New venue to empower Malagasy youth leadership, civic engagement and democracy
ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR—On September 15, the Minister of Culture, Promotion of Handicraft, and Safeguard of Patrimony Jean Jacques Rabenirina joined U.S. Ambassador Robert Yamate to cut the ribbon marking the opening of the Youth Civic Center (Y.C.C.), or “Ivotoerana Fikoloana Tanora ho Mendrika,” located in the Immeuble ex-Somacodis, Analakely. Open to all and free of charge, the Y.C.C.’s goal is to empower Malagasy youth leadership and civic engagement, and to promote leadership, civic education and democracy in Madagascar. Y.C.C. serves as a resource center and advocate for quality community opportunities for young people to learn, lead, and contribute to the country’s development. It provides non-formal learning opportunities for Malagasy youth to achieve their goals and serves as a platform both for youth exchanges through various activities to promote civic education and for U.S. government exchange alumni mentoring and networking.
Ambassador Yamate said in his inaugural speech: “The Y.C.C. will connect you with a broad community of young leaders, assist you with the resources you need, and with the platform to address the country. Most importantly, it will provide you with the support to define the future direction of your country.” Ambassador Yamate also called upon “partners, the press, civil society, the international community, and members of government – to support the ideas and innovations from these youth; to give them space to act and voice their opinions…”
The Y.C.C. is hosted in the Immeuble ex- Somacodis, Analakely, belonging to and provided free of charge by the Ministry of Culture, whereas the U.S. Embassy carried out the renovation works and equipped the center with resources including office furniture, computers, books, DVDs, other publications, and with modern technology tools such as iPads and Kindles. The Y.C.C. features a library with computer access, a meeting room, and a conference/training room.
Activities and programs at Y.C.C. will be mostly coordinated by Madagascar U.S. Exchange Alumni Association (M.U.S.E.A.) and will provide opportunity for youth to enjoy the following programming conducted regularly: mentoring activities on different topics; Massive Open Online Courses (M.O.O.C.s) and other online courses available through the Y.A.L.I. (Young African Leadership Initiative) network; conferences and discussions on different subjects; celebration of international days; free trainings and presentations in English led by Alumni; and Education U.S.A. advising sessions.