In Madagascar, young entrepreneurs go into action to fight against the coronavirus

In Madagascar, young entrepreneurs go into action to fight against the coronavirus

Fanja Saholiarisoa
Hanta Tiana présente son produit phare
UNICEF Madagascar/2020
20 October 2020

There are numerous youth initiatives in Madagascar in the face of the coronavirus. Despite the myriad challenges affecting small businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic such as more difficult access to raw materials, limited transportation, cancelled / postponed projects and orders, young entrepreneurs will stop at nothing. They attempt to adapt to the situation by creating initiatives that respond to the context.

Tanjona Raveloson thinks big. He first creates a 3D printed anti-projection visor and then manufactures a NIV artificial breathing machine which will be operational on 29 May. “My initiative came with the aim of helping the medical staff. I could sell my visors to the general public and caregivers from the private sector, who could benefit from a large price reduction. The profits will go towards the purchase of raw materials so that they can be redistributed for free to front-line fighters. With regard to the artificial breathing machine, it was friends from the Malagasy Red Cross who put a challenge to me and I was able to take it up," said this resourceful young man.

 

 

Tanjona pose fièrement avec son invention
UNICEF Madagascar/2020

Hanta Tiana Rajaonarisoa, who is head of a green company, found other ideas to fill the shortage of hydroalcoholic gels in the capital by launching the "hydroalcoholic gel for all" in the form of individual dosette – hydroalcoholic disinfectant gel that kills viruses and bacteria following the formulations recommended by WHO at a lower cost. According to WHO, not all Malagasy people have the most basic weapons to protect themselves, running water and soap. "Washing your hands regularly – one of the first barrier gestures against contagion is inaccessible to millions of Malagasy because many people do not have access to running water and do not realize the importance of this simple gesture to protect themselves. Hence the idea of popularizing hydroalcoholic gels and sensitizing as many people as possible on hand washing on a regular basis,” she explained.

 

Hanta Tiana devant sa gamme de gel hydroalcoolique
UNICEF Madagascar/2020

As for Marie Christina Kolo, ecofeminist and social entrepreneur, she created ecological soaps designed for vulnerable people in Madagascar during these difficult times of COVID-19 thanks to a system of solidarity. Dozens of NGOs and associations have already joined this initiative.

C'est le sourire que Marie Christina présente ses savons écologiques
UNICEF Madagascar/2020

In Madagascar, access to soap and water is a vital issue to deal with COVID-19. Our young entrepreneurs remain confident. “This crisis should be an opportunity to think about the 'next world’. It is time to rethink our economy and consumption patterns in this time of global crisis. I am convinced that youth have a role to play in the new economy that must be built and deserves to be better promoted – a sustainable economy oriented towards green / blue jobs and the solidarity-based economy”, explained Christina, being herself a climate activist too.

According to Hanta Tiana, “Being a young entrepreneur means looking for innovative solutions to improve our society and develop our country for a better world. It also means creating the change we want to see in the world,” said this girl – a supporter of Gandhi’s philosophy who dares to dream big. Finally, “For young people, take example because as a friend of mine said, karma exists. I am neither a rich kid nor an engineer, but I just had the will and patriotic spirit. With little, we can change the world and in this time, we can save lives and protect our doctors. The country needs good-hearted young people who are full of both ambition and creativity,” concluded Tanjona Raveloson.