Razafindranoro Sylvanna Marie Anita – Madagascar

Razafindranoro Sylvanna Marie Anita – Madagascar

Date: November 24, 2015
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« Success is a matter of choice »

Sylvanna is an active young woman living in the rural council of Foulpointe, a tourist city, located 50 kilometres from Tamatave, the economic capital of Madagascar. She is one of the beneficiaries of the entrepreneurship project led by Gender Links (GL) in 2014.

Before the training, Sylvanna earned her living by selling donuts at the seaside. Mother of a little girl, life was not always easy for Sylvanna, especially during her married life. Her husband was jobless and used to mistreat her. After staying in this abusive relationship for years, she decided to leave.

When Sylvanna joined the programme on life skills and entrepreneurship development, she was full of ideas. At first, she wanted to develop the business she had already undertaken. However, when she did market research she realised that this market is already full, “I noticed that the field is already saturated”, she affirmed. In consequence, she decided to create a business selling second hand clothes, of which there were still few in her council.

She attended with interest all the phases of the training offered by GL. She followed step by step the process of creating a business. She began with implementing little by little her business plan and then she searched for partners to provide funding. Fortunately, one of her friends offered to support her project and granted her a loan.

Within one year, she has already noticed a change in her life. “Thanks to good management of my income, I managed to put money aside”, she says. Previously, Sylvanna did not bother to calculate anything in her business. She used to spend everything she earned in her household. In that way, her benefits were not considerable. Now that she has learned management, she is careful of her expenses.

When her husband saw that she had made an effort to succeed, he wanted to go back to her. Sylvanna says that she would no longer accept any kind of violence from him. Fortunately, their relationship has improved a lot. Her husband learned to treat her right and even supports her in her business. “My daughter is so happy to see her parents together again. Moreover, now I have enough money to cover her school fees in a private school”.

When her neighbours saw the change in her life, they were amazed. Her close friends came to her to ask how she managed. Sylvanna is happy to share with them her knowledge and experience. “I am so proud of being able to have my own business so I would like to share my experience with others so that they may create their own business as well, to show that success is a matter of choice”.

In Sylvanna’s council, young women are not very interested in creating long term businesses. In fact, young girls used to abandon school and practice prostitution in the council because there are a lot of tourists, especially foreigners, who come there for sexual tourism. Sylvanna says that prostitution is the main issue for young girls in her council. Currently, she has created an association of young people that works towards ending prostitution. This association also aims to prevent gender based violence (GBV) and encourage young people to play sport. Every weekend, Sylvanna organises meetings with the members of the association. They try to help each other and share new perspectives.

Sylvanna’s effort to succeed in her life was recognised in her area and she has become an example for her friends, a real driver of change in her community.


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