To be a social worker and to devote himself entirely to vulnerable children and families.

Originally written in French by Ny Hasina Ramahenina on UNICEF website

Lanto Robivelo specializes in Social Work.

Lanto Robivelo specializes in Social Work. He is currently the National Director of the NGO “Famille d’Accueil de Madagascar” which aims to professionalize the concept of foster families in Madagascar. He is also the President of the Groupement des Travailleurs Social de Madagascar (GTSM), a group that was created after World Social Work Day last year. It brings together associations of social workers throughout Madagascar. The aim of the Group is to make known and recognize professional Social Work, different from spontaneous social actions.

Asked about the importance of social work in Madagascar, he is convinced that “ social work is an essential lever for the modeling of a Malagasy-style development system where everyone finds their place, their responsibilities and their rights. “. Social Work is therefore aimed at the most vulnerable and / or excluded from society; those who have difficulty accessing basic social services or those who have complex psycho-social and societal difficulties. The social worker acts by defending the causes of these people or by putting in place the mechanisms and interventions necessary to respond to their difficulties and allow them to be resolved. These actions are carried out in order to adapt the person to his environment and the environment to the person.

What marks Lanto Robivelo the most as a social worker is working for the protection of children with difficult journeys and being their spokesperson. 

His work has enabled him to see that children are always the victims and the most vulnerable in every crisis a country goes through. Defending the cause of children motivates and animates him: “These children then become a source of inspiration for me. They tell me indirectly but directly through my job to raise their voices, to put words to their emotions and their feelings when I am facing adults, facing decision-makers, facing the notables of society. “

His days are generally busy and atypical. One day is unlike any other, and the social worker that he is can wear several “hats” to manage the tasks and responsibilities of his multiple functions. Sometimes a bureaucrat, to manage the administrative and logistical side of the NGO he heads. Sometimes a man on the ground, to support his employees in home visits and the management of cases handled by his NGO. In the field, it is the social worker who takes the upper hand where he uses his skills in listening, psycho-social support, or conflict management. He is totally invested in his work: “As a social worker, since we“ manage ”delicate situations, I am constantly thinking because each case is unique. “. He is also required to be in communication with other officials (state institutions / civil society) in order to manage the NGO’s projects. And often his days are extended: “Once at home, 3 days / 5, I have a virtual meeting with the partners in the United Kingdom. “.

Lanto Robivelo is confident about the future of Social Work in Madagascar. This discipline will no longer be “underestimated” but will be an essential function in public institutions: “Within 10 years, social work will be a discipline valued by young people, not just as a job with a stable and comfortable income but also as a profession which motivates young people in their contribution to the recovery of our country. “.

Photo Copyright: UNICEF Madagascar/2021/Andrianandrasana