Antsirabe I project completed in Madagascar, changing lives of 30 families and building much-needed hope
ANTSIRABE, Madagascar — The African island nation of Madagascar is a study in paradoxes — rich in biodiversity and natural resources, but poor in infrastructure and economic empowerment of families. The community of Antisirabe in central Madagascar exemplifies the struggles of families trying to survive with most workers earning less than $2 per day. That was before Covid-19 hit and further restricted economic opportunities.
Yet, it is here in Antsirabe that 30 new Fuller Center houses stand as beacons of hope and examples of empowerment for the 30 families who have the security and capital that comes with homeownership.
Antsirabe I is complete, thanks to a generous grant from SELAVIP, donations from Fuller Center for Housing supporters and experienced local leadership from Fuller Center for Housing Madagascar, which transitioned to The Fuller Center’s affordable housing ministry from another housing nonprofit a few years ago.
The houses average about 215 square feet with concrete floors, solid roofs and sewage facilities — a far cry from what many had experienced while living in slum conditions that are common in the Antsirabe area and throughout Madagascar.
Madagascar is eager to host Fuller Center Global Builders teams as soon as the pandemic abates. International volunteers can help the in-country leaders advance their work and repeat the success of Antsirabe I many times over. This project, however, was completed entirely by local hands — including 30 masons and 30 mason apprentices who were trained for this project and now have new skills with the potential to advance their economic opportunities.
“The completion of these 30 homes represents the next big step for Fuller Center Madagascar, but we know it only scratches the surface of their potential,” noted Fuller Center for Housing Vice President of International Programs Ryan Iafigliola, who has visited the area and fully expected this project to be a rousing success. “They are an impressive bunch, and once Covid restrictions lift, they’re looking forward to being one of our newest Global Builders host locations.”