Paper Fashion Show

March. 14, 2013 text and photos by Kate Bialous

A part of a routine day in Akany Avoko is a fun activity organised for our children by the volunteers. Every afternoon kids wait for the bell to ring to announce an activity time. Usually children draw, color or paint, play different sports or go for a walk in the village.

Volunteers always try hard to engage the kids and involve them in many creative activities, giving them opportunity to discover and develop their talents as well as learn new skills.

Recently we were all guests at the very special fashion show. Designers and models were our primary school kids but the clothes were made of old newspapers. All the outfits were very inventive. Some had African influences and other were more western style.

The show was also a competition. There were 5 teams who worked 90 minutes on their projects. At the end, models presented their costumes as professionals, walking on the catwalk with audience applause and to the accompaniment of a music.

Finally there were 5 winners as it wouldn't be too fair to only choose one!

A Day of Camaraderie Compliments of the EU

Feb. 21, 2013 text and photos by Kate Bialous

Sponsored by
the European Union.
Twice a year we organize a staff leisure day sponsored by the E.U. Grant "Ici et Ailleurs". It gives a chance for our employees to get to know each other outside of work. And as before, the staff from 3 sister centers joined together to play and socialize.

Employees of each center prepared activities for their colleagues. There were fun indoor games and outdoor activities such as football (soccer), basketball and a dodgeball game. For those not interested in sport, there was an opportunity to sing in a karaoke, one of the most popular Malagasy social activities.

Work colleagues who on a daily basis look after children in their centers like Akany Avoko had a chance to have good fun and play as if they were children themselves. As dancing is probably the favorite amusement in Madagascar, we did not forget traditional dances to the tropical rhythms.
The day was full of positive energy and a good spirit in the air.

Different games showed how strong our staff can be when working together as teams. One for all, all for one!

A tired team ready to head home.

2 New Buildings Inaugurated with EU Grant

Feb. 18, 2013 text and photos by Kate Bialous
Sponsored by
the European Union.

On February 8th, we inaugurated 2 new buildings in the center. They are a part of a bigger European Union Grant supporting Akany Avoko during three years. Project 'Here and There' helps to improve conditions of life for our children. 

The newest facilities include a shower for girls living in a main dormitory and a new multi-purpose building named Bougainvillier, after a popular tree in Madagascar. Bougainvillier consists of 2 food storage rooms and an infirmary. The opening ceremony was launched with V.I.P. guests, such as local authorities and many people professionally involved with Akany Avoko. The audience also included curious kids and their families who came to see how the center is providing better and better living conditions for their children. The storage rooms will provide a proper space to store food and supplies such as those donated by World Food Program.  The infirmary is a clean and private environment for our nurse and doctor to look after any unwell children.

The Holiday Season 2012

Jan. 7, 2013 text and photos by Chad Lebo

[Version française ci-dessous]

The holiday season is a special and wonderful time for our children. Some of our children are able to spend time with their families and some of the children stay with us throughout the season. We do our best to show the children the love and attention they so deserve. Because of the generosity and kindness of donors, we are able to make sure each child receives a special Christmas gift. But the love and support does not end there.

We were able to have 4 special events this holiday season. We had a wonderful Christmas feast and gave gifts to the children before some of the children left to spend the holiday with family. The children put on an amazing Christmas show for friends and guests. On Dec. 25th, we had another special Christmas lunch for all the children and Santa Clause even came and delivered some ice cream. And to celebrate the old year and welcome the new year, we had a wonderful dance party and talent show on New Year's eve followed by a special lunch on New Year's Day.

We wish our family of supporters and donors could have joined us for all of these special events, but we are afraid pictures will have to do instead. If you click on the photos and links below, you can go to the full photo albums.

Les périodes de fêtes représentent toujours un moment magique pour nos enfants. Certains d'entre eux ont la possibilité de rentrer chez eux, au sein de leur famille, d'autres restent quant à eux à Akany pendant les fêtes. Nous faisons de notre mieux pour leur apporter de l'amour et l'attention qu'ils méritent. Grace à la générosité et à la gentillesse de nos donateurs, nous nous assurons que chaque enfant reçoive un cadeau de Noël. L'affection et le support que nous leur apportons ne s'arrêtent cependant pas là.

Nous avons également pu organiser 4 événements pendant la période des fêtes. Les enfants ont pu se régaler lors d'un merveilleux festin de Noël, au cours duquel des cadeaux ont été distribués à l'ensemble des enfants avant que certains d'entre eux ne rentrent dans leur famille respective. Les enfants ont également réalisé un superbe spectacle de Noël sous les applaudissements des spectateurs, amis et invités. Le 25 décembre a été célébré autour d'un véritable déjeuner de Noël, le tout couronné par l'apparition du Père Noël et de sa hotte remplie de glaces. Enfin, le passage à la nouvelle année a donné lieu à un réveillon placé sous le signe de la dance, avec au programme, un "talent show" et une superbe boom. Le jour du 1er de l'an a une fois de plus, permis aux enfants de se régaler autour d'un bon déjeuner.

Nous aurions aimé pouvoir partager ces moments avec tous ceux qui nous apportent leur soutien, à défaut, des photos pourront témoigner de ces quelques moments magiques passés à Akany Avoko.

Si vous cliquez sur les liens et les photos ci-dessous, vous pourrez accéder à la totalite des albums.

Professional Education (CAM) Exhibition

Jan. 4, 2013 text and photos by Chad Lebo

The Professional Education Program (CAM) at Akany Avoko is better than ever. And just before Christmas the dedicated students had a chance to prove it. The students prepared an exhibition to showcase their skills and products. 

The honored guests of staff, teachers and volunteers were treated to amazing food, a fashion show of clothes and hairstyles, a tour of the lush garden and received a 2013 calendar prepared during computer lab lessons. 

All classes are now taught by professional and certified teachers and the curriculum is detailed and comprehensive. Qualified instructors and high expectations are making a real difference. And beginning in 2013, the young women studying in Akany Avoko's Professional Education Program (CAM) will be able to receive government-approved certificates for completed training. This certificates will benefit the young women when seeking jobs and starting their independent lives after Akany Avoko.

Bravo to the students and teachers.