RAHARISOA Celestine – Madagascar

RAHARISOA Celestine – Madagascar

Date: December 2, 2015
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Success cannot be achieved by chance

Celestine first encountered Gender Links (GL) in 2014. Indeed, she is one of beneficiaries of the Entrepreneurship project led by GL in the urban council of Ambatondrazaka. She attended all the steps of the training and all of them were beneficial to her.

Celestine is a 45 year-old woman, married with two children. Her business focusses on selling vegetables and fish in the local market. Coming from a modest family, Celestine has been used to a precarious way of living since her childhood.

During her married life she endured all kinds of violence inflicted on her by her husband. Overwhelmed by the harshness of her daily life, she decided to find an activity that would improve her income. It was during that time that she encountered Ms Rasoaminiry, counsellor of the council. Ms Rasoamaniry encouraged her to participate in the training offered by GL.

After attending the training, she realised that it is time for her to act. “As a survivor of violence, I thought sometimes that I was useless, I was so desperate that my ideas were confused”, she says.

Celestine confirms that the training on entrepreneurship techniques helped her to be more confident and to change her way of viewing her business: “I began to regain confidence in myself and make a plan”, she stated. Her children and her family helped her start up the business. After doing a market analysis, she made a loan to increase her resources. She found customers in a nearby council and began to supply fish there three times a week. In only two months, she was able to repay all the money she had borrowed. Currently, her benefits allow her to plan starting another business, this time in livestock. “My life has really changed, I can buy food for my children, and I can buy furniture, dress my children well and help my family”.

The change in Celestine’s life was also reflected in her community. She is sensitising women in the area around her so that they understand the importance of women’s financial independence and the role it plays towards ending violence. The change in her life is a good example for the women in her community. “People come to me for advice and I am happy to share my experience with them,” she says.

Celestine affirms that success cannot be achieved by chance. According to her, women can accomplish great things when they have a plan, courage and self-confidence. In the future, she intends to create an association for the protection of women’s rights.


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