Fanyah boosts her life skills to adapt to the drought
In the south of Madagascar, years of drought have made daily life a constant struggle. For Fanyah and other children living with a disability, the challenges caused by climate change are ever-present.
14-year-old Fanyah and her niece, 13-year-old Tsimanotry, collect water from small surface puddles, all that is left of the river Antsozo, which has almost dried up due to a lack of rain in the region.
Portrait of 14-year-old Fanyah standing at the window of her house. Fanyah has been blind since birth and lives in Anarabe, a small village in the south of Madagascar.
Fanyah prepares the midday meal at home. “I can help my stepmother with housework like cooking and washing the dishes”, she explains.
The road leading to Betioky has been in poor shape for years. This situation makes the life of local people even more difficult, when compounded with the effects of climate change and consecutive years of severe drought.
Fanyah laughs along with other students from the state primary school of the village. According to her teacher, “she is a bright student who quickly absorbs what is being taught.”
During her free time, Fanyah sits under a tree to chat with her father. “Despite her handicap, I wish her to succeed in life because she has the potential to do just that”, shares her father.
Fanyah participated in the programme to boost life skills, with the support of UNICEF and its partners. In this programme, instructors teach children and youth how to learn about themselves and others, and about their environment.
10-year-old Tsiavongane plays hopscotch despite her foot handicap. “It is important that children, especially those living with a handicap, receive practical advice so that they can develop their full potential”, explains Rakotozandry Violette, an instructor in the programme.
In the same community, 10-year-old Etsiharogne (in the green T-shirt) is a deaf child, who studies at the same school as Fanyah. He can read lips and communicate using simple gestures.
The children of Anarabe village run on the bed of the Antsozo river, which has almost vanished because of the drought. After its participation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2022, Madagascar is moving in the right direction to commit, along with 37 other countries, to reinforcing the competencies of children, including marginalized youth, on climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.