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Nazarena-France is a small NGO set up for charitable purposes in Madagascar
Nazarena-France provides a sound pathway to poverty reduction in Madagascar
Nazarena-France has very long-lasting embedding and permanent connections with local organizations
Its main achievement is CFPANA a professional agricultural training centre opened in 2012.
Nazarena-France enjoys reliable financial and operating procedures, evidenced by our 2017 winning support by the Agence Micro Projets.
impulsing new dynamics for the future in 2021

...against poverty

Nazarena-France is an NGO created in 2005 by Dr Suzanne Chazan-Gillig, an anthropologist and a specialist of the Sakalava Menabe on the Western Coast of Madagascar, where she has been working for a number of years. Suzanne was in Morondava in 2004, when the Gafilo hurricane devastated the Menabe region. She collected donations from parents and friends in France, and she was able to support some people who had lost all their properties in the disaster. She felt that it was necessary to develop these activities, in order to answer to new poverty issues in the Menabe Region. Since then Nazarena-France has grown, it is presently a 50 member-organisation, fully registered under French laws and regulations.
In the long range, Nazarena-France will develop humanitarian projects for the poorest regions in the world. Presently our support is devoted to a village located north of Belo Tisiribihina on the Western Coast of Madagascar, the village of Aboalimena. Nazarena-France has a close relationship with its Malagasy counterpart, Nazarena-Madagascar, created in the same village. With its strong background of anthropologists and social sciences specialists of Madagascar, Nazarena-France intends to shift from strictly humanitarian missions to promoting a more general educational assignment, taking into account the villagers’ way of life, the real origin of poverty, while keeping a social sciences approach to local development

Nazarena-France offers its members and partners a positive contribution to Madagascar’s development and a direct pathway to improving its rural welfare, by enhancing education, healthcare, local economics, while respecting the village social organisation and supporting all internal forms of co-operation.

On a small region scale, our contribution is in line with the main objectives of sustainable development:
to implement social equity and integration of women, young people and local associations
to establish economic efficiency
(new agricultural activities, craft, co-operative trade )
to promote sustainable management of natural resources (forest, water )


an ox-driven cart near Aboalimena



"angady" digging in the field

(photo S.Chazan©)


Our operations area

The geographic area where our operations take place was chosen with care. The Menabe Region is one of the poorest in Madagascar. Aboalimena is a remote village, with little to attract the tourist industry although not very far of the “Great Tsingy”, a natural curiosity. It is not easy to reach by road. The main road links Antananarivo to Menabe by Antsirabe, Miandrivazo, Malaimbandy, Mahabo and Morondava. The journey by daily minibus lines from Antananarivo to Morondava lasts 8 hours. A 4 hour- driving from Morondava to Belo Tsiribihina is followed by crossing by boat the wide Tsiribihina River. The last part, a 60 km trave,l is made by truck, or possibly by an ox-driven cart, a traditional mode of transport, presently abandoned because of security concerns in relation with widespread banditry in Southern Madagascar. In the rainy season, from December to March, most of the roads are cut off. This partly explains why international aid or government subsidies do not reach Aboalimena.

Aboalimena is a 8,500 inhabitants-village, the district being divided into 8 Fokon’tany. Some hamlets belonging to the village of Aboalimena are 10 km away from the centre, connected by ox tracks. The council hall is situated in the village centre, as well as the local “hospital”, a primary healthcare unit. There is neither water supply in Aboalimena, nor electricity, or waste water drainage. Most inhabitants are farmers or cattle breeders. The main crop was paddy, rice being the staple food in Madagascar, but the changes in the River Manambolo bed due to the hurricanes have dried most paddy fields. Present main crops are maize, groundnut, manioc or sweet potatoes. Cattle breeding is usually a family trade, oxen are used for transportation and as a saving stock. People are generally very poor, as an example, the mean salary of a school teacher is about 100,000 ariary per month (about 40 €)

Nazarena-France Chairwoman, Suzanne Chazan-Gillig had been in the Menabe area in the 70s, and she has come back to Madagascar every year since 2002. She had the opportunity to build up trustful relationship with the local project promoter, Dera Haidaraly, with the Aboalimena council and with traditional lineage top men. Already in 2006 she could measure the positive effects of Nazarena-France’s support. This aid is brought to the people who live in Aboalimena mainly thanks to our members‘ donations, with -up to now- few other subsidies.

Supplying new means for sound projects

Nazarena-France’s projects reliability is supported by our thorough knowledge of the operation area and our regular participation to the life of its inhabitants. We pay much attention to the output of our actions and we ask full co-operation from the villagers in order to avoid a situation of a one-way aid with no involvement.

