WHERE WE WORK > MADAGASCAR
Holistic Development for Vulnerable Women, Girls and Children
Since 2008 in Morondava the Good Shepherd programs have been supporting vulnerable women, girls and children living in conditions of marginalization and distress. The mission includes a shelter for young girls (6 years -18 years), a primary school for children located in Tanambao, one of the poorest districts in Morondava, and a vocational training centre for women and girls to gain skills like tailoring, sewing, catering etc., in order to become financially self-sustainable.
The interventions supported by GSIF are aimed at protecting, rehabilitating young girls in vulnerable conditions at risk or victims of violence and sexual abuses, while shaping a more just and equal society free from social stigmas and negligence of violence against girls and young women. Beside the protection and the support to girls, the program is engaging the community of Morondava through awareness raising activities on women’s and girls’ rights to make the social environment a safer place.
The Good Shepherd shelter aims to ensure a safe living space, health and psychological assistance as well as school attendance for the 12 girls living in the shelter. Through this assistance, the project will ensure to protect, rehabilitate and reintegrate young vulnerable girls at risk or victims of violence and/or sexual abuses, while shaping a more just society free from social stigmas and negligence of gender-based violence. The girls will be accompanied by experts in psychosocial support to overcome their traumas and will benefit from education/professional trainings to make them able to slowly become financially independent.
AREAS OF INTERVENTION
COUNTRY BACKGROUND / OVERVIEW
Despite a wealth of natural resources and a tourism industry driven by its unique environment, the island of Madagascar remains one of the world’s poorest countries The increased poverty due to the pandemic crisis is a major factor for the growth in gender-based violence and exploitation, with many women and girls becoming poorer, and therefore more exposed to abuse. The society in Madagascar is very traditional and patriarchal and often Malagasy women are not considered as full members of society suffering humiliation, domestic violence and sexual abuse, as gender-based violence is the norm.
Culture and customs in certain regions of Madagascar promote inequality and lack of respect for children, girls and women’s rights. Early marriages and forced marriages are increasingly present in the country and so is sexual tourism because of poverty. The Malagasy social structure gives priority to boys, especially in the field of education. Most of the time, especially in provinces, girls do not have access to education and to other rights. The boy is given more opportunity than the girl, who most of the times does not have the right to inherit or to decide for her own life.
Famine, insecurity and unemployment are the main causes of massive migrations throughout the island. The political-economic structure currently adopted leads to social inequality and this triggers a very high increase in unemployment and insecurity, with children and women being their first victims.
The phenomena of incest and physical violence and of exploitation of children continue to increase in the Malagasy society. Girls who were victims of incest or sexual abuse are afraid to file complaints for fear of reprisals, corruption and threats. There is also a high rate of girls who take drugs and engage in prostitution to retrieve means of living. School dropout rates for children are high; many families are dislocated and often the mothers are alone for the survival of their children.
Facts and figures
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