Advancing Science in Madagascar

Hello! Akory aby! Bonjour!
Welcome to the GoFundMe page for Mahaliana , a social enterprise in the form of a Bio Safety Level 2  (BSL2) molecular biology laboratory and training center that was co-founded by Dr. Fidisoa Rasambainarivo  and Liz Toomey  in Antananarivo, Madagascar.  

Mahaliana means “to spark interest” in the Malagasy language.  We hope to spark your interest with our pitch!
Our Mission: To advance conservation science in Madagascar while leveling the playing field for Malagasy scientists.  
The problem that Mahaliana will address:Lack of access to molecular biology research facilities in Madagascar for students and research scientists.  Lack of mentorship and local expertise in the field of wildlife health & molecular biological analysis techniques in Madagascar—our goal is to establish the first fully functional molecular biology & wildlife health lab that is accessible to local & international scientists!  We will also conduct trainings to elevate the skill sets of Malagasy students in the field of molecular biology as it pertains to wildlife health.    

As many of you may know, Madagascar is considered a hotspot of biodiversity with roughly 90% of all species of flora and fauna endemic to the country.  However, due to fragmentation of the habitat on the island and increasing anthropogenic pressure in the remaining natural habitats, the biodiversity of Madagascar is facing high risks of extinction.

At Mahaliana, we believe that truly sustainable wildlife & habitat conservation must come from local populations.  We recognize that the work of international researchers is invaluable, but over the years a huge gap has formed between scientific publications and research led by international vs. local Malagasy scientists.  
Our goal is to provide the laboratory facilities, necessary equipment, and help build up the local knowledge base in the conservation biology field so that Malagasy scientists will begin to play a more prominent role in the conservation of their home environment.   
In doing so, we also aim to promote deeper collaborations between local and international researchers in order to achieve the greatest conservation outcomes for Madagascar.

With these requested funds, we would be able to immediately purchase the following items needed to be a fully functioning lab facility:  PCR & gel system (2), microscopes (2), back-up generator for power (potentially solar panels, depending on how much we receive in funds), reagents, -20 degree freezer for sample storage (1),  lab coats, protective equipment, conference table, chairs for in the lab, computer to be used by students/researchers working in the lab, accounting program (i.e. Quickbooks).

Every little bit helps, and goes a long way here in Madagascar.  We really appreciate you taking the time to look at our GoFundMe page, and for showing interest in our organization.

Click here to watch a video showing the construction progress: 

A bit of background about our co-founder and inspiration behind Mahaliana: 

Fidisoa was born and raised in Madagascar, received his doctorate in veterinary medicine in Madagascar, then moved to Canada and the US to continue his education and obtain the skills needed to conduct epidemiological & wildlife health research---skills which were difficult to obtain in the Malagasy education system.  Upon completing his Master's & PhD, he moved back to Madagascar to pursue his dream of training future Malagasy conservation biology scientists while continuing his research in Madagascar.
 Remember, contributing to this organization is giving to a permanent facility that will help train the next generation of conservation scientists here in Madagascar--scientists that live here, and will work on the frontline of biodiversity conservation.  Our goal is to have the lab open and fully functional by early 2019---but we need your help!

Please consider donating and share our Gofundme page.  No donation is too small, and we appreciate any help in spreading the word about our organization. Misaotra mialoha!  Thank you in advance! 

Take care,
Liz Toomey & Fidy Rasambainarivo

Check us out on facebook:
Twitter: @Mahaliana5
Instagram: @Mahalianalab
 (Excerpt from the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group's 2016-2017 Annual Report.)

 (Lab equipment purchased as of October 2018 with start-up funds.)


  • Dan Pargee
    • $35 
    • 5 yrs
  • Connecticut Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (CTRPCV)
    • $2,000 (Offline)
    • 5 yrs
  • Daniel Henintsoa
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 5 yrs

Fundraising team: Mahaliana (2)

Liz Toomey
Raised $555 from 7 donations
Milford, CT
Fidisoa Rasambainarivo
Team member
Raised $1,770 from 12 donations
This team raised $3,470 from 16 other donations.

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