Émeline, a graduate of La Rizière hospitality school in Madagascar is out of work

MADAGASCAR – LA RIZIÈRE HOSPITALITY SCHOOL – The economic situation in Madagascar has deteriorated greatly since the start of the health crisis. Lockdown measures have hit the hospitality sector particularly hard and many workers are out of work. For the young graduates of La Rizière hospitality school in Fianarantsoa the situation could very quickly become catastrophic.

Students from  La Rizière hospitality school in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar.

La Rizière hospitality school is a reference in Madagascar. Not only in Fianarantsoa, the city where it is based, but also on a national level: it currently issues the first CAP hospitality sector diploma recognized by the Madagascan government. Created in 2012 by the IECD to help young people in a difficult socio-economic situation acquire the professional skills suited to the hospitality sector’s needs, each year the school trains about a hundred young people who have no difficulty finding work afterwards. Very often, the income they earn covers the needs of an entire family. The stoppage of the tourism industry as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic poses a serious threat to the most underprivileged.

Émeline, a graduate of the 4th academic year of the La Rizière Hospitality School has been working at the Grand Hotel du Tsingy de Bemahara, in Antsalova, since 2019. Unemployed since the start of the crisis, she has returned to Fianarantsoa to be with her family, but the situation she has found there is worse than she had imagined:

“My family is used to me sending money every month. My mother, who has a business, has no income either since the start of lockdown. Nobody is in work at home. Over the past month, our financial situation has deteriorated greatly. “

Émeline, a graduate of La Rizière Hospitality School, who had been working for a year at the Grand Hotel du Tsingy de Bemahara, in Antsalova, Madagascar.

She is very worried about the future and the pressure from the family isn’t helping.

“There are those who ask me the same question twenty times: “So, what are you doing? What are you going to do?” And others who give me advice: “If I were you, I’d change sector. In hospitality-catering, you’ll probably have to face this type of situation some other time”. Yes, I’m unemployed and I’m worried that I’m not going to be rehired, that I’m not going to manage…”

However, she tries to put things into perspective: “I realize that the fears I have are shared by others. Many young people like me are just as anxious about this global health crisis. “

In Madagascar, the IECD and its partners are supporting their students, including former students, who now have to deal with the crisis and help them find work again quickly. The confinement imposed in the three main cities of Madagascar (Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa and Toamasina) will gradually be lifted from Monday onwards”, announced the President, Andry Rajoelina. However, the return to work in the hospitality-catering sector will be very gradual.