Let Us Learn Madagascar Site Visit

Four members of Zonta International recently traveled to Madagascar with UNICEF USA to visit Let Us Learn Madagascar project sites in southern Madagascar. Read updates, thoughts and reflections from the group through the blog posts below. Watch for more information about the Let Us Learn program in the next issue of The Zontian magazine, which will be published online in May.

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. 

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

Day 4 was a travel day.

Sexual violence, rape, child prostitution and child marriage are all problems in Madagascar, as the Zonta team learned through their observation of a child protection club in Fort Dauphin and visit to a child protection one-stop center in the capital of Madagascar.

Day 5_1

The child protection club is a group of 60+ girls and boys who discuss issues of sexual violence and rape through song and dance and call and response, which they demonstrated for the Zonta team during their visit.

During the youth-led discussion, the participants shared that sexual violence, rape and child prostitution are common, while two girls shared their own experiences with their parents wanting them to marry early. The students felt that their open discussion of these issues and learning about their options was valuable. When queried, the boys felt they had learned techniques to intervene in a situation if they saw a girl in danger. Both boys and girls related that they shared what they had learned with others, including classmates who were not in the club, siblings and friends.

“We were asked if we had these types of problems in our countries and what Zonta was doing about it there,” shared Past Governor Tammy Hagen. “Our interpreter, who knew the culture of the region well, was very taken by how open and engaged the children were in the discussion. He related that the cultural norm was being quiet and not usually engaging with strangers.”

Day 5_2

The one-stop center model, which Zonta International is familiar with from its work to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and gender-based violence in Rwanda, provides children victims of violence with the medical, psychosocial and judicial support they need all in one location.

Day 5_3

Watch for more information about the Let Us Learn program in the next issue of The Zontian magazine, which will be published online in May.


Meet the members visiting Madagascar


Ute Scholz
Zonta Club of Verden, Germany, D27
2018-2020 Vice President

 



Judith F. Kautz
Zonta Club of Central Oklahoma, USA, D10
2018-2020 Service Committee Member
2016-2018 Board Director


 

Sadako Miyake
Zonta Club of Okayama, Japan, D26
2018-2020 ZIF Development Committee Member
2016-2018 Convention Chairman


Tamara Hagen
Zonta Club of Madison, USA, D6
2016-2018 District 6 Governor