Zinah is 12 years old. She lives in Soanafindra, a village in the region of Antananarivo, in Madagascar.
In December 2012, when she was 9, a tornado devastated the area. Her school, a two-classroom school built by parents, was destroyed. From that point onward, Zinah studied along with others children in an old protestant church turned into a school. Zinah was also struck by lightning last year during another storm and since then, she has difficulty learning and understanding.
Through the education support program (called PAUET: Projet d’Appui d’Urgence à l’Éducation pour Tous) supported by a GPE grant and the action of the ministry of Education, the public primary school of Antongombato, half a kilometer away from Zinah’s village, was rebuilt and completed in 5 months. It opened in March 2016. The involvement of the whole community has been a major boost: the field where the school was built was generously donated by a villager.
Zinah is now a 5th grade student, and attends the new school in Antongombato. Her teacher, Jeremia, is very attentive to her needs and helps her keep up. He is confident that Zinah will pass the end of year exam.
Zinah wants to become a teacher, like her dad who is teaching the other class in the same school. The primary school now welcomes 216 children from 6 different villages within a 2 km radius.
Madagascar is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, including cyclones, droughts and floods. One-quarter of the population, representing 5 million people, is estimated to live in zones where the risk of natural disasters is high. According to UNICEF, more than 5 million children have been affected by 46 natural disasters in the last 35 years.
Emergency assistance is needed as the impact of these temporary crises on basic education is severe. The current GPE grant is contributing to preserving education outcomes and rebuilding the primary education system in Madagascar.
GPE will continue to support the government of Madagascar to ensure that all children can stay in school and learn even after crises.
Video by Carine Durand