Section: News : Madagascar

Montfort and Marie-Louise in the Geranium* Field and at the farm

First celebration at the village of Aina, Antananarivo, on April 2008
The mission of the Aina village Community is
  • To promote the life of the families living in the countryside
  • To promote literacy (reading and writing) among the youth and adults
Project Organization

The families who wish to be participants form groups of 7 to 12.
They come to the Village to receive the necessary instructions and formation. They then proceed to either cultivation of geranium, or to farming (chicken, ducks, turkeys, etc…) according to their choice. They will be financed but they will also give their contribution. Throughout the project, these families will be accompanied and evaluated.

Today, more than fifty families take part in the project.

This good work having started more than two years ago, the committee decided to organize a meeting to allow the families to become acquainted with one another and also to permit them to discover at last who the Daughters of Wisdom are and why we are developing this project with them!

Therefore, we decided to have a Celebration on April 28, 2008.

Organization of the Celebration

Two days before the celebration, we received the products of their work. These will be sold by auction and the money will be put in a common cash box.  This cash will be used for their common trips and also to facilitate their openness. Last year, the group went to see the Presidential Showcase and this year, they will visit the airport and Radio Don Bosco in the capital- a trip of 15 km for some, and for others, 80 or more.

Therefore, very early we see them arriving with their baskets on their heads or on their bicycles holding the fruits of their labor. Hand-made hats, manioc, avocado, pineapples, sweet potatoes, young geranium plants, sugar cane, etc…

The Village had also prepared the celebration: games for the children, surprise envelopes, expo-sale of second-hand clothes and a small restaurant so that the people would take advantage of these bargains without receiving everything for free.

Program of the Day :
8:30 a.m : A word of Welcome and right away, the auction. Visit of the stands, buying at the expo-sale, surprise envelopes. So many shouts of joy upon opening the surprise envelope!

10:00 a.m.: Sr. Jeanne d’Arc gives a Power Point Show to present the Congregation. Who are Father de Montfort, Mother Marie-Louise and us, their descendants or disciples…It is a way to make them aware at the same time of the reason why we have started this project with the families.

11:00 a.m.: Distribution of the diplomas to the regular attendants of the writing and reading classes. They were just under 40.

11:30 a.m.: Folklore singing and dancing stressing the importance of learning to read and write.

12:30 a.m.: Meal time.  People group themselves by village, by family, etc. For those who have not brought their picnic, there is the little restaurant. OH My! What a celebration!

2:00 p.m.: It is the moment of celebration, and the parish priest arriving is surprised…

During his sermon, he expressed his astonishment at seeing such a crowd. He addresses this question to the people: “What attracts you so much to the Sisters? Even the children when they see the car passing, yell: “Sister, Sister!” and yet, it is the driver sitting at the wheel! As I left the rectory a while ago, I was thinking I was too tired to celebrate a mass at this hour for a handful of people, but upon arriving here, I am stunned and I can’t believe it!” We were 600 to 700 people with the children. The animation for this mass was made by a youth group from our small parish (community) where we gather to pray each Sunday. When mass was ended, it was already close to sunset. The people need to walk back home! In the Bible, Joshua succeeded in stopping the sun so he could continue the war against his enemies, but us, we cannot hold on to the sun.

The children were yelling: « Let us stay a little bit more, mother, a little bit more! » But we have to go for most of them have to walk 10 to 15 km.

Farewell and thank you are already being heard. “Thank you, Sister for this beautiful day! What a beautiful celebration! What a success! When is the next one? We have to have this more often! “

On the 28th of April, 2008, this was the first celebration in the Village of Aina, Benasandratra, Antananarivo, Madagarcar. 

Sœur Jeanne d’Arc, fdls

* Essential oils

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Montfort and Marie-Louise in the Geranium* Field and at the farm
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