On International Youth Day in Madagascar, film screening gives young people a forum

A film set in Madagascar’s arid south is helping young people develop life skills by sparking a debate on what it means to succeed in life.

In Madagascar today, out of a total population of 19 million – almost 70 per cent of whom live in poverty – there are 5.7 million children and young people between 10 and 24 years of age, and their number is expected to double by 2025. Despite efforts to meet their needs, Malagasy children and youth continue to face huge challenges.

‘Dzaomalaza and the Blue Sapphire’ – produced by UNICEF with its partner, Digital Development Communications – will now be shown across Madagascar in schools, youth clubs and other venues targeting young people, with screenings followed by audience debates.

“This film is a great way of reaching young people, because it truly shows the society in which we live as young Malagasies,” said peer educator Ravo Randriantsoavina. “Often, young people cannot talk to their parents. It is difficult for us to change our culture and to find ways to advocate. But if enough people are convinced, we can take action.”

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