In Madagascar women outnumber men in number but not opportunity. And gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
In rural Madagascar, which includes a majority of the population, many families live in poor under-served communities. Too many young girls start out at a disadvantage when they are forced to drop out of school before completing their education. They may be needed to help support their current households or forced to marry and start families of their own, sometimes having 2-3 children by the age of 20.
At an early age, women prove that they are strong, resourceful survivors, but their limiting path severely impacts their capacity to earn money, support their families, and improve their lives. Many families are faced with hunger, child mortality, limited access to clean water, and compromised healthcare. While Malagasy women are in position to advance their situations and their communities, they often lack the necessary tools to make the transition.
But Mbotizona is fighting back. Mbotizona works in a small shop in Anivorano and she has big ideas. Mbotizona has dreams of owning her own small business, and she's ready to do the work. Mbotizona knows the key to growing a successful business is experience and she's gaining that at the community bike shop (eBox) where she serves as secretary.
The eBox is where our donated bikes end up when we ship a container to Madagascar. This creates a sudden rush of employment from unloading the bikes, making repairs, or selling them within the community. Since Mbotizona was already working as a shopkeeper she applied to work in the eBox. The part time work would help support her family but it would also increase her skill set. She knew if she wanted to start her own business she would need to gain more experience and had her sights set on learning more about entrepreneurship and management.
Mbotizona is a champion of her own development. She is gaining valuable knowledge that will help her start and expand a business of her own, diversifying her revenue. Our donated bikes have created a space where Mbotizona's journey can evolve her quest for creating a sustaining future for her family.