Sunday 24 October 2021 | 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT | Webinar
UN Day Talk: Let Us Learn Madagascar
The Zonta Club of Ottawa, Canada invites you to an inspiring talk “Let us Learn Madagascar” showcasing a core component of ZI’s mission — the provision of a quality education to girls and young women in Madagascar. Details and registration information below. We look forward to having you join us!
It takes place on UN Day, October 24, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST/EDT time via a Zoom talk. Andrea Clemons, Education Specialist UNICEF Madagascar, will provide up-to-date information on the project including the jarring challenges presented by the pandemic and climate change. Nonetheless, they’ve adapted and carried on with this vital support. We’ve attached the event poster for your review.
Set up to Benefit Madagascar
Simultaneously you will also send a much needed lifeline to buttress ZI’s efforts in Madagascar — 100% of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go directly to support this initiative.
So. . .
you can accomplish TWO wonderful things with ONE easy click on the “Purchase Tickets” button below!
- Obtain up-to-date information on a key ZI initiative
- Signal your accolades and support to administrators and recipients of “Let us Learn Madagascar” for their courage and resilience in the face of trying circumstances.
It’s a perfect way to reinforce Zonta’s message of hope and possibility of a better world! Once again, we look forward to having you join us!
About the Speaker
Andrea Clemons has been an Education Specialist at UNICEF Madagascar since 2010. She sees her work in Education as more than a job. She is committed to the Education of children and young people (people of all ages, really!) in all aspects of her life. At UNICEF, Andrea is responsible for coordinating and ensuring the quality of UNICEF’s support to the Ministry of Education to improve access, retention and quality teaching and learning in schools. She is also the adolescent and gender focal point for the Education section. Her work primarily supports catch-up classes to out-of-school children, inclusive education, teacher training and supervision, curriculum and materials development for preschool through lower secondary school.
She has coordinated the Let Us Learn Programme (LUL) for the Madagascar Country Office for the past several years, working closely with Child Protection, Social Policy and Communications 4 Development colleagues to ensure a comprehensive package of support to all beneficiaries of the LUL programme. The LUL programme has benefitted over 300,000 Malagasy children and adolescents since 2012.
Before coming to Madagascar, Andrea was a Professor of Education at the University of Southern California and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where she prepared teachers to teach in underserved communities. She has a Ph.D. in International and intercultural education policy and administration, a Master’s degree in literature (from the University of Toronto!) and a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. She is also a Fulbright scholar, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and an honorary board member of Free to Run (a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for girls and women in areas of conflict to participate in outdoor sports and life skills).
Climate change and the pandemic have wreaked havoc in Madagascar. Please help us continue this vital support to over 300,000 Madagascar children helped so far. Tickets $25.00 CAD. Ask your friends and colleagues to register, too!
September 6, 2021
In her recent message, International President Sharon, shared Zonta’s concerns over climate change and advised that in June Zonta had released a “climate change statement that highlights key ways that we as an organization can address the issue”. She stresses that this is not a political issue, but a humanity issue which impacts on our International Service Projects.
So how does this impact on Let us Learn Madagascar project that we have been following over the last months:
– Prolonged drought has left more than 1.3 million food insecure people in need of social protection.
– The drought and the added impacts of COVID-19 put children at risk of missing school due to inadequate school infrastructure, lack of water, sanitation facilities and learning equipment and due to parent’s lack of financial resources.
– Where Zonta is working, torrential rains from Tropical Cyclone Seroja caused dangerous landslides and the worst flooding in 40 years which have presented significant challenges to in-person and community-based initiatives to address gender-based violence.
– Zonta’s partners at UNICEF USA are determined to ensure that women and girls are not forgotten in times of crises.
The BBC World Service (Africa) also reported that Madagascar is on the brink of experiencing the world’s first “climate change famine” with tens of thousands of people already suffering catastrophic levels of hunger and food insecurity after four years without rain.
With many other climate related catastrophes let’s not forget our fellow Zontians who may have been in the path of destruction caused by “Ida” and had suffered damage caused by “Katrina” 14 years earlier and those where unbelievable damage has occurred with forest fires in so many parts of the world.
