About 90 percent of Madagascar’s population lives on less than US$2 per day, leaving children particularly vulnerable. Aside from endemic poverty, Madagascar is prone to natural disasters, which further impede economic growth of the agricultural economy and make it even more difficult to escape poverty and prioritize education for children.

More than a quarter of Madagascar’s children are excluded from formal education, and one out of three girls will become pregnant before the age of 18. Junior secondary school enrollment fees are prohibitively expensive for families, forcing parents to select one child to continue their education, often leaving girls behind.

UNICEF’s Let Us Learn is an integrated education program that is creating opportunities for vulnerable and excluded children, particularly girls, in Madagascar to realize their right to an education in a secure and protective environment. The project is focused on reaching out-of-school children, expanding girls’ education and improving quality outcomes for learners.

Read blog posts with updates, thoughts and reflections from an April 2019 visit to Let Us Learn Madagascar project sites in southern Madagascar.

How Zonta helps

From 2016-2018, Zonta International contributed US$1,000,000 to UNICEF USA to support the  Let Us Learn Madagascar project. In July 2018, Zonta committed an additional US$1,000,000 to continue its support of Let Us Learn Madagascar through 2020.

Expected outcomes

  1. Approximately 200 children will benefit from newly constructed and equipped classrooms.
  2. 500 households will be reached with conditional cash transfers.
  3. 300 out-of-school girls will be reintegrated into school after attending catch-up classes.
  4. Girls will benefit from menstrual hygiene management services.
  5. 960 at-risk girls and victims of violence and exploitation in schools and communities will benefit from either medical, legal or social support through a referral mechanism.
  6. 135 school directors will be trained, benefiting 41,516 children, of whom 21,006 are girls.

Read a detailed project description to find out more about the progress and achievements of this successful partnership between UNICEF USA and Zonta International and plans for the next two years.

Stories and updates

In Madagascar, more than a third of teens between the ages of 15 and 19 become pregnant. As part of Let Us Learn, UNICEF helped create a Life Skills program, which teaches vulnerable teens skills to address daily challenges and plan for their future.

Arilina's parents were no longer able to pay her school fees. So when she repeated her grade, they decided it would be better for her to stop school. Fortunately, thanks to catch-up classes, she was able to find her way back to school. She heard the announcements about the classes on the radio and hurried to register at the school. Continue reading to find out how the Let Us Learn program has made a difference in Arilina's life.

Brenda and Fandresena are serving as the elected board members of the Children’s Club “ Heure Creuse” which operates during off-peak class hours. They were among 88 youth delegates who were selected through a very competitive process to represent their region’s voices at the National Youth Summit.  Read more about the summit and their experience.

As part of the Let Us Learn program, young people from Anosy produced 15 short videos, which follow the format of The One Minutes Jr., an international art-based initiative. Read about one of the winners, 16-year-old Christella Razanamalala, whose video “Fankana Mahery” (Wonder Woman) talks about early marriage. 



See below for a project description and updates from the 2016-2018 Biennium.
Project Update - November 2017 | Human Interest Story - November 2017 | Project Update - April 2017 (Letter) (A4) | Project Update - January 2017 (Letter) (A4) | Case Study - January 2017 (Letter) (A4) |  Project Description 2016-2018



As part of Let Us Learn, UNICEF helped create a Life Skills program, which teaches vulnerable teens skills to address daily challenges and plan for their future. Watch a new video to discover how the program is changing the lives of vulnerable teens in the Anosy Region.