In July the Madagascar Finance team traveled to Antananarivo with eight members, ready to teach business and finance courses to the local community in partnership with Tana City Church. This is the third year that Redeemer has sent a team to Madagascar’s capital city with the goal of helping entrepreneurs start their own businesses. The team developed and implemented a week-long workshop, which 60 people attended. Some of the participants traveled across the country to take part!
Although the team worked hard to leave the attendees in a better place than before the week began, there are several difficult realities Malagasy people face. Madagascar is an incredibly poor country. The nominal GDP per capita is $401. To put that in context, the GDP per capita of Haiti is $739. That means the average person earns about $1 per day.
That being said, there are several positives that compel us to invest in helping the locals attain a more prosperous future. The people of Madagascar are very well educated and hardworking. The average person starts working at 4 or 5 a.m. and finishes at 6 or 7 p.m. Madagascar is rich in natural resources. They have oil, semiprecious gems, arable land, graphite, bauxite and spices, among other things. The excellent educational system, work ethic, culture and land are prime for significant and sustainable growth.
Many of the participants came to the workshop with nascent businesses, while others had well-evolved business ideas and plans in industries like solar cell consulting, virtual reality gaming arcades, computer consulting, graphic design and new agribusinesses. Some of the classes we taught included:
• Christian Leadership in Business
• Business Planning
• Market Research 101/102
• Marketing 101/102
• Budgeting 101/102
• Negotiation and Raising Capital
• Risk Management
In addition to teaching classes, we also hosted a lunch for the homeless and held a worship session at the church for more than 100 people from the streets of Antananarivo. We made countless peanut butter sandwiches and handed out bowls of stew prepared by the church. It was a beautiful event filled with praise to our Lord and Savior. Our team spent a lot of time at Tana City Church and its ministry partners. Through worship services, Bible studies, and prayer groups we got to know many of the congregants well.
We felt incredibly blessed by the opportunity to share our work expertise with the people of Madagascar. We were welcomed into the homes of many with open arms and learned a tremendous amount about the work that God is already doing in this beautiful country.
This year will be the fourth year that we’ve received teams from RPC (medical and finance). It has always been a great privilege to host them and see God’s love demonstrated in a very practical way. They’re amazing!
— Pastor Tanteraka
Read about our other 2017 Short Term Mission trips redeemer.com/missions.