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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
Gifted musician Njiva Petsy
Photo No. : P070428-1
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Njiva with fellow Kilasimandry residents
Photo No. : P070428-2
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Hostel residents practising a musical item
Photo No. : P070428-3
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Hostel Empowers Boys from Distant Villages
by Bishop Roger Chung
April 30, 2007

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The Kilasimandry Boys' Youth Hostel in Antsiranana Diocese has done important work in giving young people from far away villages access to better education in northern Madagascar.

Thanks to major help from USPG and CNECPI and generous organisations and individuals throughout the world, the social gospel has been a blessing to a great number of people. New schools have also been opened in the Diocese to support this educational objective of our mission work.

The Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev Jaona Lehibe, was himself a beneficiary of Kilasimandry in the 1960s. Moslems and other religious groups also benefit from the project. We usually have some 20 residents, who come from the distant villages in the rain forest.

Bishop K Benzies, my predecessor, kept this ministry going and favoured the lame and the sick wherever needed. This is still done today.

I want to mention a very gifted young man who joined Kilasimandry in September 2005 and is now 18 years old. His name is Njiva Parson Jean Petsy. He comes from the tiny village of Nosy Be in the Daraina parish, where the Mary Tindall Kilasimandry Girls' Hostel is situated. He has three brothers and five sisters.

As he lives far from the towns where the schools are found, he had to go to Vohemar as an adolescent to attend school. In 2005 he asked to join his elder brother, Be Arlin, at the Kilasimandry Boys' Hostel in Antsiranana. His brother has passed his baccalaureate and has now moved on to Toamasina for college studies.

Njiva is very talented and has joined Diego Suarez' School of Music and Dance, called The Zomare, to further his musical gifts. He studies at the Tournesol secondary school and is doing well in his studies. He is always helpful when there is a need in the Kilasimandry Hostel and he is also a member of the St Matthew's Cathedral choir. He sings beautifully and plays various instruments including the saxophone, accordion, guitar, organ and flute.

Recently Njiva wrote a new song in Malagasy with Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza on the theme of Matth 11:28, "Come to me all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." This song will be used for the inauguration of the New St Matthew's Cathedral on the 17th of June 2007.

As he looks to the future, Njiva wants to be a deacon in the Church and to work in the civil service with the Government of Madagascar. He also hopes to use his musical gifts in the culture of the Malagasy people.

He is extremely grateful to USPG and CNECPI and all the generous people who make his educational dreams come true in spite of poverty.

"Making poverty history" is not a vain motto for many bursars like Njiva. When people are empowered through education, they bear fruit and are able to bless others in turn.