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“Working in the mine did not help to get to know things, school does”

June 26th, 2023

Rosia (10) lives in a small village in Madagascar with her mother and two younger siblings. Rosia attends the third year in primary school. Before that, she was working with her mother in the mica mines.

Rosia is 10 jaar oud en woont in een klein dorpje in Madagaskar.

Working in the mica mines

Since the age of eight, Rosia worked in the mines. She supported her mother, who has to take care of three children on her own. “I did not like to work in the mines. I was often very tired. And I did not learn anything in the mines. I would always choose to go to school, so I am very happy now.”

Root cause

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. Almost half of all children between the ages of 5 and 17 work. About 10,000 children do dangerous and unhealthy work in the mica mines. Child labour is a global problem, with an estimated 160 million children working. Child labour affects children’s health and physical and mental development.

Systemic change

Terre des Hommes believes in bringing about systemic change. Therefore, we ensure that children are taken out of the mines and have access to quality education. We ensure that families in mica communities receive fair wages for mica or a decent income through alternative and additional income-generating activities. We also work together with government, organisations and businesses.

Future dreams

Rosia has recently entered school. Terre des Hommes supports the village school with teaching materials and some of the teachers’ income. Rosia and the other students received a school bag, books and pens. Rosia is a motivated student: “I want to become a nurse. I want to help people and especially my mother, if she ever gets sick.”

Rosia is moving towards a better future. Wouldn’t you wish this for every child?

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