MIASA (in Malagasy “to work”): a professional training centre for socially disadvantaged youth.

The project will be concentrated in two regions of Madagascar: Diana (North) and  Analamanga (Centre).

Helvetas decided to launch the MIASA in six townships within Diana and Analamanga and aims at improving the level of professional training in Madagascar, offering prospective jobs and improved quality of life to unemployed youths. The aim is to contribute towards local sustainable development starting with the young and motivated workforce.

This is the second year NFA has backed this project.

960 socially vulnerable young women and men, from the Country’s remote rural areas and cities’ outskirts, better their personal conditions by acquiring professional skills that can provide them with either paid employment or a way of earning independently.

  • Youth acquire technical know-how and life skills which will facilitate their transition into employment.
  • Training centres, private and none, provide kids with accessible training, geared towards market requirements facilitating both employment and/or means of making a living.
  • Youth and/or youth committees take an active part in local decision making related to training development projects.

960 young men and women aged between 15 and 29. Every young person from all the six townships involved in the project is an indirect beneficiary.
Madagascar has a young population: 65% of its  26 million inhabitants are under 25, one fifth is aged between  15 and 25. In this age group, only one third has received secondary school education, approximately half attended elementary school and almost 15% have never been to school at all. Hence many youths have none of the practical or theoretical skills required to become employed or make a living. Furthermore, they have extremely low chances of accessing farmland or credit. 70% of the unemployed are under 25 whilst 97 % of those who do manage to earn something have occasional day-to-day jobs. The majority of youngsters not only lack education and professional skills, they often lack self-esteem, communication, and problem-solving skills, a sense of duty, reliability, a business mind, etc.

This excludes them from participating in local decision-making and development. In addition to all of this, it is very rare for people to discuss VD prevention and family planning. Hence teen pregnancies are very frequent.

The Madagascan government is attempting to improve work prospects for youths who have had to drop out of school. Yet the current 275 State and privately run training centers can accommodate a maximum of 50,000 students – which corresponds to roughly 1% of unemployed youngsters. Nobody else can benefit from this offer because they often live very far from the training centers and are not even aware of their existence.