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At the age of 16 in Argentina, Pedro Opeka, a gifted athlete, made the decision to not accept an invitation to try out for a premier league soccer team in Buenos Aries but instead to become a Vincentian priest and dedicate his life to helping the poorest people on the planet.  He chose to live in Madagascar, and after 15 years in the south of the island was asked to relocate to the capital city, Antananarivo. There he found destitute families living in the city’s vast, smoke-covered landfill fighting for food with wild pigs and dogs.

After a year, Father Pedro convinced 70 of the families to leave the landfill and to establish a small community in which they could build their own homes, schools and medical clinics and work the land for money.  Father Pedro grew up as a mason’s son, helping his father build houses, and he was able to teach these families how to make bricks and build their own homes, the first step to rebuilding their dignity.

Almost 30 years later, Akamasoa is a thriving community of villages and facilities dotting Madagascar.  Its mission continues to be to help the poorest Malagasy help themselves to construct lives lived with dignity by building their homes and schools, educating their children and working to support themselves and their community.
Akamasoa has come to the aid of over 500,000 Malagasy. 12,162 children are enrolled in its schools, 3,000 houses have been constructed and 25,000 people live in its villages. 
You can learn more about Akamasoa at their official website. The website is in French, but the Google Chrome web browser can automatically translate.
To donate, visit our donation site at
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