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Malagasy bloggers rally for Madagascar's children

The Malagasy blogosphere was quite active on humanitarian efforts these past two weeks.

It all started when Jogany at the purplecorner.com invited the Malagasy blogosphere to get involved in a virtual fund raiser: a blog-a-thon where participants would write 1 post every 30 min, 24h non-stop to raise fund for orphans in the villages of Vontovorona, Mangarano and Anstirabe.

The theme? Fairy tales. Storytelling is an important aspect of Malagasy culture, especially tales from our ancestors. Many of those traditional Malagasy stories are at risk of being forgotten, so such efforts are important for keeping them in the general public’s mind.

Another humanitarian effort for helping the children in Madagascar will take place in Paris on September 15th. Pokanel is organizing a cultural rally where participants will be divided in groups named after Malagasy ethnic groups. Each group will compete in a cross between trivial pursuit and a treasure hunt in the middle of the beautiful monuments of Paris.

Pokanel has gained some notoriety thanks to creative writing, a deadpan humor and “outside-the-box” ideas such as posting a Paris Hilton photo as a banner for their “help the Malagasy Children” project.

The decision to arbitrarily assign groups a tribal name is also an interesting way of diffusing from the start any ethnic issues. Ethnic tensions are a recurrent problem in the Malagasy blogopshere.

On a related note, a generous initative outside of Madagascar caught the attention of Malagasy blogger Harinjaka.

After hearing about the windmill engineered by Malawian teenager William Kamkwamba, a group of TED members have volunteered to support William and his family in a constructive manner. Harinjaka wrote:

“William, if you read this entry, just know that you are such an inspiration for many of us in here in Madagascar!”

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