In this third installment on a project Anne and I are involved in, we assist “Zanaky Ny Lalana”(Children of the Street) at yet another location. This week we went to Ambohijatovo, one of the ten locations where Malagasy volunteers for “Teach for Madagascar” currently hold sessions. Teach for Madagascar is a program whereby Malagasy volunteers provide literacy and life skills instruction twice weekly to children who are otherwise unable to go to school.
This group meets in Ambohijatovo Garden, a small, oval-shaped public park that is flanked by two busy roads near some of the popular shopping areas in Antananarivo. On one side, a steep hillside is popular with homeless families – in many cases just moms with young kids – who try to earn a living doing odd jobs for some of the vendors below, collecting recyclables, or begging. When we arrived, many of the kids were playing an impromptu soccer match, but once the volunteer teachers started setting up, they settled right down in the center of the park and focused on the lesson, seemingly unaware of the noisy traffic on all sides.
Although a few of the kids had younger brothers or sisters to keep an eye out for, the lesson progressed relatively smoothly – and only toward the end of the session did the younger kids become impatient.
One of my goals this week was to not only take photographs, but to also try and get enough video footage to try and make a short video for the organization. This also seemed like a good opportunity to do a black-and-white video, something I’ve wanted to try for a long time. I think the video turned out pretty well – and am pleased that Teach for Madagascar was able to use it to try and encourage the next batch of volunteers – the application process (it’s pretty competitive) starts in September.