UNICEF Madagascar - towards a better future #ForEveryChild
Newsletter - 2nd semester of 2022
This year, UNICEF innovates and reaches out to its partners and donors. With multisectoral activities and interventions continuing for children, UNICEF would like to share its biggest accomplishments this year, which would not have been possible without the support of its partners and donors.
Emergency situation in the South – UNICEF confirms its long-term presence
In the south of Madagascar, the population is the biggest victim of drought and hunger caused by climate change and the situation remains precarious:
- Around 1,285,000 people face acute food insecurity,
- More than 585,000 children in need,
- 187,000 more people impacted by cyclones,
- Budget needed: around $40.08 million,
- Actual funding in 2022: 39 per cent of needs.
Available funds enable UNICEF to maintain its course of action, to reach the most vulnerable communities and develop new avenues for action (intervention, strengthening, assistance, improvement) in each of the sectors it works in. These women, who are members of their village organization in Ehavo, have benefited from the newly set up Multiple Water Usage system and offer a particularly moving testimonial to its positive impacts. Likewise, the construction of new infrastructure for schools is an encouraging symbol of recovery and resilience. Cash transfers also enable several families to invest in their children’s studies or in activities that generate revenues.
Education: Thanks to UNICEF’s efforts, the most vulnerable children go back to school
We are one step closer to quality education for all! Thanks to Back to School and Learning interventions initiated by UNICEF Madagascar, schools are reopening to offer everyone the same rights to study and learn.
Séverin, an eight-year-old boy, tells us that he “like(s) going to school because my teacher is really good. And in the evening, I'm glad to do my homework with my parents.” According to Victorien Rabemananjara, a primary school teacher in Lakovola, in the region of Boeny, “the toolkits we received were helpful for teaching our students”. In the region of Analanjirofo, school teacher Emma notes the benefits of the training she received and the way it changed her approach towards one of her students, who has hearing difficulties. Today, this student manages to follow classes like everyone else, thanks to the approach and new methodologies used by her teacher.
What is the Back to School and Learning programme? Its goal is to encourage school reintegration of the most vulnerable children as well as keeping children already enrolled in school and motivated. The main strategies focus on training teachers on several important topics and inciting parents to see the value and the importance of education for the future of their children.
- More than 5,500 teachers trained in eight regions;
- 227,000 students benefited from the programme, including through the distribution of school kits to encourage them to study;
- Infrastructure, including classrooms, common rooms, and bathrooms.
Health: Vaccinating 80 per cent of the population remains UNICEF’s ambition in 2022
Vaccination against COVID-19 and routine child immunization, which guarantee the health of the population and Madagascar’s economic recovery, remain a national priority. UNICEF, along with its partners, stepped up its efforts to reach this goal.
UNICEF Madagascar was involved at the highest level during the visits of three international committees. The COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership (CoVDP) initiated a dialogue to strengthen the commitment of high-level parties and other stakeholders in order to increase vaccination coverage against COVID-19 and overcome the main obstacles to it.
This visit led to the conclusion of a win-win partnership between UNICEF and the Ministry of Tourism, cementing UNICEF’s role as an essential partner of the vaccination drive. In October in Ampefy, impactful awareness activities were held for World Tourism Day and at the Marokitana Festival in November in Nosy-Be.
The organization, along with his partners, certified eight companies, which had vaccinated more than 80 per cent of their staff in December.
Moreover, advocacy and technical support missions to interrupt the circulation of the poliovirus in Madagascar (cVDPV1) led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the Africa Regional Certification Commission took place in order to update the Emergency Plan for the eradication of polio for the first semester of 2023.
And efforts to reinforce the health system continue by supporting the Ministry of Public Health in a full review of the community health programme.
International visibility: National committees and international journalists return to Madagascar
Madagascar's recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic is well on its way. Throughout the year 2022, UNICEF Madagascar welcomed the visits of four national committees, in the framework of its advocacy efforts for the children of Madagascar.
The National Committee of Denmark came twice to Madagascar to discuss UNICEF's activities that it finances or wishes to finance in the future. In January, the Committee organized a telethon in support of children suffering from acute malnutrition in the east of the country, while in June the famous Danish photographer Jan Garup created a campaign to mobilize resources for Madagascar.
The National Committee of Switzerland visited the south of the country to collect information for its annual edition of “Twinkle Weeks”, which was dedicated to Malagasy children suffering from drought and hunger.
The National Committee of Norway, along with its partner Kiwi, will devote a Christmas campaign to collect funds for the purchase of ready-to-use therapeutic food for malnourished children after a trip near Ambovombe.
The National Committee of France focused on water delivery issues in the south-west of the country, through its partnership with water brand Volvic.
Children and youth, front and centre for climate action
According to a 2021 study prepared by UNICEF, Madagascar is among the top 10 countries in the world where children are most at risk from climate change impacts. UNICEF Madagascar urges the country to join the 34 other countries committed to the engagement taken at the Madrid Conference of the Parties (COP 25), to put the interests and the participation of youth and children at the heart of climate-related decisions.
This is the reason why UNICEF Madagascar participated for the first time to the COP 27, which took place in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) from 6 to 18 November 2022. The COP 27 was an opportunity for UNICEF to share its advocacy messages, so that every child is prepared, protected, and prioritized in decisions regarding the climate. UNICEF Madagascar partnered with young activists, who were part of the Malagasy delegation, to encourage the Government to sign the UNICEF Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action.