New developments since the creation of the NGO in 2005 are:

A professional agriculture training center for somme 20 young people on a 3-years course of secondary studies : it opened in September 2012
short courses in spoken french and cultural activities (from 2008)
The development of experimental vegetable crops (2006)
A healthcare and mutual drug supply system project (from 2006)
A paddy storage operation (2005)
A three-years development program "Young farmers of Malagasy Menabe", supported by the French Agence Micro Projets from 2017
A major irrigation project, to be launched from 2021


The Professional Agriculture Training Centre Nazarena in Aboalimena

The creation of an agriculture training centre in Aboalimena is our most challenging project. Teaching began September 2012, the centre will deliver farming and general education to young men and women who otherwise would have no opportunity to follow a regular teaching course. Thanks to the village council support and its wise men board, a 4 hectares field has been devoted to experimental farming located not far from the village townhall. This field was cleared for cultivation and building .

A 165 square meter two class-rooms building was achieved in July 2008. The building is made of locally available material and commodities and it answers paracyclonic construction standards. A concrete lined well was sunk in 2009, with a toilet block in 2010. A second larger school building was achieved in 2011 and a third in 2018. They have a wooden frame, traditional mud walls and a tin roof. A budget has been alloted to school furniture (benches, tables, blackboards, and recently a solar energy device and a TV set ). Farming tools have been supplied (tools, a plough, a handcart, watering cans)

An approval was granted by the vocational training ministry prior to opening the centre, in order to meet the required quality criteria. Teaching French in addition to Malagasy language is considered a selective advantage for the students. the studies programme includes agriculture, animal husbandry and environmental studies. 20 young people were selected for a first promotion, and the training sessions started in september 2012.

At the present time 8 young people have completed the three-years cursus of the center, and may be employed as field coachs for young farmers.

The development of experimental vegetable crops (2006)

One of the first projects implemented in Aboalimena was to grow vegetable crops on a one hectare field. Thanks to a donation from Nazarena-France this field was cleared, fenced, and a 9 meter-deep well was sunk to reach the ground water. Nazarena Madagascar was provided with farming tools and free seeds (tomatoes, local pot herbs, onions, peppers and eggplants).

A first crop was reaped in 2006, and pot herbs could be sold to the neighbourhood, as well as peppers and eggplants, and hot red peppers which are very much appreciated on the local market. However, due to unavailability of transportation, the commercial output was a failure. This diversification experiment will be included in the farming school programme and possibly extended to “bahiboho”lands, flooded lands situated on the river banks, allowing farming when the water level drops.

A more ambitious objective aims at crop improvement and agricultural practice in the aboalimena area, taking into account an inventory of existing farming practice and cropping calendar constraints. It might benefit from the already implemented field experimentations in forest maintenance and direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems (DMC) in other regions of Madagascar.


Cultural activities and skill improvement

Nazarena-France implements new schemes of local development and cultural opening. In 2008 treadle sewing machines were donated and transported to the village. Lessons in cutting out and sewing are provided to a group of women, with the intention of creating a local cooperative. The first dressmaker class was established in 2009. Other activities included a pottery workshop, although there being no traditional pottery in the western part of Madagascar the earthenware objects quality was poor. Dictionaries, books and DVDs were brought and a regular co-operation has been installed with the elementary school teachers. Our intention is to create a small library, hopefully with audio-visual methods as solar power is already available. from 2010 members of our association could organize short summer course of French language for our pupils and the Aboalimena inhabitants ( local gendarmes, teachers, farmers). There is a strong demand for this type of aid.

Development of a school farm

Two years running, our professionnal agricultural training center ( CFPANA) is practizing agriculture or a larger basis, in order to experiment new techniques and provide an income in addition to institutional support. Growing cassava and groundnuts as well as vegetable cultivation are performed, and small breeding of poultry and pigs has been installed . Beekeeping has been started. It is expected that the model will be emulated, and will contribute to lessening the risk of starvation which occurs every year during the months before the harvests.

Nazarena-France committee (september 2021)

President : Dr Suzanne CHAZAN  (Anthropologist, Madagascar specialist)
Honorary- President :  Mr Dera HAIDARALY ( Malagasy researcher, Chairman of Nazarena-Madagascar)
Vice-President  : Mr Bruno ROYET (honorary architect)
Vice-president  : Mrs Françoise THABEAULT ( teacher)
Secretary  : Mrs Anne Laure MEKKI ( Barrister)
Treasurer  : Dr Jean Bernard CHAZAN  ( medical doctor ) 
Deputee Secretary : Mr Pierre CHAZAN ( engineer)

Nazarena-France, 144 rue de l'Arnel 34070 Montpellier France, phone/fax (33)467 20 12 59, mail to contact@nazarena.eu

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Note : This page is not a miror image of Nazarena-France web site, but a shortened presentation for the benefit of our foreign visitors

Conception graphique : Patrick Diéudonné