Mothers of Madagascar
The idea of this series came to me after I came back from an assignment in Madagascar following a few humanitarian NGOs.
I was deeply touched by the kindness and a certain melancholy of the Malagasy mothers I had met on this day. I felt a unique contrast between the adult worries of the mothers and the youthful innocence and alertness of the children.
All these women came from remote villages along the Panganales Channel in Eastern Madagascar.
Most of them had to walk between two and six hours carrying their sick children to a two-day-only bush clinic setup by French doctors, who only came every three months. Their foot journey started at nighttime, as they wanted to be sure they would arrive before sunrise to be first in line.
But even after their long journey, they would have to patiently wait for their turn. As unknowingly to them, other villagers had arrived a couple days before setting up a makeshift camp on location. There was no hecticness as I’ve seen before in different parts of the country, just pure serenity as if the worst had already been accomplished and most their troubles had been washed away.
Their children had been sleeping in their arms on their journey here and were now totally alert.