The child protection program in Madagascar, funded by privates, begins with the construction of a Multipurpose Day Center, to support families in the Province of Antsiranana, Diana Region.
The main activities carried out in the Mangafaly center concern the diffusion and improvement of basic education and the reduction of early school leaving, in order to guarantee the basic training for the children never educated in the region.
The beneficiaries are therefore all the children and their families, who adhere to the general program. These are assisted on different levels with the aim of improving the prospects for growth and integration of children from the most isolated and remote villages of this particular region of Madagascar . In just a few years, the Mangafaly center has been involved in providing primary education to more than 50 children a year and supporting after-school activities with an additional 30 students, attending local public elementary schools (EPP). Today the Center is regularly registered with the Malagasy authorities as a kindergarten.
The scholastic program is defined annually, both for the petite session (4-year-old class of children) and for the large session (5-year-old children), taking into consideration both the Malagasy program and any innovative elements to be integrated into the classical program. The regular program of the school year is then flanked by a calendar of extra curricular activities, afternoon and summer.
The teachers follow a path of constant updating, both through the comparison with expatriate volunteers, and taking part in local training. The staff always maintains constant contact with the families and takes care of the planning of educational and play activities, also monitoring the economic conditions of the families through visits to home made together with our staff.
The Mangafaly center also maintains a collaboration with the doctors of the St. Damien clinic, who regularly visit the children of the center, guaranteeing better health conditions.
Regarding the support and education of children already attending the public primary school (EPP), COPE guarantees about 80 children a year a school kit that includes uniform, educational material and the payment of the annual fee.
In addition, we try to involve and stimulate families through meetings to raise awareness of the importance of children’s primary education, stimulating a greater presence during school / family meetings, an active role in the student’s life, greater attention to absences, and finally to confirm the registration to the following years.
Regarding the protection of the child and access to the exercise of civil and political rights, the COPE staff is concerned with obtaining birth certificates for the children of Ambanja (Mangafay and EPP) because in the most serious cases, children without birth certificates, as “invisible” in the eyes of the law, they are victims of trafficking or sexual abuse.
The COPE has also lavished on the activation of Italian Language Courses, requested by many Malagasy who wish to work in the tourist facilities regularly frequented by Italians. In addition, IT courses have also been requested, focusing on Windows, Office, sending emails, writing and structuring of Curriculum Vitae, maintenance and PC updates. Last but not least is the journalism course and the start of the journalistic editorial “Jurnale du Sambirano”, born as a school magazine inside the local diocesan high school, but rapidly growing due to the great thirst for information of the local population, due to the nonexistent distribution of local magazines.