Vony Randrianonenana has worked for a decade as a project planner for a multinational company. And now she’s a South Africa Regional Leadership Center alumnus and 2021 Mandela Washington Fellow selected candidate. But through all of her accomplishments, she remains humble and focused on her goals: empowering disadvantaged social groups and youth.
Vony was born and raised in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo. She learned from an early age through Girl Scouts the power of staying humble and becoming a civil servant. Growing up, she saw disadvantaged young women lacking access to employment who couldn’t provide adequate education or other basic needs for their children. She dreamed of one day empowering them to fight social and economic exclusion.
After earning her high school diploma, she decided to join a youth association where she discovered her talent for developing skills, self-knowledge, and confidence as a model for social change. From there, she took the initiative to found her nonprofit, Clair De Lune Madagascar.
With the slogan “Believe in their bright future,” Vony’s nonprofit is dedicated to working with children, youth, women, families and communities to overcome poverty in the framework of sustainable development. The organization aims to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged populations in the poorest communities of Madagascar and to promote economic and social inclusion, justice, equality and equity.
“I support youth by influencing and empowering them to overcome challenges,” Vony explains. “Encourage them to take responsibility and engagement to the next level.”
Today, the organization has around 50 members who lead community projects in several fields, including education, women’s empowerment, civic education, environment and climate change, human rights awareness, youth personal development, and infrastructure. Since its founding, about 50 community projects have affected more than 3,500 individuals, including 3,000 vulnerable children who received sustainable education programs, personal development, environmental education, and school sponsorship programs.
“Treating young people as leaders, providing opportunities to strengthen their skills and competences, encouraging them in any case of failure to not give up, empowering them to reach their goals and explore their potentials … helps them to overcome challenges,” Vony says.
Her next goal is to spread her nonprofit activism to the 22 regions within Madagascar to affect as many lives as possible. “I strongly agree with what Nelson Mandela said, ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ The time is now, and today is the best opportunity to change others’ lives,” Vony advises. “Start with what is available and don’t stop until you are proud by empowering and inspiring youth. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to contribute to community development, including children, women and youth. Just believe in their bright future and be a real agent of change.”
Are you interested in learning how you can be a mentor to youth? Visit our YALI4Youth page for more tools and resources.
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