Madagascar’s population is among the poorest in the world. Most families have to make do with the lowest income, medical care is scarce and schools are few. Traditionally it is considered good to have many children in Madagascar. But it is the children who suffer most from the poverty of the country: They are often sent to the rice field instead of school to help provide the family’s income. They usually learn from their parents that snakes are best killed quickly and chameleons are creepy animals that are best not touched.
We have always loved to take gifts to the island, especially for children: For a long time sweets and balloons were a big hit. The only thing that remained was the dull taste of leaving unhealthy sweets and plastic garbage on the island. In order to be able to continue to bring something to many children, while at the same time imparting knowledge about species conservation, we launched our private project “colouring books for Madagascar” in 2017. Alex and Dimby designed the colouring books themselves, drew the sketches and translated simple, small texts into Madagascan. The texts show, among other things, that snakes help to restrict rat plagues, that tenreks have a great love for the family in common with humans and that chameleons also catch mosquitoes with their tongues.
Since 2017 we have distributed around 800 colouring books with the corresponding crayons throughout Madagascar – from Kirindy and Tsingy de Bemaraha in the west to Vohimana in the east, from Diego Suarez in the north to Isalo in the south. The children’s eyes shone everywhere and the joy was enormous – and it lasted long, because the booklet was not painted in an hour. Even many parents enjoyed the colouring books, read the texts to their children and talked about which animals from the colouring book were found in their region. And what about Aye Ayes, are they perhaps not as bad as thought? And of course we were asked if we could publish a second colouring book…
If you would like to support us – until now all this has been financed privately – you are welcome to write us a message. By the way, anyone who travels with us always co-finances a few colouring books automatically – and is also welcome to distribute them with us.