Working for and with young people in Madagascar


“We work for young people, through young people and with young people. This is not just a component of our work, this is our legitimacy, our credibility.”

It’s November, and at Y Care International, we’re still looking back at the amazing discussions, learning and progress made at our Partner Conference in October. Throughout the week, we had the privilege of speaking directors and staff from our partner organisations around the world, including Heriniaina Randriamalala, Programmes Executive Officer for Y Care’s partner, YMCA Madagascar.

Heriniaina Randriamalala is Programmes Executive Officer at YMCA Madagascar

Heriniaina is very connected to the YMCA movement – with a master’s degree in political sciences, he started his journey at YMCA as a volunteer in 2008. Having gained exposure through different international leadership positions, he is a graduated change agent for the world alliance of YMCA and now working as a master trainer for the Africa Alliance of YMCAs.

It was really enjoyable getting to know Heriniaina and sharing discussions around decolonising aid, gender inequality, and youth skills development – so we continued this discussion in an interview on day four of the conference.

This is an excerpt from the full interview, recorded in Blantyre, Malawi, October 2022:


What do you think partnership means in your work with YMCA Madagascar?

Partnership means different things. Let me start by explaining how important the partnership is for us. In Madagascar, we are dealing with a lot of narratives, nationally but internationally as well. We really rely on this partnership to help us deliver on our mission.

So, for us, the partnership is the key resource that helped us to deliver on our missions, especially in terms of capacity building support, which we have been experiencing here.


Partnership for you is a long-term process?

For me, that is something that I have learned here during the session (conference).

Partnership is not only funding two years projects or three years project… but the partnership really, is something long (and) something sustainable.

For me, what I can learn and take back home is that partnership is not only about some organisation giving us money, but an organisation that is working together with us to achieve what we’re really calling for as a mission.


Why do you think it’s important that young people that you work with trust you as an organisation?

You know, that (supporting) young people is our unique selling point when it comes to our work. Having this trust from those young people is the unique insurance of our legitimacy.

As we say in Madagascar, we work for young people, through young people and with young people. This is not just a component of our work, this is our legitimacy, our credibility.

Trust, for us, is the foundation of our credibility and our work with young people.


So, what do you think is the greatest strength of the young people that your programmes work with?

The greatest strength of young people that we’re dealing with is first that we’re living in a country where more than 60% – the bulk of the population – is young people. And by young people, we mean aged between 15 and 30 years old. So that (number) is a strength.

But I can say that this is a generation of young people that is really interconnected, and aware. The (other) strength that I can see is this real confidence in young people to bring change in the community. Those are the strengths I can share.


Walking Together in Partnership

The Walking Together in Partnership conference together Y Care International’s partner organisations – for the sharing of knowledge and insights, for organisational learning, and to share the inspirational work they’re doing.

You can watch the keynote and panel sessions, along with the closing and opening ceremonies from Partner Conference 2022 online.

Join us over the coming weeks as we continue to share stories of communities walking together to see every young person’s potential fulfilled.


[This blog was written by Y Care International’s Digital Marketing Officer, Alex Akhurst]

You can read more about the Partner Conference in the coming days on the stories section of our website.

This blog is part of ‘Walking Together in Partnership’, our Partner Conference 2022.

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