“I come from Vavatenina, a small town in the mountains of East Madagascar. My father is a carpenter who mostly had assignments far from home. When my mother died after giving birth to my little sister he tried to find work close to home. But that was difficult. To make ends meet he and my older brother had to take on projects in another town and I stayed at home along with my other brother and little sister.
After 5 years my father remarried a very loving and nice woman who became my second mother. I was very happy. But then I was hit by a bus and seriously injured. I couldn’t go to school for 3 months. I managed to pass the next year by doing homework while I was in the hospital and at home recovering.
When my stepmother was pregnant my father became seriously ill. He had to be treated in the hospital in Tamatave but we couldn’t afford his whole treatment there. He had to be taken from one hospital to another. My stepmother sold her grocery store to raise money. She gave birth to twins, but one died. There was no money or food and life was very, very hard. My brothers and I couldn’t go to school and we did all kinds of jobs to earn some money for food and my father’s treatment. And we managed! My father is much better and our lives are back on track. I am very happy to be at Onja and see a good future ahead. Things can only get better now!”