Where does one begin to develop financial self-sustainability in an area where most people don’t even have enough to eat, never mind the money to pay children’s school tuition and support their own school?

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Well, one thing is certain, and that is that the solutions have to come from the community itself. The solutions have to stem from the assets and resources of the environment as well as the talents and skills of its people. 

To develop ideas for generating income that will support a community's school, the people must:

- Organize, communicate, co-operate, trust one another
- Develop leaders and rally behind them
- Cultivate open-minded thinking
- Believe in themselves and their ability to make substantial change.

 In order to begin to practice self-direction, the staff has been trained in 'Sociocracy' a system of governance that allows all voices to be heard.

Staff members participate in Circles of Interest in which equality, transparency, consent, elected role-holders, and frequent feedback and evaluation make for an efficient and well-informed organization. Circles each have areas of responsibility and decision-making within their own spheres. Communication with the whole project is orchestrated through the General Circle.

We are training our people in leadership, financial management, and teaching. We were able to bring to Canada two Malagasy people from our villages who learned all about Asset-Based Community-Led Development at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. These Malagasy people learned much about how to develop businesses that would be owned and operated by the villagers, thus helping move the school closer to financial self-sufficiency.  Now, community gardens, and a tree nursery have emerged!

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A small investment can change lives.

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This widowed grandmother is raising two grandchildren (above). She has land but couldn't afford seed or fertilizer, so the land went unplanted. We loaned her $20, and with that investment she was able to grow a field of onions and garlic. Already she's giving back.

Similarly, this woman had the great idea of opening a store in her village. With a $20 loan from MSP she was able to open and stock a store from her house, the only store in her village. Now she is providing for her family with the store's income. 

Can you imagine a better return on $20?

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