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A better life for Vavy

October 12th, 2022

Vavy is 6 years old. She lives in a small village with her six siblings, mother and father. The poverty and drought in Madagascar left her with no choice but to work in the mica mines. She had to do that for two years, until help arrived. Now she can go to school every day.


Need extra help

Vavy's parents have been making a living in the mica business for the past 21 years. When there was a great drought, there was no food and they had to find a way to survive. They needed extra help and asked their daughter Vavy to join them in the mines.

Vavy's parents earn 3,000 ariary a day (0.69 euros), which is still barely enough to buy food. Or even the tools they need to extract mica.

A normal day for Vavy

Vavy gets up early in the morning, washes and goes to school without breakfast. At school she learns Malagasy, French and mathematics. 'I eat my lunch around noon. When I get home, I go over what I learned in school. Then I jump rope with my friends. I also play football. I'm very good at that. Later I eat rice and vegetables for dinner and go to sleep.'

No more hardships

When Vavy worked in the mines, where thousands of children like her work, she was very unhappy and sad. She spent her days collecting and filtering mica - a very hard task for any child. She barely had a chance to play or lead a normal life. She didn't have enough food and water and couldn't go to school. 

Fortunately, at the beginning of the year, her parents were briefed by Terre des Hommes Netherlands project team on why education is important for children's success. This made her decide to let Vavy go to school. They received support to support themselves: they can now grow vegetables and long beans. Much needed food for the family.

Future Nurse

After taking several classes at school, Vavy can now read, write and count. She is very happy and motivated. She performs well. She is now able to eat at least two meals a day. 

Vavy looks up to her 18-year-old brother, who currently works in the mines. “He's done a lot for me. He gave me money to buy a ball, which I love so much," she explains. 'I want to become a nurse and help sick people,' she says happily, dreaming about her future.

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