Fostering leadership skills among young women in Madagascar

Participants at a Young Women Leadership Programme session playing a game aimed at developing communication skills.
Participants at a Young Women Leadership Programme session playing a game aimed at developing communication skills.PHOTO: YOUNG WOMEN LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

MADAGASCAR • Created in 2011 by Ms Tina Andriamahefa Razafinimanana, the Madagascan NGO Youth launched its first programme for young people, called the Young Women Leadership Programme, three years later.

The initiative aims to encourage young women aged 15 to 24 to make solid commitments to a project, but also to bolster their leadership skills, self-esteem and self-confidence.

Inviting participants to present a project to develop, the non-profit organisation has contributed to the rise of a number of ventures led by young women, some of which have since gained serious recognition.

Among the most prominent is Moringala, a cosmetics brand made of Moringa tree leaves, created by Ms Olivia Malala Rakotondrasoa, a communications major.

She was awarded a grant by The Tony Elumelu Foundation in Nigeria in 2017 and represented Madagascar at the Future Agro Challenge world competition this year.

Other projects include Healthy Girl, which promotes menstrual hygiene with sanitary towels made of washable cotton, and Funny Design, creating hassocks and jewellery out of recycled clothes and plastic bottles.

Today, revenues from both start-ups fund a social integration centre for young women in Madagascar.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2018, with the headline 'Fostering leadership skills among young women in Madagascar'. Print Edition | Subscribe