Youth First

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Youth First : Young Women Leadership Program

Antananarivo, MadagascarAntananarivo , Madagascar
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Young Women Leadership Program is designed to enhance the capability of young women, aged 18-24, to develop policy and programs that respond to Malagasy realities and needs.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

being born as a girl is no longer an excuse for rights violation
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

young women faces overwhelming odds from the day she’s born. Malagasy young women are more likely to be forced into an early marriage, be subjected to violence, be obliged to drop from school. Because she is a women, she faces discrimination in her own home. Because she is a women, she’ll have limited access to a doctor or even a primary education (if she’s able to go to school at all).

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Youth First’s approach to leadership development is anchored on the belief that action learning is best achieved through a combination of methods that include practice, dialogue, exposure to new information and new perspectives, and personal reflection. The training is conducted with the acquisition of new skills, team work and critical reflections.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The program develops competencies in leadership; project and financial management; supervision; strategic communication; fundraising; and advocacy to assist participants in assuming increased responsibilities and accountability within their organizations. The program offers participants a platform for exchange of best practices, interaction and discourse with technical experts, access to resources and contacts, often inaccessible in the field. During the course of the program, participants will be supported to develop a project for change to be implemented with their constituencies and, at the end of the program, a group of experts will select up to five projects to receive small grants from Youth First.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The first leadership program gathered 42 young women between the ages of 18 to 24 from an affiliate of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). During four months we built their capacities in leadership; project and financial management; supervision; strategic communication; fundraising; and advocacy to assist participants in assuming increased responsibilities and accountability within their organizations. After the program, we received 38 applications for project funding, 38 participatory research were conducted to identify primary needs for girls. Out of the 38 projects, 35 were screened as be fundable and realistic and 5 projects were selected by the jury for implementation. Our project for change component aim at insuring ripple effect of the program by insuring that every trainees are doing skills transfer

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Due to the high volume of demand and the limited resources of Youth First to organize trainings, a training of trainers is a key vehicle and the best strategy to sustain and scale up our Young Women Leadership Program. The main objective of the national level ToT is to form a core group of individuals specialized in their knowledge about young women empowerment and leadership covered by the program. The ToT participants that will attend and complete this training will in turn serve as resource persons/facilitators in the district-level YWLP workshops.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Our ressources mobilisation strategy is targeting different donors and with the strategic partnership we secured this year (ExxonMobil, the US Embassy, UNFPA, the Ministry of Youth) we are sure that our program gained the needed recognition to engage with other donors. Our Training for trainers and the partnership with youth organisation and youth networks insure cost effeciency of our program

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

our project is serving the underserved group of leaders in the country. All leadership programs are targeting young people aged 25-35 years, those who have minimum a bachelor degree and most importantly those who can pay. Our program is accessible to any young people who can demonstrate leadership abilities or most importantly potentiality. Offered for free but respecting norms for quality we insure equity in the access to our program

Founding Story

late 2013, the US Embassy launched the African Leadership Initiative and more than 1200 Malagasy applied because they are all confident that they are leaders and they need such capacity building to improve their work for social change. The selection criteria excluded more than 40% of the population, those aged 15-24 years old, those who doesnt hold bachelor degree and those who doesnt speak english. We saw all the discussions that was raised on social media about such opportunities which are so restricted and which only favored the "best" with regard to some set of criteria. We saw the need and we developed a program all runned in Malagasy with the same quality but tailored to Malagasy young people aged 15-24 years old


Youth First is a youth-led organization managed by young people aged under 24 . The board of directors ( aged 15-24 years old is the supreme body of the organization. They make every decision and decide on the programming and priorities of the organization. The advisory group is made up of youth activists, youth program managers from various NGO and youth from the private sectors. We are all volunteers and work part time for the project