RAVELOJAONA Idealy Misandratra Avo Fenohaja

RAVELOJAONA Idealy Misandratra Avo Fenohaja

English teacher

LOVASOA 4C Antsirabe

Vakinankaratra is a region in the South-east part of Madagascar, on the National Road 7, about 172 km from Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. The gate of this region is the town of Antsirabe. Famous for its potatoes, rickshaws and cheap vegetables, the town is one of the most visited places by tourists in Madagascar. But what is the history behind such fame?

Antsirabe – its past…

The early history of Antsirabe can be traced back in the 1860’s when Thorkid G. Rosaas, a Norwegian missionary came and settled in the town. Aware of the richness of Antsirabe, he and a well-known figure in the Malagasy Lutheran Church, Pastor Rajaona decided to work together for the common good.  With some help from the inmates at that time, they managed to plant the trees alongside the Avenue, considered as an urbanization plan of the town.

They also built the most ancient facilities in Antsirabe in 1888: the village for lepers and Andranomadio hospital. Thanks to these initiatives, the hospital is still running now for health access services.

In 1870, Pastor Rosaas was the one behind the breakthrough about the use of thermal spring in Antsirabe as a benefit and not a taboo. At the same time, he established the first Malagasy Lutheran Church (FLM) in Antsirabe.

As a whole, Pastor Thorkid G.Rosaas is the most important figure in the foundation of the town of Antsirabe.

LOVASOA 4C as promoter of culture and history

However, Pastor Rosaas looked further into the future generation and established the Norwegian school of Antsirabe, which became LOVASOA Cross-Cultural Competence Centre in 2011(LOVASOA 4C). The organization highlights not only the different aspects of Norwegian-Malagasy cooperation but also the history of the town of Antsirabe as above-mentioned. The cultural center, where the museum is hosted, presents Norwegian and Malagasy Culture and History and works towards the promotion of various cultural products through its activities including the Malagasy Lutheran Church archives, a library, cultural events and workshops and a sound recording studio.

As such, the LOVASOA 4C museum is equipped with several unique objects collected from several mission stations such as one of the first Malagasy bible published in 1835 by the London Missionary Society and the first rickshaw ever in Antsirabe. The uniqueness of its collections allows visitors to experience and learn interesting historical facts about the history of the town of Antsirabe, the Malagasy Lutheran church and the works of the Norwegian missionaries which are strongly linked to the development of Madagascar and its population. The library and the archives are backup support for a better understanding of the history. 

The LOVASOA museum is accessible to the general public, both residents and foreigners.

So, if you are ever in the area, feel free to stop by and enjoy a hint of the history of one of the most glamorous town in Madagascar. LOVASOA 4C Antsirabe warmly welcomes you.

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This website was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.