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Fighting Poverty and Violence to Educate Girls in Madagascar
Girls growing up in Madagascar face a triple threat: poverty, violence and a lack of access to quality education. More than 90 percent of the Malagasy population lives on less than $2 a day, and many families struggle to pay the fees necessary to enroll their children in school. "In Madagascar, more than 1.5 million school-age children are not in school," says UNICEF Madagascar's Felana Aliderson.
Let Us Learn, a UNICEF initiative supported by Zonta International, is dedicated to giving children a quality education and protecting them from violence in their communities. Let Us Learn provides teacher training, educational materials, cyclone-resistant classrooms and cash transfers to keep children in school. Special programs address issues ranging from violence reduction and early marriage to gender equity among students.
"Zonta's mission is to empower women around the world through service and advocacy," says Sally Bean, Zonta International Foundation 2020 Convention Chairman. "We've been working on that for going on 100 years." An educated girl is likely to increase her earning potential and reduce poverty in her community. In Madagascar, Let Us Learn is creating opportunities for vulnerable children, especially girls, to realize their right to an education.
On International Day of the Girl, we thank Zonta International for their continued support for girls' education through the Let Us Learn project.
Top photo: Girls who attend this junior high school in Madagascar's Varofarihy-Vatovavy Fitovinany region are supported by UNICEF and Zonta International's Let Us Learn project. © UNICEF/UN0234948/Ralaivita