Monthly Interview Ambalavao

My name is Raeliarijaona.  I am 45 years old and I am a widowed mother of 3 children, two girls and a boy.  I am a seamstress.  In the beginning, I did not choose to be a seamstress, but my marital situation pushed me toward this vocation because my husband left us and I had to work to have enough to support my children.  Thus I began by working as an aide to a woman who did “haute couture”. This gave me the basic training to become a seamstress in my own right and afterwards, I was able to develop my own style.  At this time, sewing and dressmaking is my livelihood.  In general, this works well, but, like with other careers, there are times when it goes very well and other times when it does not.  The best period for this career is when there are celebrations because the people need nice clothes for the celebration.  But at this particular period of the year, the time when children are returning to school, parents only spend what is necessary.  The vocation of a seamstress is like others.    One appreciates it because it is interesting and that is how I can earn my living.  In spite of all that, I have the loan of Masomboly which enabled me to try another job – the sale of used clothing.  But that is not going well. Thus, my next loan will be for the sale of ready-to wear clothes.

At this time, it is a difficult period for me because my husband and I have been separated and he only helped a little with the schooling of the children, but since his death  a few months ago, I must now take care of the children all by myself without any aid, and that is really hard but I must assume that responsibility.  In order for our life to be somewhat normal, my children and I take care of the household tasks and the laundry; our daily life is the same almost every day because every day it is my daughter who gets up early in the morning to prepare breakfast, my son gets the water and after the breakfast, my two daughters get ready for school.  My son leaves to do his work as a day worker and I stay at home until their return.  I do the housework and then begin to work all day and often at night.  For the preparations of the meals, it is my oldest daughter who is in charge almost every day. On the weekends, we do a big cleaning and lots of laundry.  On Sunday afternoons, we have a small gathering of the family in order to talk of the past week and the things that must be done in the week to come.  It is the only time that we are all together to relax and enjoy each other.

In my personal life, what inspires me the most is my oldest sister because of her courage, her ambition, and her desire to help us after the death of my mother.  I was proud of her at that moment but time has passed and lots has changed.  She has become very egotistic and arrogant. If I were to change my life, I would like to go back in time when all our family loved each other and got together in joy and love.   But now in my family, each person is for himself, no one helps each other or loves each other, and that hurts me very much.  I always ask myself the question, “why has everything changed?”.  Why is it no longer like it was before in my family?  In spite of all that, I have my children and they are my reason for living.  Thus, I am able to say that what counts the most for me are my children.  There is a Malagasy phrase which inspires me and I say it often to my children.  The phrase means that even though life is difficult and hard, we never give up.  To finish,  I do not have any more  to say to the people who lend to me because I think that they must know everything about me, but I  wish to ask if it is possible to create a center of education for  young people because it is very difficult to raise young people today.  Thank you.