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Mary’s Meals serves meals to more than 83,000 children every school day in Madagascar.

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Where we work

Life in Madagascar

Madagascar is currently ranked 173 out of 191 countries and territories in the Human Development Index (HDI). Despite the country’s unique ecosystem providing a wealth of resources, Madagascar is one of the poorest and most aid-dependent countries in the world.

Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of southern Africa. Farming, fishing and forestry are the key drivers of the country’s economy.  The country’s agriculture is primarily made up of small-scale subsistence farmers and its main exports include coffee, tea and spices.

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, with around 26 million inhabitants. It has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world, affecting almost half of all children under the age of five. Natural disasters are a severe threat to Madagascar and its people. In early 2022, the island was hit by numerous cyclones that caused widespread damage to infrastructure and livelihoods, and a loss of life, heightening economic pressures and food insecurity for families across the country. 

Education levels among children are extremely low. More than 80,000 children of primary school-age are estimated to be out of school and more than a third do not complete primary school.

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Mary's Meals in Madagascar

Mary’s Meals has been serving school meals in Madagascar since 2019.

We feed children in the north, central and southeast regions of Madagascar, working in partnership with Feedback Madagascar and Grandir Dignement.

Four of our programmes in Madagascar operate in detention centres. The children we feed are enrolled in prison education programmes, and our nutritious meals give them both vital nourishment and the capacity to learn. 

Children in detention centres face terrible conditions – some of them are as young as eight years old and many are still awaiting trial.  Educators from Grandir Dignement work with the children from Monday to Saturday, teaching literacy, numeracy, and vocational skills.  Normally, within the centres, there is no consistent provision of food, so our special feeding programme supports some of the country’s most vulnerable children.

Food Changes the Story

Help us reach the next hungry child

How many children do we feed in Madagascar?

Mary’s Meals serves meals to more than 83,000 children every school day in Madagascar.

What meal do we provide?

A typical school meal is rice with beans or lentils or rice with peanuts and greens. Children in detention centres receive rice with either vegetables, meat, beans or pulses.

Where are we based/where do we operate?

Our school feeding programme operates in the Amoron’i Mania and Haute Matsiatra regions in central Madagascar and Vatovavy and Fitovinany in southeast Madagascar. Meals are also served to children in the Itasy, Analmanga, Diana and Sava regions, as well as the city of Antananarivo.

What is the capital of Madagascar?

The capital city of Madagascar is Antananarivo

What language is spoken in Madagascar?

Malagasy is the main language spoken in Madagascar. French is also widely used to communicate.

What currency is used in Madagascar?

The Malagasy Ariary (MGA).

What is the population of Madagascar?

The population of Madagascar is 29,037,756