Madagascar storm hits sponsored friends' homes
February 22, 2012
ANTSIRABE, Madagascar — Cyclone Giovanna, the category four tropical storm that struck Madagascar on Feb. 14, damaged the homes of about 300 CFCA sponsored friends, but caused no injuries or deaths, said Antsirabe project coordinator Liva Rajaonarisina.
"Many homes of our sponsored members were damaged, roofs off, walls down," Rajaonarisina said.
By 5 p.m. Feb. 14, the storm's heavy winds and rain had dissipated. Staff members in some communities began visiting homes to assess the damage, and some sponsored friends and their families showed up at the CFCA project office.
The project encouraged members of mothers groups to visit one another and offer support. These are small CFCA groups where mothers of sponsored children identify their families' greatest needs — such as seed money for small businesses, educational support and participation in the local community — and work with the staff to develop solutions.
Rajaonarisina said the mothers group leaders wrote up reports of their visits to help the project staff prioritize assistance to those most in need.
Many families were able to access sponsorship funds to cover repair costs. The project is also using special funds CFCA provides to cover community needs in emergencies.
Madagascar is prone to cyclones and tropical storms, especially in the rainy season from February to May.
"The project is encouraging families to make repairs soon since they are still in the rainy season," Rajaonarisina said.
CFCA's Antsirabe project serves more than 2,300 children, youth and aging friends and their families in Madagascar.
Giovanna made landfall in the eastern port city of Toamasina, about 125 miles from the capital, Antananarivo. The storm has killed at least 23 people and damaged thousands of homes.
Please join us in keeping the CFCA community and all residents of Madagascar in your prayers.