February 2019

Metropolitan church of Toliara

As a legal entity, the metropolis is entitled to buy, build new, and convert existing buildings for charitable purposes. This made the building of the metropolitan church of Toliara our first milestone in our journey to complete a set of infrastructure buildings in the vicinity.

Within a year, we managed to collect funding from individual donors and complete the local metropolis’ build and registration. The church of “Elder Joseph the Hesychast” is one of the first churches dedicated to Elder Joseph.

Designing and building the church was challenging since day one. Initially, the official site plan of the land reached our hands after much effort, fragmented, and inaccurate. Upon building, the choice of materials for resilience against the local environmental alterations required repeated testing for the composition of individual materials. Not only the choice of wood was prohibitive due to a large number of termites in the area, but we also had to customise the composition of the bricks for increased structural strength.

This first build established the metropolis as a legal entity, enabling our subsequent actions. We continued with an effort to convert informal squatter settlements and slums to a formal built center for Toliara. Today, the church is the core of the social life of the area. It acts as a centre of meeting and interaction between the locals, which enables them to bring their current issues forward and allows us to provide a hand of help.