The United Nations Fund’s integrated social protection programme for sustainable development

allows families in Southern Madagascar to thrive, even in the face of adversity

Irenée Ravelojaona
Fagnosera et Masy et leurs enfants
UNICEF Madagascar/2021/Ravelojaona
21 May 2021

The family life of Fagnosea Alphonse and Masy Suzanne, respectively 40 and 39 years old, originally from Tanandava, District of Amboasary Sud in the Anosy Region (in the South of Madagascar) has evolved currently. Even their children still remember the hardships they went through before.

“I still remember how hard it was for us to live on a daily basis. What bothered me the most was that our education was disrupted because mom and dad had no money. My parents struggled to pay for school fees and school supplies, which meant we had to stay home several times,” says Volasoa, the eldest daughter in the family who is now back to school.

The family did not have too much hope because even their basic needs were not met: They were not getting enough food; the children were missing from school. Also, at that time, the couple argued a lot because of this instability. “There was a lot of tension and couple problems between us,” says Masy.

The change occurred little by little when the family benefited from the “FAGNAVOTSE” –  integrated social protection programme –  literally meaning aid and mutual aid – financed by the United Nations Fund to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030, with technical support from four of its branches.

In 2016, the family benefited from FIAVOTA – UNICEF’s cash transfer programme to support financially households affected by drought and to ensure the education of their children.

Then, in 2020, the family benefited from the protection against gender-based violence programme of UNFPA, as well as the agricultural insurance programme implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP).

As part of this FIAVOTA programme of UNICEF, the family received the sum of Ariary 90,000 for the recovery of their economic activity as well as some items necessary for tasks at home such as kitchen tools. They bought goats to increase their investment. Over time, Fagnosea and Masy have found other income sources to improve their quality of life and to make ends meet.

This programme also provides them with an allowance of Ariary 50 000 (equivalent to USD 13) every two months. With this sum, Fagnosera and Masy can secure the education of their children. Moreover, Volasoa, the eldest is now in college (10th grade) – a great source of pride for the family.

Hopes are revived for this family with some relief at all levels. “We can take care of the health of our children. The doctor trusts us now, even if we do not have the money to pay consultation fees right away, he always consults the children”, explains Masy.

The family was able to build their own house this year. Moreover, the couple has fewer problems as the spouses have benefited from support and psychosocial care by social workers from the Counselling and legal advices centre (CECJ). They have even become role models for their community.

In addition, Fagnosea and Masy are affiliated to the WFP agricultural insurance scheme. They are members of a villager saving and loan group called ZOTO (meaning ‘diligence’ in broad translation). The objective of this association is to improve the quality of life of each member. They grew vegetables on community land and paid membership fees. The savings collected will be distributed to members after six months, depending on the value paid, and the social contribution is used as mutual aid in the event of death or birth of members. “We feel happy because we have been able to perform our duty not only within the family but also in our community,” concludes Fagnosea as a message to other families. It should be noted that in Madagascar, especially in this community, carrying out one's “adidy” precisely “duty within the community” is a sign of honour and a mark of success.

Unlike other households, the effects of the drought that hit the Southern part due to prolonged insufficient rains are not so severe for the family of Fagnosea and Masy. Thanks to the various supports they have received; they are more resilient in the face of shocks, compared to their situation in the past.

After two years of implementation, the programme continued to strengthen the resilience of 6,000 households in the Southern Madagascar, more specifically in the Communes of Tanandava, Ifotaka and Behara, District of Amboasary.

The hope is reborn for Fangnosea and Masy and their children. They manage to improve their living conditions despite the crisis resulting from the effects of the drought that hit the Southern region of Madagascar, thanks to the supports they benefit from, including the FIAVOTA social protection programme, supported by Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Norad, SDG Fund and KOICA.

 

 

 

 

 

Maison construite par Fagnosea et Masy cette année
UNICEF Madagascar/2021/Ravelojaona
House built by Fagnosea and Masy this year