Zonta International has contributed nearly US$19.2 million to projects benefiting women in 35 countries.

Two hundred students will benefit from four new classrooms.

Suzy Graham from Zonta Tauranga.

Zonta Tauranga is hosting a breakfast to celebrate International Women's Day on Friday, March 8.

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The ticketed breakfast will be at Mount Maunganui Club, Kawaka St, at 6.30am and all funds raised will go to the charity Let Us Learn Madagascar, which aims to support children into formal education, in particular girls. The guest speaker is Jenny Rudd from Uno Magazine.

"During the 2018-2020 Biennium, two projects are being supported by the Zonta International Service Fund. One of these is Let Us Learn Madagascar," says Suzy Graham from Zonta Tauranga.

"The project is delivered by Unicef USA, who have a long history of working with Zonta International. In the more than 90 years since its first international service project was funded, Zonta International has contributed nearly US$19.2 million to projects benefiting women in 35 countries."

More than 29,000 Zonta members from clubs in 63 countries contribute funds to the Madagascar project.

"In Madagascar, where about 90 per cent of the population live on less than US$2 per day, girls face significant additional challenges. One-third of girls will become pregnant before the age of 18, and the cost of education is forcing many parents to select only one child to continue their education, often leaving girls behind."

Breakfast to celebrate will benefit charity Let Us Learn Madagascar. Photo / Supplied
Breakfast to celebrate will benefit charity Let Us Learn Madagascar. Photo / Supplied

Unicef's Let Us Learn Madagascar creates opportunities for children, particularly girls, to realise their right to an education in a secure and protective environment. The project is focused on reaching out-of-school children, and expanding girls' education, Graham says.

"Thanks to this project, around 200 children will benefit from newly constructed and equipped classrooms, 300 girls will be reintegrated into school after attending catch-up classes, and 960 at-risk girls and victims of violence and exploitation will benefit from either medical, legal or social support through a referral mechanism."

Rudd says: "What a testament to the fantastic communication skills of women all round the world to pull off a global fundraising coup."

Tickets are available by emailing russell_family@xtra.co.nz. More info on Zonta's Facebook page @zontauranga, and if you would like to join Zonta, email Suzy Graham: sue_al.graham@xtra.co.nz

Challenges facing girls in Madagascar
• Higher school dropout rates
• Lack of quality education
• Inadequate school facilities, including lack of gender-separated latrines
• Lack of menstrual hygiene management guidance, information and facilities
• High prevalence of violence, abuse and exploitation in the home and school
• High prevalence of child marriage.
communication skills of women all round the world to pull off a global fundraising coup."

Madagascar by the numbers
(From The World Bank's World DataBank)
Population: 24.8 million
2015 Human Development Index Rank: 154 (scale 1-188, where 1 is highest)
Gender Inequality Index (GII): N/A
Population earning below $1.90 (PPP) per day: 78.5 per cent
Maternal mortality ratio: 353 deaths per 100,000 births
Infant mortality rate: 46.4 deaths per 1000 live births
Births attended by skilled health workers: 44 per cent
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 40 per cent
Female enrolment in primary education: unknown
Internet users: 4.7 per cent of population