JESSICA AND QUENTIN Zimmermann live in Javea and together, along with volunteers in Spain and Germany (and of course, their eight-year-old daughter) they run ‘La Vision’, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping people in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world.
After the coup d’etat in spring 2009, Madagascar was dependant on an interim governing body until the elections of 2013. Since January 2014, the country has had a new government but due to the political instability of the previous years and the worldwide economic crisis, the Malgasy people are suffering a lot. Families living on the outskirts of the capital, Antananarivo, are barely able to pay for school fees and materials.
The supply of medication is lacking all over the country. Every second Malgasy person does not have access to clean drinking water. The prices for basic food and the unemployment rate has increased rapidly in past years, whereas average salaries have decreased. Most people only have a monthly income of approximately 20-30€.
To buy medication if their children get sick, some families must cut down on other important resources.
Many people cannot afford lifesaving operations and when an operation is necessary, are forced to take bank credit. All expenses must be paid by the patients as there is no social insurance to take over. This includes expenses for food and drink, medication, operation materials and treatments.
La Vision’s support programme is vast – their ongoing projects see them providing medical care and supplies for babies and the elderly alike, supporting young mothers, supplying food for local nurseries and retirement homes, paying school fees and providing materials, teaching self-sufficiency to single mothers and even providing tests, treatment and glasses at the local ophthalmic clinic.
Jessica, whose family live in Madagascar said: ‘At a young age I realised that life is not as easy for everyone in the world as it is in Europe. I also discovered that despite living in poverty, the Malgasy people have a strong willpower and do not give up hope for a better life. My family and I first started supporting these people many years ago, initially contacting the orphanage in Fort Dauphin to find out where help was needed. From then onwards we started supplying the children living there with food and medical care. Through this work, we met the locals who gave us more ideas and directed us to where further help was needed and the rest is history…’
La Vision is run solely by volunteers and as it is not linked to any big organisation (or government), its work is funded solely through fundraising and donations.100 per cent of every cent raised or donated goes straight to the projects in Madagascar.
The most recent event through which La Vision received support was the Footworks Dance Show last Saturday (March 25) in the auditorio in Ondara. La Vision have expressed their since thanks to Footworks who donated some of proceeds of ticket sales to the organisation, which will help fund their clinic in Fort Dauphin.