Why (Antsiranana) Madagascar?
No longer sought after for its strategic importance by European colonialists, Antsiranana (Diego-Suarez) has become a port city as rich in culture as it is in natural beauty. Along the lush shores of the bay are beautiful beaches and enchanting hills, like the Montagne des Francais, that call to the relaxed traveler and adventurous backpacker alike. In its history, the northernmost tip of Madagascar, a massive island located about 400 miles off the African coast of Mozambique, has changed hands quite a few times. As a result, its modern-day cultural influences include Creole, Indian, Russian, Arab and British, though Antsiranana is known for being the most French-colonial city on the island. Add this interesting mix to a stunning mountain jutting from the middle of the deep blue bay, and you have the perfect spot for a destination marathon!
4aWoman has held a vision since its beginnings in 2009: care for a woman with cancer means restoring life to her country. Cancer is an affliction present across the globe, but the prevention of and response to the disease is not the same for people everywhere. Poverty and lack of access to health care exacerbate cancer’s dangers, and many women in Subsaharan Africa are unaware of treatment options, believing cancer is a life-ending disease in all cases. 4aWoman recognizes the depth of this issue and has worked to fight cancer and educate women from its home base in Madagascar. Through promotion and advocacy in local governments, the construction of cancer treatment and prevention centers, the education and training of local healthcare providers, and support for cancer research globally, 4aWoman has managed to reach over 10,000 patients, educate over 60,000 women in awareness campaigns, conduct 8,000 breast exams, and run nearly 10,000 pap-tests in its target communities. 4aWoman truly understands the complexity of cancer and the grasp it can have on a community, and sees education and prevention of cancer as sustaining the life of a country.
Join me on my journey to support 4aWoman and the fight against cancer in Madagascar.