Everyday life Ranivoson & Pauline family during the COVID 19 pandemic

Everyday life Ranivoson & Pauline family during the COVID 19 pandemic

Solofonirina Claudia RAKOTOARISON
La famille Ranivoson et Pauline
www.fid.mg/2020/RAKOTONDRAVELO Heriniaina Jean Christian
13 August 2020

Ranivoson and Pauline and their five children live in the neighborhood of Lazamasy, located in Anoloka, a rural municipality in the district of Vohipeno in southeastern Madagascar. While Vohipeno has relatively few declared positive cases of Covid-19, the region respects the confinement measures mandated by the Government.

Despite the lockdown measures, Pauline and her husband still have to go to work every day to provide for their five children. Ranivoson, a farmer, and Pauline, a basket weaver, worried about being contaminated and contaminating their children, who stayed at home.  Ranivoson and Pauline, although they still work, admit that selling their products in the market has become difficult because of the confinement measures. The difficulties Ranivoson and Pauline experience to sell their products in the local market negatively impact the daily revenue of the family.

In addition to their financial worries, when the Government declared a reopening of schools for students taking national exams, they were afraid to send their son, Juloce, back to school.

Fortunately for the family, Juloce and his two sisters, Marcelline and Martina, are supported by the UNICEF cash transfer program. The cash transfer program supported by Let Us Learn (LUL) funds provides stipend to vulnerable families with secondary school age children aged 11 to 18 years so that they can continue their secondary schooling. During this pandemic, only Juloce who is in ninth grade, has been able to go to school, as he is taking the national exam to pass from lower secondary to high school. The four other children are staying home.

L’instituteur surveillant ses élèves pendant le lavage des mains avant d’entrer de gagner les salles de classe.

 

With the additional funds and the multiple preventive measures practiced in school, such as compulsory handwashing before entering classrooms, wearing masks, distancing while in class, and alternating schedules, they were reassured.  Juloce also feels relieved.  

“Because we are limited to maximum 10 students in a classroom for half a day, and everyone must wear a mask…, I am no longer afraid to go to school,” he said

Juloce et ses camarades de classe respectant la distanciation sociale et portant des masques pendant qu’ils étudient, et ce pour limiter la propagation de la pandémie.

 

Thanks to the additional funds they received and the strategies for setting aside some savings they learned from the cash transfer program, they were able to save and invest some cash in chicken breeding, another income generating activities helping the family to become more resilient during these harsh times. On top of that, despite the lockdown, they kept receiving their bimonthly cash transfer, which helped them cope with the revenue shortfall, and take care of the nutrition and hygiene needs of the family.

Even if the pandemic impacted their daily life, the family remains hopeful. “It shall pass”, they tell their children. “We keep slowly going. The good habits we have learnt from the LUL cash transfer program remain, and we are extremely thankful for that. We are saving and preparing for eventual emergencies like what we face now and always seeking for additional income generating activities. But our kids love and enjoy studying, and we will make sure that they never repeat their school year”, said Pauline.                                               

Thanks to the generous support of the Susan & Stefan Findel Foundation to UNICEF Madagascar, a total of 8,766 children (6,143 in secondary school and 2,623 in last grade of primary school) (51 per cent girls) benefited from cash transfer to support secondary education (including in Vohipeno) for the school year 2019/2020. 

Story collected by ANDRIMIHAZA Philippe, Fonds d’Intervention pour le Développement (FID), written by Solofonirina Claudia RAKOTOARISON, UNICEF MADAGASCAR.