As many of you know, Mike is volunteering for the Peace Corps in Madagascar. As his time there comes to an end, he is trying to raise some money to provide his town Belalitra with basic electricity. They have been without stable power since their generator broke 8 months ago. He is not asking for much, just enough to get some new sources of electricity, allow the village to enjoy some of their traditions, and provide a little hope for a better future. In his words, " I’m convinced your ability to dream, no matter how unreal, can keep you positive in the direst of situations."
For more details, please see Mike's email to some of his friends and family below:
The idea is to invest in a solar panel along with the equipment necessary to convert the power into a usable form. The panel will have the ability to charge telephones or provide movie nights (small TV and speakers already here), morangy (fist-fighting) nights, and dance nights. It is customary to charge a small fee for admittance to these events which can be pooled together for other ideas (ie tree nursery or rice silo). Usually the power is supplied by a generator, but as our generator is constantly broken, no videos or morangy has existed in the past 8 months.
Belalitra has already pledged 400,000 AR (about $200). In order to get an 80 Watt solar panel along with the accessories needed, I’m looking for $640 stateside to supplement the village money.
Any sized donation is well appreciated (after all, the largest Malagasy bill denomination is equivalent to $5). This is a chance to drastically improve the lifestyle of poor villagers and to help them help themselves. I’m hoping to get all the money by December 15 or sooner, which would allow me time to buy the panel and accessories here in Madagascar, transport them back to Belalitra, and have the setup completed in time for Christmas and New Years. I’ll send out a quick email once I have the full amount. Extra money, if desired, can be used to help repair our leaky school roof (December marks the beginning of the daily rain showers).
Let’s get this done and give Belalitrans a light-filled Christmas and New Years!
Love you all,