I am 22 years old and I come from Antokazo, a remote village in the district of Ambatondrazaka. My village doesn’t have a market and no cars can go there. So we have to walk for 2 hours to visit the market. I liked living in Antokazo as a child. It is very beautiful. I loved to climb trees to pick zamblons and guava. After the rice was harvested I liked to catch fish and crabs in the watery fields. My friends and I ate what we collected, sold it, or shared it with our families.
I lived most of my childhood with my grandmother. My parents separated before I was born. My mother was very young. She joined her brothers to work in the quarries in another town where there are lots of rubies and sapphires. I have a strong bond with my grandmother. Until I was 12 I thought that my grandmother was my mother and my mother was my older sister! I have good memories of my grandfather as well. He told us stories and he was very good at French because he attended school during the French colonisation. I learnt a lot from him.
I think my future would be very different if I hadn’t been selected for Onja. I would probably have been married by now and would work as a teacher and a farmer. I am very happy to work at Onja. It will help me to reach my goal of owning a house so that I have something for my children to inherit. I also want to help my younger siblings and pay for their education.