To Madagascar, with loom bands

It all started with a simple tweet – and a single letter.

And it led to the story of an exceptional exchange.

Anna's tweet
Rosa-May's letter

Like so many of the amazing things our supporters do for us, Rosa-May’s letter really moved us, and we immediately got in touch to say thank you.

Then we started thinking, “How would Solo and Ze feel if they knew girls in the UK had heard their stories and wanted to make life better for them?”

So we got in touch with Ernest Randriarimalala, our Communications Officer in Madagascar, and emailed him a copy of the letter.

Then we received this:

Solo and Ze hold Rosa-May's letter

“I was personally moved by this amazing story of Rosa-May, her friends and the loom bands,” Ernest wrote back. “I've printed the letter and shown it to Solo and Ze. They were very happy.”

“I showed Rosa-May tonight and she was over the moon,” her mum Anna told us, when we sent her Ernest’s photo. “She was amazed that Solo and Ze actually saw and read her letter. ‘They're smiling! Because of my letter?’ She said."

After that, there was one more thing we knew we wanted to do for Solo and Ze.

We asked Rosa-May and her friends if they’d make loom bands, just like the ones they sold for our To be a girl appeal, for the girls in Madagascar. They said yes – and even wrote some beautiful letters for them, too.

We sent everything to Ernest, so he could take them to Solo and Ze’s village.

Being able to take such a special gift to the girls was a unique way to thank them for so generously sharing their stories with us this summer, at a truly exciting time for their community – because, thanks to supporters like Rosa-May, we’ve been able to deliver clean water and safe toilets to their village.

Watch what happened when they turned on the taps for the very first time >

Solo and Ze wearing their loom bands

Above: Solo and Ze wear their loom bands in Madagascar.

Solo wears her loom band necklace

Above: “I love the gift from Rosa-May and her friends. My favourite colour is pink!” Says Solo, admiring her loom band necklace.

Solo put Rosa-May and her friend's photos on her wall
Above: Once she got the letter from Rosa-May and her friends in the UK, Solo decided to put it on her wall.

Watch what happened when Solo and Ze received their loom bands here:

Photo credit: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

*Ordinarily we aren’t able to send or deliver gifts to the projects where we work. To make this special exchange happen, we worked closely with Ernest and the Madagascar team to ensure we were respectful of the community and the children who live there at all times.