JHA FUND would like to propose adopting a tree from wherever you are in the world!! For $20, the tree will be planted for you at the botanical sight of “Macolline” in Antalaha, Madagascar.
The act of planting and adopting a tree is an opportunity to raise awareness and build relationships between people and the land, from the perspective of agricultural integration. Macolline’s financial income helps support former leprosy patients and their families of the C.A.L.A. villages. It is these villagers that will plant the tree for you as well as take care of it. When you adopt a tree, you will receive a picture of it being planted and as a prospectus of its location in our plantation on the hill. Reforestation is, after access to clean water, vital for environmental and community health. Planting trees looks ahead to the future and improves quality of life.
To participate, you may simply use Paypal to send us your contribution and your tree will be planted within a few weeks. What ever amount you decide to donate will be used towards the C.A.L.A. villages and the Macolline workers that maintain the park.
WHAT IS “MACOLLINE” AND HOW DOES IT RELATE TO C.A.L.A. AND THE LEPROSY VILLAGES?
The nature park Macolline was created as an extension of C.A.L.A., a committee that aids former leprosy patients as well as their families. In French colonial times, these villages were quickly abandoned after the independence of Madagascar. And hence C.A.L.A. was born. People affected by leprosy all over the country hear about our villages and come from all over for treatment of the disease. We are located in two separate villages called Jules and Belfort. Once the patients are healed, they do not want to return to the bush and so their families end up joining them at one of the two villages.
C.A.L.A. is determined to reintegrate the lepers socially within regular society, so jobs have to be created to avoid permanent assistance. Their return to work is essential, and some are disabled because of their former status. Villagers generally can not find work as leprosy creates fear in people still to this day! So… this is where MACOLLINE was born; a botanical site that created nurseries for trees and plants and maintenance jobs on site! And in addition, a reforestation project in the coastal C.A.L.A. village of Belfort is a success as planted species that grow in the sand are specifically for the protection from cyclones. This creates a little income for the villagers as they work diligently at maintaining this well kept plantation.
Today the two villages have private schools because children were excluded from public schools. Children born to parents do not inherit the disease yet still, the fear is there.
C.A.L.A. started with a nursery school reserved for children of the village but over the years we are faced with such an influx of registration from outside (including regular children) that we have to limit the number of students to 300 children. Integration is working! One of the reasons is that C.A.L.A. schools are the only ones in the region with a canteen that serves lunch and that idea attracts parents from all over the commune.
As well, in the last couple of years students at C.A.L.A. had produced excellent report card results. The surrounding villages have gradually realized that our children and their parents no longer transmit leprosy and their children can safely integrate. We have also recently started an educational vegetable garden to improve the menu of the canteen.
Macolline is an educational forest that equips the school with a tool to raise awareness for the protection of biodiversity! We need to teach the different forest species and their use. For example; fast growing trees for daily coal and firewood for cooking vs. hardwood trees used for timber. Then there are slow-growing trees i.e.; precious endangered species that must be protected like Rosewood and Eben.
Macolline and is an exceptional organization and nature park as we aim to make it a sustainable tourism site!
Some examples of former patients that are now working are:
Bepaul; paddles the canoes for Macolline and helps plant and maintain trees!
Josianne; manages the tree nursery by planting seeds as well as watering each seedling and caring for it’s growth!
Fred is the village chief, he makes sure that the village is kept clean and that everybody participates equally! Here he is with his granddaughter Christiana.
Celestin grows and dries peanuts and then sells them!