Youthlinc is hosting four fellows from YLAI (Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative) and CEE (Community Engagement Exchange) this year. YLAI and CEE are programs sponsored by the Department of State that places emerging leaders from around the globe with various organizations around the United States to collaborate and learn from each other.
One of our fellows this year, Johanna Ravomanana, is from Madagascar through the CEE program. Johanna runs an organization called the Union of Committed Youth (U.C.Y) to transform young people into agents of change. 70 percent of Malagasy people live in extreme poverty with less than 2 dollars per day. Parents in rural areas cannot invest in their children’s college studies. Most marginalized young people give up on their dreams because they think that they will never get access to higher education.
That’s why U.C.Y decided to accompany 12 young people every year. U.C.Y wants to enable the next generation to make progress in their lives. U.C.Y empowers them through our 3-month weekly training program. The program is divided into three parts: Personal Development, Academic Orientation, and Mentoring. At the end of the program, they receive a certificate.
“I have spent my entire childhood in the countryside. I have always been saddened to see my peers struggle to make ends meet. The majority of them are content to survive rather than live. That is why I have decided to focus on young people and help them. I believe they can have a higher quality of life if they have access to quality education and adequate employment. I want to accompany them along the way through U.C.Y. ”