SOS Children’s Village Fort Dauphin is located in the city of Tolanaro (also known as Taolagnaro) in the southeast of the country, in the region of Anosy. It has roughly 50,000 inhabitants. The region is somewhat isolated and many areas are hard to reach.In comparison to other areas of the country, the southern part of Madagascar is particularly deprived. The vast majority of the local population lives in poverty, and most families grow their own food to survive. Children growing up in big households in rural areas are most likely to be malnourished and lack access to education and healthcare
Since 2014, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Fort Dauphin.
Madagascar is a low-income country, but the situation is particularly severe in the rural south. Here, an estimated 9 in 10 people in the area live in poverty.
Many people are subsistence farmers, meaning that they rely on their own agricultural produce to feed their families. However, Madagascar is vulnerable to natural disasters and is the most-cyclone exposed country in Africa. As a result, agricultural production often remains low and many families go hungry. Malnourishment has particularly negative impacts for children, as the lack of a balanced diet leads to hamper their growth and development.
In the Anosy region, where Fort Dauphin is located, over 60% of children do not go to primary school, and worryingly this figure has worsened in recent years.
Apart from having to work to contribute to household income, there are a number of other reasons why children do not go to school. Especially in rural areas like Fort Dauphin, it is hard for children to get to school due to the lack of infrastructure. In addition, many parents cannot afford the extra costs of travel or school supplies. Children without the possibility of getting an education tend to be stuck in the vicious cycle of poverty.