Award for Local leadership – 2013


association FIOMBONANTSOA – « Stones are valuable resources for women in the rural Madagascar »

Tags: carrier, development, micro-credit.

« Wealth can only be made where people live. And, everyone can be an actor of the change and contribute to the improvement of local conditions. »

« All suggestions help to de-construct the taboos. »

Noëline in few words: After her studies in accounting, Noëline went to settle in Masiatra, a rural area in the centre of Madagascar. She slowly engaged herself in local development. Her contribution is based on a fate that she trusts in her own capability and in that of the villagers. She looked for political positions and won as a local leader. After elections she chaired a committee of men.


Being a creator of the wealth

Not waiting for development to come, invent it instead

As she was elected in a remote area and a backwater of the administration with no infrastructure indeed, her first task is to motivate local populations to take practical initiatives. She is motivated to initiate a new vision of development with chances smiling to each citizen to participate.

Splitting the stones and the taboos

Noëline suggests to her villagers, especially women, to make use of the local rocks as they are an easily accessible resource. Locals are distant however in the fist blush because of a conviction that local stones as sacred. It is only with time that she finally makes herself understood. In 2008, she creates the association “Les pierres sont des facteurs économiques pour les femmes rurales”.

Continuous success

Very fast, they start to sell the stones after some promotion on a local radio. All members agreed to put the income on an account where it would be used for advancing micro-loans. That was a starting point for the creation of a number of activities and infrastructure.


In brief: Noëline is a woman of character who succeeded to mobilize her community on the exploitation of local rocks. The association is aimed at finding solutions to local problems. The association gives women the freedom they looked for. Today the association is:

  • a hundred of employments
  • exploitation of different sites and selling the splitted stones
  • access to infrastructure such as kindergarten and education centre
  • promotion of agriculture, beekeeping and aquaculture

Noëline is communicative. From the first site of stones other initiatives are taken. The first profits were used to nurture other projects and helped local villagers to develop some self confidence.


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