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Women for Change Award: two humanitarian projects in Africa led by women recognized

By Orange
Women for Change Award: two humanitarian projects in Africa led by women recognized
Women for Change Award: two humanitarian projects in Africa led by women recognized
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PARIS, France, October 17, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Yesterday evening, two projects to effect change for African women and girls received the Women for Change Award, which was created this year for the 9th Women's Forum Global Meeting by Orange Foundation and the Women's Forum, in partnership with Marie-Claire magazine. The award was created to train the spotlight on women who have effected change and driven growth, and to enable them to develop their humanitarian projects on behalf of women and girls.

Logo Women for Change:

Following a selection process that included both Internet participation and live voting during the opening dinner of the Women's Forum Global Meeting honouring the initiative, the Women for Change Award was given to Maria Raharinarivonirina, Madagascar, and Marie Nomo Messina, Cameroon, who were chosen from among the five women who presented their projects:

- Maria Raharinarivonirina / Madagascar: women working to improve and modernize rural life

The “SOS Children's Villages of Madagascar” association aims to make the women of the Grand Sud of Madagascar independent through four new women's homes.


- Marie Nomo Messina / Cameroon: “hand in hand” in Cameroon

The “Hand in Hand” association takes in children who have been abandoned or who are in great distress at the Romulus & Remus centre, where they receive health care, education and the training they need for their social reintegration.


- Anta Mbow / Senegal: hope for the girls of Dakar

The “Empire of Children” association, which is already working for the reintegration of disadvantaged Senegalese boys, is creating a centre for girls in serious social and familial difficulty.


- Brigitte Michel / Mauritius: reinstilling confidence in vulnerable women

The “A.I.L.E.S.” association (aid, information, freedom, hope and solidarity) wants to broaden its activities on behalf of women who are former addicts and outlawed from society after drug withdrawal to build and strengthen their ability to work by helping them to create micro-enterprises in their homes.


- Sarah Toumi / Tunisia: Tunisian women rebuilding their country

“Acacialma”, a women's cooperative in the village of Bir Salah, wants to strengthen women's abilities and independence by developing economic activities led solely by women in a rural environment.


These projects were presented on the website from 15 September to 15 October 2013 to allow Net users to learn about them and vote for the one they felt was most important. Almost 10,000 votes were recorded, resulting in the selection of Maria Raharinarivonirina's project (Madagascar).

On Wednesday 16 October, during the opening dinner of the Women's Forum Global Meeting in Deauville, attendees were given a presentation of the projects and were able to vote for their favourite one using a live, interactive NFC service (near field communication) set up at each table. Marie Nomo Messina (Cameroon) won the vote.

Maria Raharinarivonirina and Marie Nomo Messina each received a grant of 25,000 euros for their projects. The Net users' award was presented by Christine Albanel, Deputy Chairwoman of Orange Foundation, and Christine Leiritz, Editorial Director of Marie Claire magazine, while the “interactive opening dinner by Orange and the Woman's Forum” award was presented by Véronique Morali, Chairwoman of the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Orange.

About the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society

Founded in 2005, the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society is the world's leading forum looking at major social and economic issues from women's perspectives. It promotes the empowerment of women world‐wide, as well as the networks of collaboration that enable women's voices to be heard with clarity and force. Women's Forum events, including a major annual international Global Meeting, highlight strong and important women and men in politics, business, civil society and academe. The Global Meeting is also accompanied by The Discovery, a uniquely vibrant content relay that features meetings, discussions, classes and practical workshops. For further information:

About the Orange Foundation

Since its creation in 1987, the Orange Foundation ( has carried out a significant programme of corporate philanthropy as part of the Group's mission: to help everyone communicate better. Its aim is to create links between individuals and in particular to make communication easier for people who are excluded for various reasons – poor health, disability or their economic situation. By combating sensory isolation, promoting greater personal and professional independence, and encouraging cultural and social development, the Orange Foundation is working to make the world more accessible. In addition its work in France, the Orange Foundation coordinates all of the corporate philanthropy actions in the different countries where the Group is present. Projects are supported in 30 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa in partnership with NGOs and local and national associations. The Orange Foundation is working hard to make the world more accessible. To learn more:

About Marie Claire

Since the day of its creation, Marie Claire has convoyed strong and humanistic values. It has picked up and accompanied the great trends and aspiration of women. Marie Claire cultivates its difference, anticipates the evolution of women's lives, providing them emotion and engagement through unique investigative reports.

Marie Claire, present in 33 countries, has acted as spokesperson for great causes. The magazine defends the cause of women, militates for their emancipation, supports their struggles, and denounces the crimes committed against them. It has also started its own actions to fight Breast Cancer, and organizes manifestations that aim at helping and evolution of society. Marie Claire is pleased to support this edition 2013 of Women's Forum with the Price “Women for Change”. For further information :

Press contact:

Women's Forum: Caroline Simon - 01 58 18 62 04 - [email protected]

Orange : Mylène Blin – 01 44 44 93 93 – [email protected]

Marie Claire : Chupa Renié, 01 41 46 88 65 – [email protected]