Located in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar, Centre Fihavanana means “family parenting to achieve harmonious relationships.” This site hosts many programs, many of which focus on economic justice, providing opportunities for women and men to work. The center also aids poor children so they can continue their education, runs health programs for mothers and children, provides support and social activities for the elderly, and offers assistance and nutritional care for women and young people in prison.
About 80 women work in the embroidery project at Centre Fihavanana, producing exquisite tablecloths, runners, and handkerchiefs, many featuring motifs of local flora and fauna. The site offers a micro-credit housing project, which gives women the opportunity to own their own homes, financed in part by credit and in part by the income earned from their embroidery.
Other artisans affiliated with the center produce beautiful woodcarvings, including angels and crucifixes, made from native wood that is abundant in the area. Each hand carved piece takes about two to three hours to complete. Another unique product made by the artisans in Madagascar is Antemoro paper. The raw material used to make it is from a bark of a shrub called Havo, which grows in the Vohipeno region. The paper is fairly rough to the touch, and usually decorated with dried flowers. It makes for very unique cards and stationery.