Category Archives: Madagascar

Kintana Telo drum.
Mar 25 2016

Unbound families share their talents through song

Voices of Unbound: Madagascar
In 2014 several groups of musicians from our Antsirabe program in Madagascar were invited to record their music for the first Voices of Unbound CD. The Voices of Unbound: Madagascar CD was created to celebrate the talent and culture of our Unbound community while increasing awareness of the Unbound program. Below, Rovah, a staff member from our Antsirabe office, and Lydia, a mothers group member and musician, share their stories of participating in the music project. You can listen to the recordings online at unbound.org/music.
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The enclosure the family built to keep their pigs.
Feb 19 2016

Getting ahead through careful saving

Sarobidy helps take care of his family's farm animals.

Sarobidy helps take care of his family’s farm animals.

Just four years ago Sarobidy’s family was struggling to survive, living in a small wooden house in Madagascar on the little income his mother, Hasiniaina, made doing laundry and selling vegetables and firewood. His father, Léon, wasn’t able to find work.

Sarobidy attended an inexpensive local school, though the quality of the education wasn’t very good. Though the tuition only cost about $2.50 USD per month, the expense took a toll on the family’s budget.

“We were afraid to borrow money,” Hasiniaina said. “There were many times that we didn’t have food, but there was no one to help.”

Then in March of 2012, Sarobidy was sponsored through Unbound by Paul and Maureen from Ohio, and his family was able to start turning their situation around.

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Making Christmas cards.
Dec 21 2015

Cards full of love

Every year, sponsored friends of all ages gather to make Christmas cards to send their love and holiday wishes to their sponsors. Check out these photos to get a glimpse at the work that goes into making the Christmas cards.

Send your sponsored friend a Christmas greeting today!

Sponsored children and their classmates in Uganda.
Jun 15 2015

The Day of the African Child

Sponsored children and their classmates in Uganda.

Sponsored children and their classmates in Uganda.

On June 16, 1976, more than 100 students in Soweto, South Africa, were shot and killed and thousands were injured after a protest for equal and quality education for all children.

Tomorrow, June 16, is the Day of the African Child. This day has been celebrated every year since 1991 in memory of those who participated in the Soweto protest and to raise awareness for the continued improvement of Africa’s educational systems.

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Dan talks with Unbound friends and their families.
May 22 2015

A gift for Africa Day

Dan gives a fist bump to a young girl outside the Unbound office.

Dan gives a fist bump to a young girl outside the Unbound office near Kibera slum in Kenya.


By Dan Pearson, Director of International Programs

What’s the best gift for a continent? May 25 is Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity. But don’t worry if you haven’t gotten Africa a gift yet. The day hasn’t really caught on in the U.S. like other celebrations of international origin such as St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, but that may change.

The mental maps of many Americans are pretty blank when it comes to Africa, and the topics we associate with the continent are mostly negative: slavery, poverty, starvation, dictators and war. It’s true that Africa’s history is deeply marked by suffering, mostly at the hands of outsiders but also self-inflicted. Modern Africa is changing rapidly, and it is time we all took note.


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Nursing school
Dec 17 2014

‘No Place for Lazy People’

Nursing school

Yollande is completing her training as a nurse at a local health center in Madagascar.

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator for Unbound

Sitting in the home of Yollande and her mother, Jeanne, I was given a beautiful glimpse of human potential. In a place where homes are commonly assembled with humble and often salvaged materials, their home is simple, but stately. When I commented on how lovely it felt to be in their home, Jeanne replied, “We have built our life one step at a time, including this house.”

Yollande is 21 and has been raised alongside her siblings in their neighborhood on the outskirts of Antsirabe, Madagascar. Their neighborhood’s name translates to “No Place for Lazy People.”

Welcome to Tsiratrinikamo.

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Favorite photos of 2014
Dec 12 2014

14 favorite Unbound photos of 2014

Each year we share hundreds of photos from our staff members around the world. A window into another person’s life, each photo tells a unique story.

We shared a ton of amazing photos in 2014. Here are 14 of our favorites.

Click here to see our favorite photos!

Voices of Unbound: Madagascar
Nov 7 2014

Setting ego aside to let music in

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator for Unbound

It is an outlandish thing to make your living as a singer/songwriter, and one of the lessons it taught me early was that in order to make it, you have to hustle.

You have to release the notion that just because a morning of coffee and scratching in a notebook renders a song the world is compelled to respond. There’s a brawn to art, the idea that beneath the lustrous promise of a new creation there is muscle and metal driving it. With each release, there is a constant chirping in my brain, beckoning people to pay attention for a moment to what I’m doing. It is a daily battle for a sliver of presence in a world more infinitely layered than we could ever know.

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Education
Oct 22 2014

Support keeps student in school, out of factory

Unbound scholar

Mamisoa receives a scholarship through Unbound in Madagascar. His scholarship is funded by donations to Education.

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator

I met Mamisoa at the Unbound-Madagascar central office while he was helping out with an event for aging members of the Unbound community. He’s studying earth sciences and wants to work to improve the water quality for people in Madagascar. He was introduced as one of the scholarship recipients. Unbound scholarships are funded by donations to Education. Luckily, I had a chance to pose some questions to Mamisoa.

Q. Why did you apply for an Unbound scholarship?

Keep reading to find out Mamisoa’s answers

Voices of Unbound: Madagascar
Oct 15 2014

Meeting Migasy

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator

For those compelled to think that people who live in poverty have nothing but their need to offer the world, I might begin by offering them the example of the extraordinary group, Migasy. This ensemble of musicians from the Unbound Madagascar community has developed a sophisticated sound with thoughtful messages. Messages that move humanity forward. These are engaged people who, amidst struggle, have committed themselves to creating works of art.

As they played song after song for us, I thought about the instruments that they played — some of them borrowed, some of them held together with rubber bands and plastic. These are the stories that don’t come through the music at first listen. They must be told. So should the very fact that they shared their music with us so others might have opportunity to go to school through Unbound scholarships. They were proud to do it.

As we recorded, the spirit in the room was of generosity. For each of the artists in Migasy, the desire to grow as musicians and offer something of substance moves them forward. For my part, I simply felt lucky to be in the presence of beautiful artists who had managed to do so much with so little.

It is the best of our human spirit set to music. It’s their gift to us.

Learn more about Voices of Unbound: Madagascar at unbound.org/music.