"You have exactly 2 months to be on track, and another 9 months to be ready for the national primary school exam” said the headmaster. The children stared at him and there was a second of silence in the room. The outreach program just enrolled 50 children for the school year and this day, the children met each other for the first time with their respective parents to pick up their stationeries and share the schedules. Fanja, Miora and Sandra already bonded. They talked about their family background and were talking about their plans once they succeed their exam.
The first day of school, Fanja said goodbye to her mother and her young siblings and she promised to pass by their selling stall after school. She joined her friends and queued up at the end of the line. They walked slowly up the stairs and found a seat. There was an “ice breaker” game before they all introduced themselves.
Fanja is fourteen. She stopped studying a few years back and can barely write or read. She knew that this program will be her chance to turn her fate. She sat upfront on the desk across the teacher. She had her slate and chalk on the table, her eyes fixed at the blackboard and her arms crossed on her chests. She actively replicates what her teacher taught and will gladly answer questions. “Perfect Fanja. Children, look at Fanja’s A, O and E.” said the teacher. Fanja and her classmates were working on their handwritting when the bell rang at 15h00. She, Miora and Sandra met in the library to continue their homework. “I will help my mom with our housechores now I have to go” Said Fanja.
Fanja managed the assessment test last month and is more than eager to see how her year will unfold and the knowledge she will assimilate. “After this year, I shall go to vocational training and learn cooking skills. Someday, I will open my own restaurant.” said Fanja. Thanks to you the children see a brighter future.
Children in Madagascar reading books together.
Photo: Lovanirina Luddo Aina Arman
Ankasitrahana and his caregiver Harenasoa came to the village office the day after an urgent summon. Ankasitrahana listened to the adults talking and could barely make sense of what was happening at the moment. His eyes were filled with tears when he asked “You found my father?”
Ankasitrahana arrived in the village when he was 10 years old. On each vacation, when the other children left to visit their biologic families, he found himself with his caregivers in the village. Ankasitrana is effortlesly bright and likes scientific subjects at school. For years, my colleagues in the village did the necessary to learn the family history and the background of every child in our care. Ankasitrahana never dared to believe that someday he will learn where he comes from.
Harenasoa, Ankasitrahana and the village director Haja arrived at the meetingspot that day. Ankasitrana was pacing around whilst waiting. He started to become anxious. “What if he does not want to see me?” he asked.
When he looked up, he could see a man approaching and he just knew that it was his father. He stood speechless and just hugged his dad.“I brought my report card with me so that you can see that I am doing good.” said Ankasitrana. The two of them were engaged in a long conversation. “Tell me everything about you and our family!” said Ankasitrahana.
Changes are made possible in the lives of the children, youth, and families because of your support. Thank you very much!
Lovanirina Luddo Aina Armand
National Director Assistant/ National Sponsorship Coordinator
SOS Children’s Villages Madagascar
*Kindly note that for data protection reasons, I have changed all the names in the stories. And the children in the picture are not the children in the story.
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