Waiting for the Minster of Health to arrrive
July 2013: This is the report we got from Madagascar. We did some slight editing, but wanted to keep it as close as possible to the original.
The visit of the honorable Madame Minister of Health Dr. Johanita Ndahimananjara was the biggest event in the history of the village of Faidanana. In this photo Madame Minister of Health of Madagascar is laying the foundation for the new Health Center in the village of Faidanana.
Villagers were informed about the upcoming visit ahead of time. If a minister in Madagascar announces such a visit, she travels with bodyguards. Representatives of other ministries and dignitaries at the region and local level, accompany her as well. Villagers were notified ahead of time, especially about the presence of bodyguards, so they would not be afraid.
For such and occasion the entire village (yes everybody) comes and lines the street waiting for the distinguished visitors. There is an official welcome of the Minister by the village elders and such visits are always accompanied with speeches and official announcements.
In this picture of the visiting dignitaries are: the Minister of Health Dr. Johanita Ndahimananjara, and her husband (the tallest man with glasses and cap). Representatives of Minister of Agriculture, the Ministry of National Education, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Communication and other departments. The Chief of Bongolava Region (standing besides the minister with blue shirt). They were joined by the mayor of Bevato (the district administrative center).
They all came first to the village of Fiadanana for the groundbreaking of the new Health Center by the Minister of Health (and breakfast in the village). After the formal reception and welcoming ceremonies the people who planted the most trees in the village were honored by receiving their award from the Minister of Health personally. She also presented awards to Zahana’s teachers and gardeners.
After the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Health Center, they all proceeded to the second village of Fiarenana. Also received by the entire village, the Minister of Health gave a speech and again gave awards for the most trees planted, the teachers and the women’s soccer clubs. After the ceremonies the villagers in Fiarenana served soup to their guests.
Last but not least they went to Bevato for inauguration of the new maternity ward. Bevato being the administrative district seat has a major for the region and all regional dignitaries attended. The official ceremonies took all afternoon.
The day was very busy.
The entire community waiting with anticipation
Visiting representatives and politicians
Inaugurating the health center
The three reforestation awardees
A solar cooker as the award