Nineteen-year-old Jerome is a lively young man from a village not too far from Mahanoro. When he was invited by Onja to do an entrance test, he didn´t have high expectations. Instead, he considered it good practise for the middle school exam he was soon going to have. But he turned out to be a very good candidate with a very high score!
When Jerome got the news that he was selected by Onja, he was about to make a difficult decision about his future: he had been admitted to seminary to become a priest. He really liked the idea of being a priest, but it had some disadvantages as well: firstly, it would take at least 10 years before he would have enough income to help his brothers to have a good education and secondly, he wouldn’t be allowed to get married and have children. So when he was selected by Onja he was very happy and he saw two big advantages: he would have a job after two years and he could still be thinking about raising a family!
Being able to help his family soon is very important to Jerome. Jerome comes from a family of farmers. They grow rice, cassava, coffee and cloves. When his father was still alive, they had a good life, but he died when Jerome was 15 years old. Since then it has been very hard for his mother to run the farm, make ends meet and take care of the family. Being the oldest son, Jerome helped his mother the best he could. He worked hard and did all the strenuous tasks that his father had always done before. It was difficult, because he was only 15 and had to go to school too. What made it even harder, is that thieves stole the coffee and cloves-harvests. Now that Jerome lives at Onja, his younger brothers have to help his mother, but the farm is not as productive as it was when his father was still alive. Jerome is certain that without his support, his brothers won’t be having the opportunity to attend high school, let alone study at university. That’s why he is determined to work hard and be successful at Onja.