Aug 17, 2021
Last month I set out the main components of the program and some of the achievements. By the end of Phase 11, more girls and boys had access to post-primary education and the capacity of the education system to offer better quality teaching and learning was improved.
Fri, Jul 30, 9:27
In her latest Zonta News, International President Sharon shares how she is inspired, with the Olympics underway, by seeing more than 5,000 female athletes coming together to show commitment to reaching their highest levels of personal potential, something Zonta wants for all women. She continues “These athletes serve as a reminder of our power to overcome hurdles that might stand in our path. Through our international service projects such as Let us Learn Madagascar, Zonta is dedicated to providing girls with opportunities to dodge these challenges”.
UNICEF’s report “Getting into the Game” shows that education focused sport for development programs can address the challenges education systems face by contributing to positive education outcomes, such as student engagement, attendance, their overall enjoyment in school and improved behaviour and relationship with teachers and peers.
As a result of the Let us Learn Madagascar project more than 125,000 children in all public lower secondary schools have benefitted from sports equipment and learning materials. A sports field was built as part of the construction project at a secondary school with the support of Zonta.
As a footnote, Canada’s 11 medals to date have all been won by female athletes – but this involves a larger number when one takes into account the rowing eights and pairs, the synchronized diving and swimming relay team.
Let’s stay inspired and support the Let us Learn Madagascar project.
Last month, I introduced you to the LET US LEARN MADAGASCAR project that Zonta International is partnering with UNICEF to provide vulnerable girls with opportunities to realize their right to an education in a secure and protective environment.
From 2016 through 2020, Zonta International contributed US$2 million to the project and has announced an additional US$500,000.
In Madagascar, one in four children aged 6-10 does not attend primary school and one in three children age 11-14 does not attend lower secondary school. Let us Learn is an integrated education program that is creating opportunities for vulnerable and excluded children, particularly girls. The project is focused on reaching out-of-school children, expanding girls’ education and improving quality outcomes for learners.
The main components of the program are:
Investments in infrastructure providing safe spaces for learning
Cash transfers giving families options that allow girls to stay in school
Then there has been the impact of COVID-19
As of April 2020, schools and non-essential services have been shut down. To support the continuity of education for children, a portion of Zonta’s funding is being redirected to:
– a “Back-to-school” campaign targeting all 60,000 primary and lower secondary schools in the country, including catch-up classes for more than 12,200 lower secondary students unable to return to school after they reopen. These program activities will help UNICEF preserve the gains that have been made for girls through the past years. In Madagascar, where digital learning solutions are less accessible, reading and writing materials can be used to reach the most vulnerable.
My next instalment on Let us Learn will bring us up to date on the 2020-2022 biennium goals.
June 24, 2021
You may have noticed this poster In the May edition of Zontacler and wondered “WHAT IS THIS ABOUT AND WHY IS IT OF INTEREST TO ME”.
So often, we are focused on our most worthwhile contribution to the local community, we tend to forget that we are part of a much larger organization which with its service projects has worldwide impact.
This email will be the first of a series that shows the impact of one such project LET US LEARN MADAGASCAR so that by the time October comes around we will be familiar the project and be excited to hear a progress report “from the ground”.
First a reminder of Zonta International’s Vision:
“Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her potential.
In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision making positions on an equal basis with men”.
Zonta is passionate about providing life-changing opportunities for women and girls through international service and is dedicated to achieving gender equality in education by supporting scholarships, fellowships and awards and by partnering with agencies of the United Nations and other recognized non-governmental organizations.
One such project in cooperation with UNICEF is LET US LEARN MADAGASCAR.
By providing vulnerable girls with opportunities to realize their right to an education in a secure and protective environment, Let Us Learn aims to reduce poverty and ultimately empower Madagascar’s next generation of female leaders. The project is an integrated education program that is creating opportunities for vulnerable and excluded children, especially girls. It is focused on reaching out-of-school children, expanding girls’ education and improving quality outcomes for learners.
From 2016 through 2020, Zonta International has contributed US$2 million to UNICEF USA for the project and has announced an additional commitment of US$500,000.
Next in this series will be “what has been done to date in Madagascar”.
I hope you will come to share my enthusiasm for ZONTA INTERNATIONAL projects as well as those of the Zonta Club of Ottawa.
UN Committee Member