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SUPPORTING STREET-CONNECTED CHILDREN IN MADAGASCAR: THE SANDRATRA PROJECT EXPANDS!

Wednesday 26 May 2021

In Madagascar, through the Sandratra project, "Promote with Dignity" in Malagasy, we take care of children in street situations and offer support to their families. This year, Sandratra is growing with the integration of two new partners: the association MANDA and the Platform of Civil Society for Children (PFSCE), which will work alongside our local partners, the NRJ Center, Graines de Bitumes and HARDI!

 

Our partners' commitment to street-connected children in Madagascar

For more than a quarter of a century, Madagascar has been experiencing a deep crisis, characterized by an increase in poverty and vulnerability. According to UNICEF, 8 out of 10 children live below the poverty line. In Antananarivo and its outskirts, the phenomenon of street-connected children is worrying. Although some children are able to return home in the evening, for many children the street represents the only place to live and the only opportunity for income. The realities of the street expose children to abuse and discrimination. Indeed, the majority of these children do not have access to school, a situation that echoes the generalized problem in Madagascar where only 15% of young people who attend school complete secondary school.

In response to this situation, the Sandratra project aims to contribute to the reintegration of street children in Antananarivo by providing care for young people in day and night centers. Our local partners accompany the children towards school reintegration or professional orientation. The families also benefit from a follow-up, by taking part in activities to reinforce the link between parents and children, but also in their administrative steps such as obtaining birth certificates for their children, allowing them to enroll in public schools.

 

Partnerships for a complete support of children in street situation

This year, the association MANDA, which means "rampart" in Malagasy, joined the Sandratra project. Founded in 1999, MANDA works to improve the living conditions and civic participation of street children. The project co-finances two day centers located in Tsiadana, on the outskirts of Antananarivo, to promote schooling for children in vulnerable situations. The Alpha Center welcomes 85 children every day. Accompanied by an educational team, they follow a school program (literacy classes or refresher courses), receive a full hot meal and take part in educational activities on health and hygiene in particular. The second facility, the Schooling Center, supports more than 150 schoolchildren, offering them tutoring and access to the canteen every lunchtime. This support is essential to give all children the opportunity to go to school but also to avoid dropping out.

The project has also signed a partnership with the Malagasy Civil Society Platform for Children (PFSCE), a network of about 50 associations active in the field of child protection. Together, we will strengthen advocacy with local institutions in order to improve access to rights for children living on the streets. This is crucial work, which goes hand in hand with supporting the children to guarantee them access to education and health care one day.

We are looking forward to our collaboration with our partners which are key actors in the protection and support of street children in Madagascar!

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