Madagascar ~ an island of paradise and poverty
An enchanting and remote island
As an island off the south-east coast of Africa, Madagascar is a truly unique and enchanting place but also an island facing many challenges and terrible poverty.
Its people come from southern Asia and from mainland Africa and this vibrant mix has produced colourful arts and handicrafts. It also has a unique eco-system and habitat for wildlife – the most famous of which are the Lemurs.
A rocky future
The island suffers periodic natural disasters and regular cyclones and now also faces political turmoil. Through all this, the ordinary people of the island have to struggle to maintain a livelihood in one of the world’s poorest countries. They do this by using what natural resources are available – including fibre from the giant Palm Trees. The Raffia is the largest of the Palm trees, and has giant leaves from which the strong fibre is made.