As world leaders gathered in New York for the first day of the general debate at #UNGA, Elyx continued to travel around the globe.
Madagascar, the world’s fourth biggest island. Once again Elyx was delighted to see the large UN presence. Waiting for Elyx was a UNDP team at Mahitsy, a rural village, one hour from Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Our digital ambassador was given a tour of the island to witness UNDP’s work.
First stop for Elyx was a Civil Status office. With support of the UND, Madagascar has computerized the civil status procedure. Elyx is astonished to see how quick the procedure to obtain a civil status certificate is. Whereas before the procedure could take up to two days, now citizens can have civil status in less than 30 minutes.
Along the way, Elyx met some villagers who teach Elyx how to grow beans. They use techniques promoted by local experts that are trained and supported by UNDP. Thanks to this, the cropping system has greatly improved!
The villagers also reminded Elyx about the importance of the zebu in rural culture in Madagascar. Zebus are an important part of rice cultivation, as they run through the rice fields to trample the soil. The zebu is also a sacred animal for Malagasy people who sacrifice, exchange or eat it during births, circumcisions, engagements, marriages and funerals.
Finally the villagers teach Elyx all about composting and its use as a fertilizer. UNDP encourages locals to produce fertilizer from autumn leaves and cattle dung. A success story well embodied by Mahefa Rakotondramananan’s family, whose standard of living has impressively improved after attending a course supported by UNDP on how to produce compost. By putting these teachings into practice, the family could invest a part of its savings in poultry farming.
Elyx travels on to Moramanga, one of Madagascar’s historic cities. It was in this city that the Malagasy uprising against French colonial rule began in 1947. In the city, Elyx attends a workshop organized with help of the UNDP to monitor how conflicts arise and how social cohesion and community safety can help prevent future conflicts. Elyx also makes time to see the famous ‘Wagon Moramanga’. A tragic reminder of the cruelty of colonization and the massacre of Moramanga.
The digital ambassador’s last stop was in Farafangana, where Elyx visits a youth club. There too Elyx learns new things. This time by children who teach Elyx some typical Malagasy songs and Elyx spends the rest of the day singing its little heart out. Tomorrow, the UN digital ambassador will visit Guinea and continue the 70 day journey to celebrate the UN’s 70th birthday #UN70.
More Photos of Elyx in Madagascar (Full Flickr Gallery)
Learn more about the Madagascar at the United Nations
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Madagascar to the United Nations
UNIDO in Madagascar
FAO in Madagascar
UNESCO in Madagascar
UNICEF in Madagascar
WHO in Madagascar
ILO in Madagascar
WFP in Madagascar
UN Volunteers in Madagascar
IFAD in Madagascar
UNDP in Madagascar
UNFPA in Madagascar
UNAIDS in Madagascar