Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Omena Peer Education Training: An Initiative to Break the Cycle of Emotional Abuse in Madagascar

According to UNICEF, in 2019, 80% of children in Madagascar experienced emotional abuse growing up which made it more challenging for them to recognize, prevent or mitigate certain abusive behaviors  when they appear and establish healthy relationships with their families and peers. Emotional abuse can lead to issues with self-esteem and mental health, thwarting the affected individual's ability to succeed and thrive in many areas. 

Omena is an initiative that promotes Social Emotional Learning to break the cycle of emotional abuse within families and communities through awareness and education. The project's education component begins with 2-day training sessions for peer educators who learn the mission and model for the Omena program and how to recognize signs and psychological outcomes of emotional abuse. This training will also teach these volunteers how to use the appropriate content and conversation to effectively facilitate Omena teaching programs in their schools, community organizations, and homes.