I started Ecovillage Madagascar in 2013 after I finished my PDC in South Africa. At that time my slogan was “think big, start small and upscale fast“. But with time, I understood that it was not that easy, not even starting small.
My main motivation when I started the ecovillage idea was to help rural population to be more food-secure and resilient.
Working with government projects dealing with SDG2 at macro level would have been easy for me but I chose to follow another pathway, working at grassroots to see things happen really with the people I cared about on the ground.
My idea was a bit pretentious but good, maybe a bit naïve given the fact that I was almost alone to start this initiative. So after buying a nice 5ha plot to initiate the first Ecovillage of my dream, I was just stuck somewhere because I couldn’t gather the community I was dreaming of to populate and value the site.
With some peasants, we started planting trees, putting in place a nursery and continued by planting vegetables and rice for self-consumption. These are the only activities we could do at the beginning. I continued contacting friends and colleagues, inviting them and advertising for the future intentional community. It took time and many circumstances were not favourable so I changed my mind.
Finally after exchanging ideas with friends and some of my early trainees, I found out that many of them were ready to start their own eco-sites projects but in their own town, community, place of origin. It didn’t took me long to gather all these people who were interested in discussing, planning, setting up and promoting the new concept of Ecovillage Madagascar. Friends and people I trained during recent years, eco-sensitive folks came, jointed our movement and built the Ecovillage Madagascar Network.
So instead of one Ecovillage, we now have about thirteen ecosites and ecovillages in our Network. We registered Ecovillage Madagascar as a legal association promoting a better quality of life in Madagascar in 2014. We gathered regularly to discuss on a broad set of topics from new concepts, approaches to techniques. Our commonalities, among others are that we live the same ethics and principles and we celebrate diversity and innovation!
In the recent years, starting in 2017, we noticed that there is a huge demand for trainings and participatory onsite technical sharing. We tried our best to provide as many trainings and workshop as we could and to share sustainable technologies to rural and urban populations.
Today, Ecovillage Madagascar is continuing to innovate and improve slowly and surely, up scaling and replicating good practices and promoting food self-sufficiency, autonomy, peace, sustainability and adoption of holistic approaches.
Each individual or family member of the Ecovillage Madagascar Network, old and new ones, have an experimental ecosite/ecovillage. Visitors can benefit from sightseeing, experience sharing, trainings and lessons learning. Ecovillage Madagascar is a window opened to those who want to build a better world. People are welcome to visit and stay at one of our ecosites.
Andrianjafy Rasoanindrainy, Founder Ecovillage Madagascar Talata-Volonondry, Madagascar