Today, 16th June, is the Day of the African Child. In order to mark this day we are launching a new series of blog articles, "Stories from Madagascar," to show the impact your donations have had on people and communities in Madagascar. Fitting with the today's theme of the African Child, we look at the story of 12 year old Patricia and how the work of our partners can help young women like Patricia.
12 year old Patricia lives with her mother and brother on the edge of
the capital city, Antananarivo. She is a bright young girl who loves
learning. Sadly, as is the case for so many Malagasy children, when she
reached secondary age she had to stop going to school because her mother
could no longer afford to send her. To help keep her younger brother in
primary school, she began working, helping her mother to fetch bricks
during the brick making season. Patricia felt lost and hopeless. She
felt her future closing in.
One day she heard about the Sisters
of the Good Shepherd, and the activities that they were providing to
help young girls like her develop new skills and gain employment.
Determined to grasp this chance for a brighter future, she made the long
walk to the city centre to find out whether she could join the scheme.
To her joy, there was still space on the training programme at Centre
Fihavana, where the sisters are based. Undeterred by the long walk, she
now attends daily classes, and is learning how to make clothes herself
as well as doing a bit of studying; including learning about Information
Technology and how computers work. The sisters also offer coaching and
counselling to help her deal with the difficulties of working life.
says, “I no longer feel hopeless. My life has turned around, because of
the Sisters . With the skills I’ve developed, I hope to become a
dressmaker. Now I believe that my dream of having a bright future will
come true one day.”