Foko Welcomes Bloggers in Sava & Antsiranana and more cultural insights

These last weeks have seen a whirlwind of activities at FOKO : our bloggers travel, found photography clubs and celebrate their first year anniversary of blogging. FOKO also scores cooperation with like-minded activists : New York based Malagasy singer Razia Said and FOKO are now walking hand in hand in to promote conservation awareness.
FOKO is now really well represented geographically and FOKO bloggers take us on a tour of the Big Red Island . Let us start with HKambora who posts about the Sakalava expansion and the origins of the Antakarana Kingdom :

“The legend is based on a story in which King Andriandahifotsy foretold the founding of two kingdoms, the Sakalava and the Antakarana by studying astrology. The King offered a choice to his sons between gold and silver the choice would predict the future of the two branches of his family. The descendants of royal blood decided in favour of gold (Volamena) and the King predicted the founding of a great but short-lived kingdom, the Sakalava Kingdom. The non royal descendants chose silver (Volafotsy) and it was foretold that they would found a much smaller but longer lasting kingdom, the Antakarna.”
Then let us move south to the Central Highlands :
In Antananarivo, Pati is founding a photography club with support from UNICEF.

“A la clôture de l’atelier, les parents et les responsables des associations, écoles ou centres d’origine des enfants étaient invités pour la restitution et l’offre officielle d’un appareil photo pour chaque entité. En ce qui concerne les participants, après avoir bénéficié d’une très riche formation,ils vont à leur tour former d’autres enfants qui seront regroupés dans le tout nouveau premier club de jeunes photographes de Madagascar, que l’UNICEF va créer avec les 18 participants. Beaucoup d’échanges, de partages et de messages transmis, ainsi ont été les résultats de cet atelier. Mais le plus grand en est la nouvelle voie qui s’ouvre aux enfants et jeunes malgaches par le biais de l’UNICEF : l’expression par les photos.”

In Antsirabe, when ESSVA students are not enthusiastically promoting blogging, they are busy traveling. This time, they explored the photogenic island of Nosy Be and for our benefits, they post pictures and texts. Follow our island trotters here when they cover the DONIA festival.

“Il ne reste plus qu’une semaine de cours. Les étudiants en 2ème de la Filière Communication et Journalisme ont pris de l’avance sur les vacances en faisant un voyage d’études à Nosy-Be. Le cadre est le festival Donia, un plate-forme par excellence en matière de communication. L’utile et l’agréable, en somme. Mais trêve de bla-bla et laissons les photos parler.”
“We have one week of classes left. Second year students majoring in Communication and journalism go on vacation early by visiting Nosy Be. The landscape is the Donia festival, an excellent backdrop for communication. Joining pleasant and useful things. But let us stop chit chatting, pictures are worth thousands of words. “

Interview with director of communication of Donia
(ESSVA interviewed the rep of the Donia festival)

Andrikely writes about the consequences of the political crisis on farmers. Many of them used to supply TIKO, Madagascar's dairy company, which belonged to the ousted President, Marc Ravalomanana. TIKO is now encountering many hardships.

Région Vakinankaratra

Actuellement, les éleveurs des vaches laitières rencontrent de problème de surproduction de laits dans la ville d’Antsirabe et surtout dans la région de Betafo (26 km à l’ouest de la ville) . La plupart de ces paysans dépendent de la collection de l’industrie TIKO qui est le principal producteur de produits à base laitière mais le TIKO n’a reçu depuis le début de la crise parce que leurs consommateurs ont diminué par des différentes raisons à cause de la situation actuelle. Par conséquent, les laits doivent être vendus par bouteille dans la rue avec de prix plus bas, pour éviter la perte total des éleveurs , ils les transformés en yaourt de maison si bien qu’il y ait beaucoup de produits vendus sur la rue et la consommation diminue de jour en jour ; le problème, c’est le lait devient inutile si on ne réussit pas à le vendre en même jour .Le lait peut être transformé aussi en fromage (transformation informelle par les éleveurs ) mais son prix n’est pas relatif à la quantité de laits à transformer .Donc, ces paysans doivent chercher tous les moyens pour gagner de revenu à partir de leur propre production.”

“Dairy overproduction amongst farmer with minimal prices”
Today farmers who rise dairy cows meet overproducion problems in the city of Antsirabe, and especially in the Betafo region (26 kilometers west of the city). Most of these farmers depend on the collect that TIKo does, as it is the principal producer of dairy products, but consumers have reduced their intake since the crisis. And so milk is sold by the bottle in the streets at the lowest cost, to avoid total loss by the farmers, they also now make home made yogurt, and there is too many of those on the streets and consumption diminishes day by day. Milk is useless if one does not sell it on the same day. Milk can also be used to make cheese (informally), but the price is not correlated to the quantity of milk to be used. So these farmers have to find any means to gain revenue based on their own production.”

Meanwhile the FOKO family keeps growing : FOKO has now a foothold (or two) in Northern Madagascar. The SAVA region and Antsiranana are now part of the FOKO network. You can follow their first steps here. Welcome to the FOKO coordinators there : Affick GASSARD and Rakotoarisoa. Please encourage our new bloggers by posting comments.
We are happy to report that three of our bloggers also celebrated their one year anniversary of blogging these last three months. From the Eastern coast, Patrick reflects on his motivations for blogging :

“Why did I start to blog?
To be frank, I don’t know. You know why? Because when Mr. Stéphane and Mrs. Valerian called me with my team from BUEC for the first time, I never even heard about that “BLOG” Then when I started and surfed around the old bloggers blog at that time, one thing came out from my mind: it’s the only one way where can I make my voice heard, the only one way to make BUEC known, the only one way to have a lot of friends in very short time, the only one way that I can listen from all around the world. That’s why I became fan of blogging.
What is the best blogging experience?
In term of experience, I got lot of from blogging but the best one is: now I get used to shut my mouth up when I heard something which I’m not sure.”

In May, Patrick introduces to us the new dynamic president of BUEC in Toamasina.

And as always, but with a special mention to Patrick, kudos to our members whose enthusiasm and consistency at blogging should be noted. We are proud of you.

4 thoughts on “Foko Welcomes Bloggers in Sava & Antsiranana and more cultural insights

  1. Vaovao tsara loatra izegny e e ! Tegna ravoravo zaho mahita fa DIANA ndreky SAVA efa manomboko miara-miasa am’FOKO! I just had the pleasure of meeting Afick here at my place, and I look forward to working with him, Radio Ciel, and the whole FOKO family on community radio initiatives, part of the global effort to improve the free flow of information in Madagascar. Congratulations to FOKO on the wonderful work, sady arahabaina dia tohiza fo ny asa mahafinaritra ataonaro e!

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