At the school where I taught I knew a young girl who was very bright.
Her name was Mitsiry. She was 12 years old and in 6th grade.
Mitsiry was a Young Student Leader, a special student who we recognized and designated to help in our work at the school.
As part of her role she learned to take responsibility and have confidence in her leadership skills. She was extraordinary in her motivation.
She would lead the students in cleaning the classrooms, the schoolyard, the latrines. If it weren’t for her leadership, the other kids would not have done any of it. Every morning she would stop by the Youth Space and ask me what the program was for the day and what she could do to help.
Mitsiry was the first female student in the middle school's history to raise the Malagasy flag at the school assembly.
She was wonderful; I really see that she has a bright future ahead because she had become a leader in all aspects of her life.
- PJL Educator Sitraka, Ambalamahasoa Middle School
Mitsiry's story shows that Projet Jeune Leader is more than sexuality education.
We exist to create enabling environments so that Malagasy youth, themselves, can lead the change and shift the norms of the larger systems in which they live and learn.
On this year’s International Day of the Girl, we celebrate Mitsiry’s contribution to positive social change, including gender equality, in her community. Her story is just one of many where girls occupy spaces where they are rarely seen or heard.
This October 11th and beyond, we are fighting on to count, recognize, support and invest in adolescent girls in Madagascar, just like Mitsiry.