Life in the villages of Madagascar - Example “Ambohitsara” - Part 2

Despite all the information available from HOPE PROJECTS, it is hard to imagine what life is like for families in Madagascar, especially in villages like “Ambohitsara”.

The following story is an attempt to present life in Madagascar in a meaningful way. It paints a lively picture of what it means to live (and survive) there under the prevailing conditions and it shows what role Hope Projects play in the lives of the people there.

It is five thirty, still dark and time for school. The children don't take a bus or train to school. Instead they must walk for two hours across the countryside. Some pupils are lucky and have a bike. Lessons begin at seven thirty. Ezoel and his sister head out; they want to be on time so they don’t miss any of their lessons. Ezoel and Saida would like to get their high school diploma and go to university. Thankfully, the school in Ambohitsara has made this possible. Here, in no man's land, there is finally an educational institution that is on par with those in the capital city of Antananarivo. The original school here was a small, moldy hut where lessons took place whenever the village teacher had time, which was a few days a week and only until the third grade. After that there was nothing.
The teachers at the HOPE PROJECTS school, as opposed to the village teacher, are state certified or very well educated. It isn't always easy to follow difficult lessons, and the heat (sometimes 38°C without air-conditioning) makes it hard to concentrate.

Zafiline would like to do an apprenticeship when she's finished school. Because that too is possible here. A medical clinic belongs to the school and she would like to work there. People say a hospital will be built here and she would also like to participate in its construction.

At first, father Sergino didn't like the idea of sending his children to school and not following the traditional path. For generations, daughters were married young, usually at 13, and boys started working as cattle herders for richer families when they turned eight. As compensation, they were given one calf a year, which secured the family's livelihood. But now he is very proud of his son Ezoel who has become one of the best pupils in the whole school, even though he had initially dropped out after the third grade in order to become a cattle herder.
Thanks to the ASAMA program, a vigorous support plan by Hope Projects Madagascar, he could be reintegrated into a regular class. HOPE PROJECTS uses the state ASAMA program in Ambohitsara to give dropouts and older pupils starting school a chance to get a high school diploma. After one year at school the participants take the same exam (CEPE) as all elementary pupils in the sixth grade. Due to the tight schedule, the pupils are given financial support (school supplies, cafeteria, medical care…) by HOPE PROJECTS so they do not have to earn money while they are still at school.

 

To be continued…

 

 

This article has been translated into English within the PerMondo initiative. PerMondo offers free translation of websites and documents for NGOs so they can spread their message. Managed by the Mondo Agit. Voluntary translator: Jessica Wallace. Proofreader: Thomas McGuinn.

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