« I don’t have to wait for the help of boys to solve small problems »

Repair her charger or change lamp at home, .. Sylvania is able to fix everyday issues and break stereotypes

Abela RALAIVITA
Sylvania est en classe de 5ème au Collège d’Enseignement Général (CEG) d’Amboasary sud (région d’Anosy)
UNICEF/UN0300016/Ralaivita
02 May 2019

Sylvania, 15 years old, is a student at a lower secondary school in Amboasary South (Anosy region). Passionate about Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, she would like to continue her studies and become a doctor because she wants to be the pride of her family. "In our region, there are not enough doctors and as a committed citizen, I would like to serve my community," she says.

According to her, studying physics at school allows her to put into practice the knowledge acquired at school during her daily life. Now she knows how to repair her phone charger all on her own thanks to the electricity course she received. "Now, I don’t have to wait for the help of boys to solve small problems like repairing my charger or changing light bulbs at home" says the teenager with pride.

Sylvania is able to repair her phone charger all by herself thanks to the electricity course at school

Sylvania also attended the "Life Skills" program for two months. This is a component of the Let Us Learn program that aims to strengthen the life skills of adolescent girls through learning and sharing sessions. These sessions are conducted by Young Peer Educators (JPE) who have been trained on the life skills approach, on different modules addressing basic skills related to self-knowledge, living in a community and other topics, such as violence against and exploitation of children . "We deal with a number of themes during Life Skills sessions, such as early pregnancy, the fight against child marriage or the environment. Through these sessions, adolescent girls can better understand the behaviors and best practices for a successful life, "says Fabiolah, JPE and Life Skills facilitator. The program targets adolescents aged 10 to 18, especially those who are most vulnerable, such as those who are pregnant or those who already have a child. However, the program also includes other in-and out of school adolescent girls and boys.

Let Us Learn : improving the lives of girls

In Madagascar, where 41% of girls aged 20-24 are married or in union before the age of 18, and 15% are physically abused, strengthening the life skills of adolescent girls has become a priority for UNICEF and its partners such as KOICA. The Let Us Learn (LUL) program for adolescent girls is a retention and prevention strategy that offers opportunities to vulnerable and excluded girls to realize their right to an education in a safe and protective environment. The program focuses on three pillars of equity: reaching out-of-school children, developing girls 'education, and improving the quality of learners' outcomes. The program also includes several components namely education (teacher training, refresher course, ...), child protection (life skills, student clubs, training on rights and protection of the child). child and caring for victims), social protection (cash transfers), and communication for development through the expression and participation of adolescents (Junior Reporters Clubs).

LUL is a programme addresses equity and innovation issues and explicitly emphasizes the importance of girls' education after primary school. In the Anosy region, between January 2018 and March 2019, 1800 adolescents like Sylvania benefited from the Life Skills program. For her, having taken this program is an asset because now she is better equipped in terms of life skills and she can also help other teenagers through sharing. In addition, she would also like to become a Malagasy movie actress because she would like to be famous and show her community that girls can also succeed in life. But for now, the most important for her are her studies because it is the only guarantee for a better future, according to her.

Sylvania showing the phone charger that she repaired all by herself
Sylvania showing the phone charger that she repaired all by herself