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3 aircraft
28 staff
52 destinations
87 partner organisations

The Challenge

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. Close to 80% of the population survive on less than US$1.90 a day. Located in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is exposed to weather which frequently wreaks widespread havoc. The cyclone season runs from November to March, and up to four powerful storms batter the nation each year. Around 80% of the country’s population depend upon subsistence agriculture. In 2017 Cyclone Enawo resulted in US$200 million worth of agricultural losses.

Madagascar is almost 2.5 times the size of the UK, but only has 6,103km of paved. Access to resources vital for development, such as education and healthcare, is severely hampered by the country’s mountainous geography and poor infrastructure. During the rainy season, torrential downpours from storms and cyclones can render three-quarters of the overland routes impassable, completely isolating many rural communities.

Much of the rural population has little access to healthcare. International aid agencies and trained staff volunteering their time seek to address this and serve those in need.

A third of Madagascar’s population are unable to read or write. The country has committed itself to work towards achieving the educational benchmarks contained in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Given that 40% of the population are aged 14 or under, this is a challenging goal. For many families in impoverished rural areas, sending children out to earn a wage today brings more immediate benefits than waiting for them to complete their education in the future

Our Operation

With poor roads, torrential rains and destructive floods, the need for MAF is great. A short flight saves days of arduous overland travel.

MAF flies a significant number of charters for mission organisations and operates a shuttle service called the Madagascar Mission Run (MMR) to serve many Christian missions, NGOs and churches working in north-east and south-east regions of the country, facilitating their work in primary healthcare, agricultural development and education. MAF provides flight support for the Madagascar Medical Safari (MMS). Monthly flights carry different medical teams into the most geographically isolated locations to provide a week of medical care for communities and to set up sustainable projects. Partners in this include AFF (Africa Future Foundation, or formerly called FBDB), HoverAid, ADRA and HVM.

Our MAMAFY project (‘mamafy’ means ‘sowing’) flies Malagasy pastors into isolated areas to enable them to teach the local church. Another initiative, 3M (Madagascar Mission Movement), encourages the local church and mission organisations to work more closely in unity in order to reach out to the forgotten communities within Madagascar. The unique position of MAF, as a link with the many different local churches and mission organisations, makes it a key player in the coordination of this initiative. MAF aircraft have also flown Bible translators working to translate materials into the different Malagasy dialects. Over the last 20 years, MAF has built around 10 airstrips in strategic locations to reach remote Malagasy communities. In addition to providing aviation services, our vehicle maintenance workshop maintains and repairs not just MAF equipment and vehicles, but vehicles of partner organisations as well.

MAF also assists in disaster response, following the devastating impact of cyclones upon rural areas, transporting relief supplies to those in dire need.

Quote: ‘MAF always tries to find how they can best help us shorten the distances our translator colleagues have to travel. We are very grateful for and dependent on this support from MAF.’ Leoni Bouwer, Bible Translation Network, Madagascar