Jan 29 2013

Mother makes environmentally friendly charcoal in Madagascar


Marie, mother of a CFCA sponsored child in Madagascar.

Meet Marie, mother of three children in Madagascar, who found a creative way to help her family through selling environmentally friendly charcoal made from soil, grass and charcoal powder!

One of her children, 11-year-old Safidison, is sponsored through CFCA.

My husband works in rice fields. I am a housewife.

Before our son was sponsored, we sometimes went hungry because we could not afford to buy food, especially when my husband could not find a job.

Paying school fees for all three children was really a challenge.

Life was not easy. Money was hard to come by since my husband does seasonal work, and the money he made was not enough for our needs.

However, when my son got sponsored, CFCA made our burden lighter.

We now receive nutritional food through sponsorship, and the tuition fee for my son is paid for. I am truly grateful for the help that CFCA has offered my family and me.

The staff members at the CFCA office have been very supportive and encouraging.

I am a member [of a CFCA mothers’ group] and I am happy that I am part of it.

We usually discuss many things in the group, and it has helped me widen my way of thinking. I have grown so much socially and personally as a result of meeting with other women and sharing our life stories, business ideas and dreams. There is so much solidarity amongst us.

I decided to use my free time when my children were in school to do something constructive and get some money. I heard a story about charcoal making and it seemed interesting and easy to do, so that is how the idea came about.

I use soil, which I collect from dry rice fields. I use dried grass and charcoal powder. I mix this all up and form a thick paste, which I later roll into balls and leave to dry.

Homemade charcoal stove

This is Marie’s “stove” to make the charcoal.

These raw materials are easy to come by, and I am glad that I do not have to cut down trees to make charcoal. This way I am conserving my environment.

My clients are normally my neighbors. I am glad that even though I do not make a lot of money, the little I make helps me buy some things that my family needs. We also save up on fuel costs as a family because we use the charcoal I make at home.

I would like to expand my charcoal-making business and also teach more people to make environmentally friendly charcoal.

As a mother, my happiness is to see my children succeed in their lives. I want them to have a better life than their father and me.

As for the sponsors, I would like to thank them from the depths of my heart for their support and love. I pray that God blesses them.

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