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Country Facts

Population: 18.4 million
Climate: Tropical along coast,
temperate inland

Economy: Exports include minerals,
semi-precious stones, fish, coffee,
seafood, petroleum products
Government: Republic
Religions: Indigenous beliefs 52%,
Christianity 41%, Islam and others 7%
Languages: Malagasy, French

History (thanks Wikipedia)
Officially the Republic of Madagascar
or Malagasy Republic, is an island
nation in the Indian Ocean off the
southeastern coast of Africa.
Madagascar, is the fourth largest
island in the world and home to five
percent of the world's plant and animal
species (more than 80 percent of
which are indigenous to Madagascar.)
Most notable are the lemers  and the
fossa and 3 endemic bird familiea and
the famed baobab trees. The adjective
for Madagascar is Malagasy
(pronounced "mal-la-gas-ee" or
"mal-a-gash"), and the official national
language is Malagasy.
The first settlers came from Asia,
rather than Africa, circa 700 AD. The
culture shows the influence of both
Africa and Asia. The written history of
Madagascar began in the 7th century,
when Arabs established trading posts
along the northwest coast. European
contact began in the 1500s, when
Portuguese captain Diego Dias
sighted the island after his ship
separated from a fleet going to India.
In the late 17th century, the French
established trading posts along the
east coast. From about 1774 to 1824,
it was a favourite haunt for pirates,
including Americans.
In 1817, the Merina ruler (main ruler of
the island) and the British governor of
Mauritius (another island of the coast
of South Easter Africa) concluded a
treaty abolishing the slave trade, which
had been important in Madagascar's
economy. In return, the island received
British military and financial
assistance. British influence remained
strong for several decades, during
which the Merina court was converted
to a Christian format. However in 1885
the British exchanged any claim to
Madagascar over to the French in
exchange for Zanzibar. Absolute
French control over Madagascar was
established by military force in
1895-1896, and in 1896 the French
Parliament voted to annex
Madagascar. An independent
Malagasy Republic was proclaimed on
October 14, 1958 as an autonomous
state in the French community; a
period of provisional government
ended with the adoption of a
constitution in 1959 and full
independence on June 26, 1960. A full
revision of the constitution of 1992
ruled that the country should be
decentralized into territorial entities.
    Proposed Schedule could include an optional 5 day Cape Town South
    Africa HIV/AIDS and Cultural awareness Experience:

    Day 1- Depart North America for Madagascar
    Day 1 Depart North America
    Day 2 Arrive Madagascar
    Day 3-7 Build or work project Madagascar
    Day 8 R&R Safari or cultural
    Day 9-13 build or work project
    Day 14 Celebration
    Day 15 Return to North America or post project safari or travel to Kruger
    area South Africa.
Madagascar Housing Need

Habitat for Humanity Madagascar (HFHM) sees housing as a means of helping
people out of poverty and empowering communities to develop. Since beginning
construction in 2000, HFHM has helped hundreds of Malagasy families in 17
communities to build simple, decent homes. HFHM helped more than 650 families
split up in 17 affiliates (August 2006). These families typically have incomes of
as little as $0.13 per person per day.
Habitat  houses measure between 15 and 40 sq. meters and usually comprise of
a living room, bedroom, kitchen and a bathroom. House foundations are made of
stone or fired clay bricks and then covered with concrete floors, while the walls
are made of clay brick and mortar. Clay tiles or thatch is used for the roofs and
windows and doors are made of eucalyptus. A pit latrine is built outside the house.
Program Highlights
HFHM has adopted a livelihood-based strategy, working with communities that
are cash poor, but rich in other resources that can help them to meet their
housing needs. The program is sustainable and ensures that poverty reduction is
achieved, by keeping house costs affordable for families in need. There are plans
to expand into new communities, whilst continuing to lower building costs.
The program applies traditional vernacular architecture, using appropriate, locally
produced materials from renewable sources. Families are given a choice of
materials from which to construct their house, enabling them to build according to
their needs, aspirations, and capacities.
HFHM considers local labor, whether paid or voluntary, to be a valuable
resource. The community joins together in building homes for one another, in
accordance with Malagasy culture of helping yourself and your neighbor.
Moreover, local artisans, thatchers, brick-makers, and masons earn wages with
which to feed their families, pay school fees, and fund health care. The income
they receive has a knock-on effect throughout the community.
Anir Experience helps build Habitat for Humanity house in Madagascar offering an
optional pre-build activity in Cape Town South Africa and optional post build safaris
in Madagascar or Kruger area South Africa