Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I live in and am from Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital city. Madagascar (the country, not the movie) is a big island located in the Indian Ocean, and is geographically defined as being part of Africa. I have never moved from here, except a few trips abroad. I have done all my studies in Madagascar, and I’m particularly proud of that.
What language(s) do you speak?
I speak Malagasy (our native language), French and English.
When did you first become a mother (year/age)?
I gave birth to my first child, Tony, in 2009, at the age of 28, and then to Hugo in 2011. I was a late mother compared to the national trends; one-third of girls aged 15-19 are known to be mothers in our country.
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?
I am officially working as a legal advisor for a semi-public facility dealing with electricity, but I am also engaged in various not-for-profits and social movements related to democracy and human rights matters. I am at the same time a PhD candidate in political science, which means that I have to work a lot at home – early in the morning, while my loved ones are sleeping.
Why do you blog/write?
I write for sharing my views and experience, and for linking Madagascar to other countries. We are island people and we need to feel that the rest of the world also cares about us, but they won’t until we provide them with the right information. I also write in order to give a voice to the voiceless. There are lots of interesting people – mothers or not – in Madagascar, who cannot access the internet or have a worldwide coverage like this. I commit myself to write on their behalf and share their stories, because they’re part of what we call Humanity and also deserve to be heard.
What makes you unique as a mother?
Frankly speaking, I don’t know! Only my boys can assess me as a mother and I don’t have an appropriate answer to that question. I’m just trying to do my best for my children, especially showing them that there is something beyond money and comfort…. That good behavior matters and that kindness and self-engagement may change lives…
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
I’m convinced motherhood has always been difficult, now or 100 years ago. But the main challenge for me today is to keep children away from the influence of the media and from the feeling that money rules. We need to find time for inspiring them in a different way and to show them that everything is possible, differently. They are for sure citizens of the world but they need to discover this world with their heart, in a more peaceful and spiritual manner….
How did you find World Moms Blog?
I met Jennifer Burden in Washington, DC, in 2014, during the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings. She gave me a key holder with the World Moms Blog logo and told me she would love to have a contributor from Madagascar. I was quite busy during these two years but now I’m in and I’d like to thank her for this great opportunity.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ketakandriana Rafitoson, our new contributor from Madagascar.