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16 May 2024 - News


14-year old Kava, studying at home in South East Madagascar. Photo Courtesy|Narindra Rakotonanahary, Save the Children

By Narindra Rakotonanahary

Kava, a lively 14-year-old from the Mananjary district in southeast Madagascar, is eagerly anticipating the completion of his primary school education. He resides with his three siblings and finds solace in playing with friends at school, providing a much-needed escape from life's daily pressures. His day typically begins at 6:30 a.m., starting with a bit of revision before heading to school. Kava's enthusiasm for numbers makes Mathematics his favorite subject.

He aspires to become a teacher, driven by a desire to share his knowledge and help others improve their lives. However, Kava expresses sadness over two friends unable to return to school due to their parents' inability to afford the 20,000 MGA/4.36 USD school fees.  

The prevalence of cyclones in the region has led to families facing significant losses, contributing to the challenges faced by Kava's friends. To stay informed and contribute to disaster preparedness, Kava joined the Disaster Risk Reduction Club (DRRC), consisting of about 20 members. 

Kava shares, "As part of the DRRC, I have learned various crucial lessons. We are educated on preparing for cyclones, taking precautions to limit damage, warning people about cyclones, reinforcing structures, and educating other children to stay home during cyclones." He emphasizes the importance of education, stating, "Studies are the best legacy one can have in life. I desire to succeed." 

The DRRC is part of the Miahy project, funded by the European Union and implemented by Save the Children in collaboration with local partner MIARINTSOA. The project addresses the impact of intense cyclones on the Vatovavy region, particularly in Mananjary, where Save the Children has been active since responding to the Batsirai and Emnati cyclones in 2022. 

Save the Children's Miahy project focuses on disaster preparedness, with an emphasis on emergency education and child protection. The activities encompass various thematic areas, including water sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, health, and nutrition, cash distribution, child protection, economic inclusion, and building resilient structures.  

Launched in April 2023, the Miahy project targets four schools each in the Mananjary and Nosy Varika districts, aiming to ensure access to education for vulnerable children. The two-year project, funded by the European Union and implemented with local NGO MIARINTSOA, emphasizes creating safe, inclusive, green, and resilient learning spaces.

An integral aspect involves a participatory awareness-raising campaign focused on the safe return of vulnerable children to school, particularly addressing girls and boys with disabilities or those separated from their families. In the face of adversity, Kava remains committed to his education and dreams of making a positive impact on the lives of others. The Miahy project, through its multifaceted approach, strives to build a better future for children in the Vatovavy region.