Andasibe, Moramanga district, Alaotra Mangoro region, Madagascar
Association Mitsinjo started in 1999 as an association of local guides. It has since grown into an association that works in 4 primary areas – Ecotourism, Conservation, Research, and Development.
Andasibe is only 135 km from Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, and the road is paved. This, combined with an incredible forest and unique animal life, puts Association Mitsinjo on the map for many tourists. Staying true to their local roots, the revenue from ecotourism is returned to the community by way of various development activities in the community.
Mitsinjo is located 2 km from the village of Andasibe, but its impact zone is much larger. It is the manager of the Torotorofotsy wetlands, a Ramsar site, as well as the Analamazaotra forest station. While their tourism is primarily based in Analamazaotra, their development activities benefit villages throughout the entire commune of Andasibe, impacting more than 400 households in villages close to protected areas.
Mitsinjo’s development activities include:
– Public Health initiatives: a health clinic has been built in a rural village, they have distributed bednets and taught about Malaria prevention, water sanitation, nutrition, family planning and sex-education.
– Improved agricultural techniques: they have worked with local farmers groups in the area to increase vegetable production, and now work in partnership with a PCV to teach improved rice and vegetable farming techniques.
– Environmental education: a recently launched program targets all seven of the local primary schools, educating the children about the unique environment they live in and instilling a love of nature.
Because of the accessibility of Andasibe from the major town of Moramanga and the capital Antananarivo, Mitsinjo frequently hosts groups of Malagasy students and researchers. These student groups come to learn about sustainable development, ecotourism, and conservation, as well as to visit the park and see the famous Indri Indri lemur and other animals.
Mitsinjo has worked for years in many areas of community development, but they want to increase their work in Health, Agriculture, and Environmental Education. Their ecotourism is the primary money-maker for all of those activities. They want to improve their facilities to better compete with the better-funded parks in the area, drawing more and larger groups of tourists.
Mitsinjo is known for high-quality guides and as a local organization that gives back to the community, but their facilities are inadequate.
As of now, they have one pit-latrine for all of the 3,000+ tourists that visit annually. They have identified it as a priority to finish the facility before the tourist season begins this May.
This project will build a bathroom facility with 3 toilets, 3 urinals, and 3 sinks. It will be built at the entrance to the park, near the meeting room and reception office. These toilets will be connected to a concrete septic tank, and barrels on the roof will be connected to running water from the nearby Amphibian Research Facility. The building will be brick with a cement floor, and a tin roof.
The association’s carpenter and mason will provide the labor. The bricks, gravel, and wood are already in place, and association members have cleared site of brush and trees. When funding is received, the Mitsinjo treasurer will go with the Peace Corps Volunteer to buy all the needed materials. Once Mitsinjo receives the remaining materials, work will begin immediately.
Mitsinjo will provide all of the locally available materials – labor, wood, gravel, and bricks – as well as the water barrels, cement, and nails.
Water Charity funding will buy the tin roof, toilets, wash-basins, piping, and tiles.
3,000+ visitors per year will benefit from the project, including tourists, researchers and students.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
This project is a part of Mitsinjo’s plan to put a major emphasis on ecotourism, which has the end goal of dramatically expanding their development and conservation efforts.
Dollar Amount of Project
Donations Collected to Date
Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has been funded through the generosity of the Paul Bechtner Foundation.
We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Elsie Black of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Elsie and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.