Our Field Team

We hope to expand our field team as we spread the word about the needs of the children in Madagascar. If you’re interested in joining us in Madagascar, please contact Michelle at michelle@gemsofmadagascar.org.

Founder: Michelle M. Rahm

Michelle with cousins Francios and Jacques
Michelle with Serge and Baby
My name is Michelle. I am a Christian woman and by trade I’m a GIA-trained graduate gemologist jeweler.

In June 2014, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a 3-week mineralogy conference in Madagascar where I toured several mining localities in remote areas of the central highlands. I was so touched by the beautiful children and the extreme poverty in these areas. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before…and I have been to other poor countries.

When I returned home, I simply could not fight the feeling that God was calling me to return to Madagascar to do humanitarian work there. I had fallen in love with the country and the children and felt the need to return.

So, in October 2014, I decided to follow God’s calling and return on my own for a 5 week journey through the central highlands of Madagascar. Many generous friends, colleagues and family members donated to the cause. Upon reaching Madagascar, I visited four villages and an orphanage, providing clothing and toiletries to over 600 children in the name of Christ.

But I didn’t go to just drop off goodies and leave. On the first day in each village we met with the village chiefs to discuss the long-term needs of the village and learn how we may play a role in making their lives a bit better. My goal is to help these villagers learn valuable skills that will help them improve their lives for a more promising future.

Since then, it’s been amazing to see all the ways God has blessed GemsOfMadagascar.org…and continues to do so. I go back to Madagascar on average twice per year for about 5 weeks each trip. And I’m happy to say, thanks to the generous support of many people and organizations, we’ve made quite an impact on thousands of people. We’re looking forward to continuing our work in our adopted villages. Please visit our projects page to read about all the amazing things we’ve done so far in Madagascar.

Project Manager: Santatra RAKOTONIAINA

Santatra with Family
Santatra with Son
Hello everybody,

My name is RAKOTONIAINA Santatra but you can call me Santatra (San tah cha). It’s a real joy for me to work for GemsOfMadagascar.org in its humanitarian mission with its holistic approach. I have eight years of experience, both office and field work. My experiences have allowed me to acquire various skills such as team management and humanitarian and community approach. I have a wife and two children who support me throughout my professional career.

For fun, I love to do outdoor activities with my family on weekends and holidays such as visiting Tsimbazaza Zoo or Tsarahonenana Bird Park.

When we are in Antsirabe I teach my son how to catch fish in our family pond. We also like to go to the pool to enjoy the sun when it’s summer. Sometimes we try to cook new things like pancakes, pizzas…

Sundays we go to church to praise the Lord. I grew up in a Christian home and it’s important to raise our children with Christian values and beliefs as well.  For me my motivation and my source of joy is my family and my children. To see them flourish and grow makes me proud and makes me feel good.

I look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with GemsOfMadagascar.org.  I bring my share of collaboration and a grand motivation in the accomplishment of community projects on my island of Madagascar.

God Bless everyone!