UNPP has helped UNICEF in the Analamanga and Boeny regions of Madagascar, working with local partners at a specialised center for boys who have committed petty offenses. UNICEF with partners on the ground have sponsored a life skills program, supported with Danish Telethon funds, during which the young residents have the opportunity to work with peer educators.
“When I first entered the centre, we considered ourselves prisoners. We follow orders. But the young peer educators listen to us,” said Fanantenana. “When I leave the centre, my dream is to go back to school and live a life far from the drugs and violence of life on the street.”
According to the center’s director, children who take part in the life skills sessions are less violent and show greater respect to one another. “The life skills sessions and the peer approach used to engage with the boys have had a real impact. The boys feel more accepted and have greater aspirations for their lives,” he said.
Thanks to Danish Telethon funds, extremely vulnerable adolescents in Analamanga and Boeny regions can benefit from the national life skills programme which aims to give adolescent girls and boys the knowledge and skills to deal with the challenges they face in life, create harmonious relationships between boys and girls, and to live more peacefully in their communities.
See the full UNICEF article by Karim Hamed
Over 16 interactive and entertaining sessions they benefit from guidance to improve their self-esteem, create peaceful relationships with others, and learn about a range of topics including gender equality and positive masculinity, sexual and reproductive health and substance abuse.
These topics have particularly interested many of them as they are closely related to their previous life on the streets. In addition to the life skills programme, UNICEF also supports activities and improved living conditions in the centre through an NGO partner Grandir Dignement (Twitter: @GrandirD).