Momentarily, Daniel is training to be a car mechanic and Lala is in secondary school.
LANTOSOA ANDRIAMANTIONONA (LANTO, 1993):
Lanto, the little boy left in the picture, and his sister Solo were the first ones to come and live at the house of Mme Honorine. Solo attended school and was in the class that was taught by Honorine. However, she absconded most of the time and when she came to school she often fell asleep. When Honorine asked her why she was absent that often and tired, Solo told her that both her parents had died soon after one another and that she and her little brother were now living at their uncle’s. Unfortunately, their uncle did not treat them well. They often had to sleep outside and her little brother was not allowed to attend school as he had to take care of the cows. He wandered with the two cows each day no matter the weather, even though he was just seven years old. Moreover they lived so far from school that she wasn’t always able to walk that far, considering that she wasn’t given breakfast most of the times. At first Honorine asked her if she would come over for lunch after school (school starts at 07.00 and ends at 13.00), so that she at least had one good meal a day. Soon after, we got in touch with their family and together decided that it would be better if they stayed at Honorine’s house.
In the meantime, Solo got married to her husband who is a blacksmith and together they have one daughter. Lanto works as a car mechanic.
ANDRIAMARO JACQUIS (MAMARO, 2000) , ANDRIAMANAMPY HAJA (1993), RANDRIAMIANDRY RADO (1995), RAZAFIARISOA OLGA (1997), AVOTRINIAINA (DADA, 1998), RASOAMMPIVAVAKA ANDONIAINA (ANDO 2003):
These are the six children of Jacqueline and her husband Rakoto. Rakoto has been blind (and deaf) his whole life and sits in front of the cathedral in town day in day out. His wife Jacqueline is drunk most days. The Foundation met them when they took both Lisette and Veronique away from them in order to live in the orphanage. Their parents shared the alcohol addiction and the loft in which they lived. The Foundation rented a room in town to house both parents and their children. We tried to help their mother to start up her own little market stall by teaching her to bake local bread. After the birth of her sixth child we pursuaded her to start using birth control. Unfortunately, we were unable to really help. After we gave her the things she needed to start her own business and gave her clothes for the children, she sold it all and bought locally made rum with the proceedings.
When the new house of the Foundation was built in 2003, we rented a little room near the house, so we could keep a better eye on her children. But unfortunately, even this could not help. The children often stayed home instead of going to school, because there was nothing to eat most of the time. Their clothes were dirty and had holes in them (the new ones we gave them, were sold immediately). Furthermore the parents often fought and the children were beaten. This happened most of the time when the mother was drunk. After a few months we decided that we could not help the whole family. The children were looking terrible and malnourished, despite our efforts. Even the district did not wanted to have these parents around anymore, because their fights at night also kept the neighbours awake. We decided that the five oldest children would come and live at the orphanage. The youngest one was still too little. Furthermore we decided that the parents just had to start making a living on their own. We took this decision together with the district agency and the police. Since then it goes much better with all of the children. Nevertheless, especially the youngest ones have suffered so much and therefore remain very little. Luckily, they get more and more energy, are healthy and are of a sweet disposition. In 2010, their mother died due to an overdose of alcohol. The oldest child, Haja, has graduated and the youngest one, Ando, who came to live with us in 2012, is in primary school now. The other ones attend secondary school in town.
ALAIN AND ROLAND (2004 AND 2002):
Alain and Roland (2004 and 2002) lived in the area, a few blocks away from the city centre. During a medical check in 2008 at the elementary school we noticed that they were really skinny and malnourished. From that moment on, we gave them lunch at our school cafeteria. One day we discovered that they both had some large sores on their bodies. After we had taken them to the doctor and had examined their home situation, we decided that they could come and live with us until they had recovered sufficiently. What we found at their home worried us a lot. Their father had passed away and since then their mother had been drunk. She had just given birth to a tiny little boy, after getting pregnant by her new boyfriend who was also drunk most of the time. They lived in a room of 1.5 meters by 2.5 meters, where the only furniture was an old and dirty bed and the walls were blackened. Most of the days she stayed in the city to hang out with her friend and simply left Alain and Roland on their own, without any food. When the boys had recovered from their sores and had gained some weight, the situation of their mother did not improve unfortunately, she did not even came to visit the boys. We simply could not let these boys go back to the dirty little room in which their mother’s boyfriend was now living as well . Since 2008, Alain and Roland have lived with us. Alain and Roland are both in secondary school now.
In 2007 the mother of Mamitiana came to us. She told us that she had no one left she knew and had been sleeping on the streets for weeks. We first placed them with one of the members of the local Foundation. After a few months however, the mother of Mamitiana still did not knew how to behave. We re-located them both to one of our houses. After a few months this also went wrong. She battered her daughter, ran away and only returned a few days later. On one day she ran off and never returned again. Since then Mamitiana lives with Mme Honorine. From that day on she went to kindergarten with Mme Honorine every day. She is in primary school now. Strangely, she is not growing. Nevertheless she is healthy, eats well and is almost never ill. At school she is doing great.
In 2011 Tsoa was brought to us. Tsoa was 13 months old, but weighted only three kilos, was heavily malnourished and more dead than alive. His mother was ill and had tuberculosis and was not able to breastfeed him. After an emergency admission he had recuperated enough to live with Honorine. Apart from Tsoa, his mother had three more children to take care of. Luckily she became able to raise them. Tsoa is doing great. He is growing amazingly and is in kindergarten now.