Generation Citizen Madagascar
My name is Christian, a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders. Thanks to the trust Scott Warren and Sarah Andes put on me as my mentor and peer collaborator, I could start to implement the Generation Citizen (GC) curriculum in Madagascar and launch a program called “Young Patriots” out of it. It’s been exactly one year now that we launched the association Generation Citizen Madagascar and we have been directly impacting 88 students from 13 high schools and 30 Democracy Coaches in Madagascar over the past year.
The “Young Patriots” is a 7 week intensive training program on Democracy, Citizenship and Civic Engagement. Implementing the program was at the same time challenging and innovative. We train youth on how to take their responsibilities by working out community issues they care about at the high school level . “Action Civic” is new for Malagasy youth since they are not used to getting opportunities to take the lead in community issue solving. It is worth mentioning that it’s been 2 decades now since Civic Education was taken off from the Malagasy high school syllabus and never regained its place in the syllabus. The main role of the school is to train and produce active and responsible citizens. So, how can schools assume its responsibility if the heart of education is not part of the syllabus? That is the reason why I was convinced of implementing GC curriculum, which would bring positive changes in Madagascar and it did.
We had our second Civics Day on 11 March 2017, where 46 students from 8 vocational and General high schools were awarded with end-of-training certificates after 7-week training. By the means of GC Advocacy Hourglass, the participants learnt that at there level, they can trigger changes in their own lives and in their community as they focused on issues such as drug taking in schools, lack of adequate infrastructure for disabled people, violence and harassment in schools, absence of medical assistance in schools and many others. The program tremendously improved after one year of existence as we included disabled persons. We were honored to have a representative of the USAID, a representation of the Ministry of vocational training and the head of the National Teachers’ Union to speak and leave message to the Young Patriots Alumni. The program has had great impact in the capital City. However, we feel the Ministry of National Education is not really enthusiastic regarding our action taking as we are trying to fill the gap they left as they never sent representative for the 2 Civics days we had. But hopefully, with the full support of the Ministry of Vocational training and the further collaboration with USAID, my team and I will be able to scale up the project and reach out youth in the others regions of Madagascar.
By Tomarielson Christian Espérant Generation Citizen Madagascar