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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
Bp Roger and Revd Octave sing with some of the Kilasimandry girls
Photo No. : P070606-8
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Mbotijoma Rissica
Photo No. : P070606-9
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Hortensia Razafindravony
Photo No. : P070606-10
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Merancienne Modeste
Photo No. : P070606-11
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Daraina hostel gives rural girls hope, dreams and opportunities
By Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza
June 6, 2007

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The Mary Katharine Tindall Hostel, a girls' Kilasimandry hostel in the Daraina district of northern Madagascar, has undergone some major changes.

A large fence now surrounds the hostel, allowing the girls to feel safer in every way from prowlers. The new Bishop Keith Benzies Memorial Chapel is nearly finished and will be inaugurated in October this year. A run-down grass hut has been transformed into a well built brick chapel that will be better able to withstand the rough cyclonic winds. The chapel will serve the whole Daraina community, and the girls of the hostel will have a quiet place for their prayer and meditation time.

The hostel chaplain is the Revd Octave, and his wife Odile is the housekeeper. Both are very gifted at dealing with young people, and the atmosphere in the hostel is one of participation and fellowship. There are some 20 girls aged between 10 and 20 years staying at the hostel, which has a unique natural setting on the red soil of this mountainous region of Madagascar.

Three girls of the Kilasimandry, Mbotijoma Rissica, Hortensia Razafindravony and Merancienne Modeste, have expressed their dreams as they look to the future:

Mbotijoma is 17 years old and comes from the village of Nosy Be Antsampano. She is the eldest of seven children, and her parents are farmers. Mbotijoma likes the school in Daraina, but wants to further her education and improve her status. The good schools are far away, and she hopes to achieve good grades and move on to the major towns in the future. She loves to sew, but her dream is to become the Chef de Region, which is the equivalent of a Mayor of her province.

Hortensia comes from a village in the area around Daraina. Her parents are divorced, and she usually goes to see her mother in Ambodimanga village. She joined the Kilasimandry in 2000 when she was 8 years old, and has now spent nearly eight years at the Kilasimandry. She loves being at the Kilasimandry because she has friends there, goes to school and is well cared for. Her dream is to be a midwife (rasage) one day.

Merancienne comes from the village of Antsampano. Her father is the Evangelist Pastor of the village. She has now spent four years at the Kilasimandry and studies at the College D'enseignement General de Daraina. She is the sixth child of the family. She loves to go to school and to study all the subjects there. She dreams of being a teacher one day, to help give other children in Madagascar a good education.

The girls thank all the generous people who support their hostel so that they may find a haven of fellowship, education and care while they are away from their families.