Makings in Malagasy

Greetings from Janus association!

I wish to visit Grameen and receive training because I think that microcredit is one important solution for poverty. I have travelled a lot for more than 25 years through Madagascar and the Third World. I saw that everywhere the poor and especially the women are out of the economical circuit and out of the civil society.

Grameen is more than a bank. It is also a great instrument for education, wisdom and humanism. That's very important. My vision of the human being is not only economical. I consider the human being as a totality, as a whole, not only as a body that eats, drinks and sleeps like an animal. The man has material needs, physical needs and spiritual needs, all together Grameen's approach includes all these.

Our project is to replicate Grameen system in Madagascar. The economic situation of this country must be quiet similar to Bangladesh, but the area is large (15 million people in 587,000km2). 85% of the Malagasy people work in agriculture (mostly rice and bovine cattle). The productivity is very low. There are some export crops: cloves, vanilla, coffee. The economy has been destroyed by 17 years of Marxism. The forest fires cause erosion and destruction of the fauna. The real problem is the deficiency of communcations: broken roads and railways, air transport very costly, reducing trade and tourism, no telephone outside the 4 or 5 main towns, the post doesn't work well etc...

Malagasy people are African blacks on the coasts and Asian Indonesian in the central plateau. The Malagasy language is of Malay-Polynesian origin and is spoken everywhere; in big villages, it's the language of education, business and administration. English is rather unknown.

We plan to begin the project in the area of FENERIVEEST and MANANARA (East coast, north or TAMATAVE. This area is quite well connected by road and could develop activities like fruits, vegetables and milk production whose supply doesn't follow the demand. If the international and domestic air fares drop soon, a kind of "ecological" tourism could bring a lot of interesting development.

Like anywhere, the women are the most efficient and able to resolve their problems. Right now, we've identified some young men with roots and high level of conescientiousness. They are keen yo know about Grameen approach to micro lending. Right now they are too poor to leave their occupations in Madagascar, but I'd like to organize for them a visit to Grameen in 1999.
Yann Binet          
JANUS Association          
5, Rue Jamerosa          
Reunion Island          
Indian Ocean          
Tel/Fax: 262 32 8480