Help Solomona's Family

Dear Friends 

As many of you know, we have become close friends with Solomona Rakotonirina, an international student from Madagascar, graduate of Concordia University in Mequon, and soon to be seminary student at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN.  Solomon’s father, Rev. Dr. David Rakotonirina, president of the Malagasy Lutheran Church and a prominent figure in Madagascar, passed away on July 11th due to complications of Covid in Madagascar .  He leaves behind his wife, Saholy, Solomon and three daughters, Salome, Fi and Omega.  The purpose of this fundraiser is to give Solomon’s mom and sisters some financial relief while they grieve and plan how to support themselves in the future. 

My wife, Mary, first met Solomon in 2015 when he was a student worker in the School of Nursing at Concordia University in Mequon, WI. They got to know each other over the course of the summer. When fall came, Mary asked Solomon what he was doing for Thanksgiving, and he responded “Nothing much, just hanging out on campus”. Solomon is from Madagascar, so there really was no opportunity to spend the holiday with family, so Mary - as she often does - said “You should spend Thanksgiving with my family instead of being alone”.

Solomon has not missed a Thanksgiving since then. In fact, he is with us for most holidays and family gatherings . He is part of the family - our son from a faraway place. His mother has visited him twice since he has been in the United States and stayed with us during those visits. This year in February, he needed a place to stay for a couple of weeks while he prepared to head to seminary. Then the year got crazy in many ways, and he remains with us to this day.

While Mary and I are doing what we can for Solomon, his grief is compounded by his worry for his mom and sisters and what they will do to survive.  With Madagascar closed down, Solomon is unable to travel there to offer support to his mother and sisters.  Since the pandemic is hitting Madagascar hard, they are required to bury Covid victims within 24 hours and we watched the funeral together, with Solomon, livestreaming on FaceBook the next day. Heartbreaking.

Solomon’s father never did things for money - he did them to make his people and his country better. He was the well-loved President of the Lutheran Church of Madagascar and worked tirelessly traveling around the island nation to help people. Because of his position, they were given a home to live in. This was OK with him, because it offered him an opportunity to do what he did best; improve the lives of the people of his country. Now, Solomon’s family will no longer have the income they relied on and will also have no place to live.

This is where you come in. 

We set up this fundraiser to do what we can. We know this is not a long-term solution, but we wanted to gather an army of helpers to do what we can to allow the family to grieve while worrying just a bit less about the reality of their financial situation. Solomon is working on ways to find recurring income for his mother and sisters, but remains unsure of what they will do for a home. Please consider giving what you can. Solomon and his family are always appreciative of everything anyone does for them.  They have many friends all over the world and we want to reach as many as possible. Share it on FaceBook, tweet it, IG it, whatever you can do to get the word out.  

Thank you very much for your support.
Hans & Mary Dittmar


  • Ryanne Robson 
    • $20 
    • 2 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 7 d
  • Linda Christian 
    • $30 
    • 8 d
  • Timothy Mech 
    • $100 
    • 8 d
  • Michella Rasamimanana  
    • $50 
    • 10 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Hans Mary Dittmar 
Grafton, WI
Mihoby Rasamimanana 
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