Max Fontaine, the young 26-year-old Malagasy activist who founded the social enterprise Bôndy, spoke on the margins of the event: “climate change is now, later will be too late. The participation of youth is essential because we will be the first victims of its impacts.” The full interview can be found here.
Advocacy – Popular influencers defend children’s rights
“Zon’ny Ankizy, mba tandrovy moa” can be freely translated as “Let’s take children’s rights seriously”. In 2022, UNICEF Madagascar spokesperson for the promotion of children’s rights, Mirado, created a song to remind everyone that each child has fundamental rights and to encourage accountability at all levels. To embody inclusion and diversity, Mirado collaborated with Lova Renée, who shot to stardom by sharing content on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Luco, a star in the making from Amboasary and Gilardy, a young teen with albinism.
UNICEF Madagascar is also proud of its nascent collaboration with another influencer: I am Lorah Gasy. She is known for defending the rights of young girls and women and today, she supports children’s rights and promotes messages regarding menstrual hygiene, among others. She also vocally supported the launch of a game called Ika’lio, which helps young girls better manage their periods.
What you need to know about…
COP 27 was an opportunity for UNICEF Madagascar to share its main advocacy messages, so that each child is prepared, protected, and prioritized in climate-related decisions. With the participation of children and youth being one of the central themes of this 27th COP, UNICEF Madagascar collaborated with young activists from the Malagasy delegation, to encourage the Government to sign UNICEF’s Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action.
The participation of Madagascar to the Transforming Education Summit in September, with the support of UNICEF, was an opportunity to bring attention to the toughest education challenges of the big island and to help inform related policies.
A survey, conducted with U-Report, which allowed more than 3,000 young people to share their perspectives on themes such as the quality of education, Internet access at school, health and security at school, resources, competencies etc., was presented at a pre-summit and led to a new draft of the Law on education guidelines, which was submitted to the National Assembly during the second parliamentary session of 2022.
The fight against all forms of discrimination was the central theme of World Children’s Day in 2022. An inclusive seven-player football tournament was organised in three regions where UNICEF is active: Antananarivo, Analanjirofo and Androy. Girls, boys, children with mobility disabilities, vulnerable children… each team embodied solidarity and unity in diversity, values that UNICEF wanted to showcase during this celebratory event.
And, like every year, the Queen’s Palace in the capital city was lit up in blue, the colour of UNICEF, for ten days, to highlight Madagascar’s place among the 190 countries of the world which promote children’s rights.
Madagascar faces several emergencies every year caused by natural disasters, which range from droughts to cyclones and floods. To assist children and families affected by disasters, UNICEF Madagascar Office supports the response of the Government, led by the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management. UNICEF provides support for the development of contingency plans at the regional and national level, the training of technical staff on assessment procedures after cyclones and floods, as well as the preparation of the humanitarian response plan regarding the prolonged drought in the Grand Sud region of Madagascar.
Meet our colleagues in the field!
Sariaka is the first and, for now, the only female driver for UNICEF in Madagascar. She shares her experience with us: “I am proud when I think that I am doing a job that most people think is reserved for men. And it is not the case at all indeed, I do this job and I love it. I have never felt so fulfilled by what I do until now. The respect among colleagues is real, you can feel it, see it and live it every day and it warms my heart. It is everything that I did not experience before at work. I can safely say that my current role finally fills me with self-confidence”. Sariaka worked for 12 years in business before deciding to change sectors to transportation. Supported by her family, though misunderstood by many of her acquaintances, she has shown everyone that she made the right choice: “I am so glad to be part of UNICEF’s staff and to work for mothers and children, that is the most important thing for me.”
In his own words, Tojo is “the eyes, the ears and the voice of the UNICEF Country Representative in the region, the spokesperson of the Deputy Representative for Operations and the interlocutor of the Deputy Representative for Programmes regarding lesser-known issues in the region.” As Chief of the UNICEF field office for the region of Analanjirofo on the east coast of Madagascar, he plays a strategic role by closely interacting with all stakeholders, representing UNICEF, and defending the rights of children in the region. Tojo coordinates his team and makes sure his office is running smoothly to best serve local communities and respond efficiently to cyclones, which affect the region every year.
Marco Razanakolona, from United Nations volunteer to UNICEF education officer in the dry, southern part of Madagascar
After several years teaching in a higher education institute in Antananarivo, Marco wanted to take on new challenges, particularly in the field of development and humanitarian aid, and see the reality in the field. That is why he chose to become a United Nations volunteer for UNICEF, focusing on vaccination campaigns against COVID-19, polio and measles. But true to his first calling, Marco then decided to become an education officer in Ambovombe in the dry, southern part of Madagascar. Deciding to work in Ambovombe was another challenge he decided to tackle. He plans to contribute to reducing inequality in access to education and improving the overall quality of education, for the benefit of the children of the South.
A warm thank you to our donors!
Thanks to the support of our donors and partners, UNICEF Madagascar continues to do its utmost so that each child can live, grow, and thrive.
In 2022, your commitment to our work enabled our teams to provide vital help to the children of Madagascar. Thank you!
#ForEveryChild, results. And to you, a Happy New Year!