Mirado Rakotoharimalala

Mirado Rakotoharimalala - 2016 Nominee
Position: IYAFP Country Coordinator
Organization: International Youth Alliance for Family Planning
Mirado Rakotoharimalala is committed in advocating on issues of social, environmental and climate change and of course, sexual and reproductive health and rights. He is closely working with UNFPA - Madagascar and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I am first a member of the editorial board of a monthly Page initiated by UNFPA and the Ministry and Youth and Sports called "Tanora Vao" (literally New Youth). Tanora Vao aims to popularize and disseminate informations about SRHR, HIV and FP in an educational and entertaining way. We publish this Page in main Madagascar's newspaper and we produce it in poster version so that we can share it in the remotests place of Madagascar which are not covered by the newspapers. Secondly, as a Communication skills Trainer on SRHR and FP, I used to give trainings for local young malagasy leaders. Then, as IYAFP Country Coordinator, I exchange and share experiences on FP with young leaders all around the world. Finally, I'm actually creating a national network focusing in SRHR and FP with UNFPA.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

My passion for family planning began with the Page "Tanora Vao". Some kind of love at first sight. I'm working as Communication Manager at Madagascar Football Association and I just loved the concept of the Page. We had a wonderful editorial board composed by talented, inspired and motivated young people. So Tanora Vao pushed me to dig as deepest as possible on issues Madagascar meet about FP. And I realized that so many stuffs and challenges are waiting for us. And I like challenges.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

It's not easy to talk about family planning in some regions of Madagascar. The fact is that people from remotest places are really conservative and fixed-minded. And then, it becomes a big challenge to discuss with them about it. But it's still possible. The clue is to open dialogue and make sharing. We just don't have to push or impose, we let them express what they feel, what they need. If what we propose match theses aspirations, it's going to work.

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

In almost parts of Madagascar (excluding the capital city and few big towns), cultural beliefs and religion are really importants for people as they lead their way of life. Because of that, it is usual to see a 12 years old getting married or carrying a baby. We also used to see a woman with more than 4 children (poverty issue). We cannot wait for policies or laws before acting. We have to go to the field, educate and inform. Hence the important role of communication, network and alliance.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

Tanora Iray (literally One Youth) is the national youth network I'm actually creating with UNFPA. This network will regroup associations, NGOs and individuals committing in FP and SRHR. My personnal objecive as the Founder President of the network is to see Tanora Iray as the reference network in Madagascar when talking about SRHR and FP by 2021. Tanora Iray will especially act in advocacy, communication and insuring international networking.

Subscribe to receive email updates about 120 Under 40.