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Domestic Workers from Madagascar Speak Up ! "Life will never be the same again."

by IDWFED published Oct 19, 2020 12:00 AM

Domestic Workers from Madagascar Speak Up !
“Life will never be the same again.”

Rasoamanarivo Jocelyne:

My name is Rasoamanarivo Jocelyne.

My employers have been unemployed since the beginning of the lockdown, and so am I, technically.

I have not been paid for six months. I have four children that I am in charge of.

I have already sold our TV, Radio, and other valuable objects in order to be able to eat and pay rent.

My family only eats once or twice per day. We are in the 5th two-weeks lockdown in Madagascar.

It has been two and a half months. And it is not easy to look for work because of the coronavirus.


Rakotoarivelo Andry

My name is Rakotoarivelo Andry. I am a member of SENAMAMA union in Madagascar, and a head of a family, father of three children.

I want this to be my testimony about the difficulties that I have lived through during this COVID-19 period.

I have worked as a guard for a foreign couple that has been living in Tana for years. We were two men who did this job in rotation. When the virus arrived here to us in Madagascar, everyone was immediately worried and distressed.

We knew that our work will be affected because of the virus. But when it spread more, even our employers have decided to leave and hopped on board of the first plane that that the French government sent to get its citizens from Madagascar, and they relocated to their home country.

Since that moment we have been in misery, as our employers had to leave abruptly.

At the time, they had not settled our April payment, but they promised us that they would send us our salaries from France and support us with whatever little help they can. It has been months and they have not sent us one cent.

We have no idea how are we supposed to pay rent, the electricity bills, the cost of schooling our children, as well as the cost of food. It is not possible to find work now because no one is hiring and everyone is unemployed. It is very difficult to live with these thoughts and we do not even know if our employers will return or not.



My name is Cynthia. I am 49 years old. I am separated and taking care of my 6 children.

I am a domestic worker in the Haute Matsiatra region. My work consists of bleeching and ironing.

Because of COVID-19, I have lost my job.

I did not dare to borrow money because I knew there was no way for me to be able to repay it back, as we do not know how much longer the lockdown will persist.

I had to sell, little by little, my furniture, in order to survive, and so my kids can eat when they’re hungry. Life is very hard.

We do not know what to do for our children to be able to continue their education.

There are no jobs, no money. We need to be able to eat to survive.



I am Brigitte. I am 33 years old and I have 2 children and a disabled husband.

I am a domestic worker in the Haute Matsiatra region.

Because of the Coronavirus, my woman employer has requested that I do not come to her house for an indefinite period.

This means that my last salary was in the 20th of March, 2020. We can no longer pay rent.

It is difficult to find anything to eat. Everyone lives through these same circumstances. No one can lend money, no family, no neighbors. It has been the case for months.



My name is Aimee. I am 45 years old, separated, with 2 children in custody.

I am a domestic worker in the Haute Matsiatra region.

I work since 6 am until 7 pm for a monthly salary of 17 dollars.

Because of the Coronavirus, I have lost my job.

I have had to seek help from my family to survive, to pay the rent. Life will never be the same again.

Life has changed a lot. I ask myself what am I going to do to educate my children?

Even the employers are facing difficulties.



My name is Fanjanirina. I am 31 years old, married with 3 children.

I am a domestic worker in the Haute Matsiatra region.

My job is the whitening and ironing of cloth and clothes.

My woman employer does not want me since the social isolation. I have been without salary for months.

We were obliged to ask our family for help, but everyone is facing the same difficulties.

We are going through a difficult time. We count on the grace of the good lord.

It is very sad here. We ask what to do for our future? What to do to be able to live?