#ThinkSuccess : Sylvia, ABSParis Alumni
Founded by Sylvia Razafimanantsoa, an ABS student, SOA Association is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the daily lives of children in difficulty or handicapped and to promote the access to education in the world. The concept of the organization is to operate every year in a different country, with a different structure welcoming disadvantaged kids and to raise funds and awareness about their situation. This year, SOA Association is helping the handicapped children of the public primary school of Ambohidroa, in Madagascar.
How the idea of creating a humanitarian association came to your mind?
Sylvia: Creating a humanitarian association has always been on my “to-do list to reach happiness”. It was something I had to do for some reasons. In September, I realized that time goes by so quickly and that if I don’t do it now, the question I asked myself was “when?”. Then I picked up my phone and called friends who wanted to join me in this incredible journey. Two months later, SOA Association was born. I couldn’t do it without the awesome team I have which includes a graphic designer, a law student, another student in hospitality management and my dear friend Sarah Nkobo, an ABSParis alumni.
Why did you decide to focus on education?
Sylvia: Reality. The access to education and basic knowledge is a fundamental right that should be accessible to everyone without distinction based on health, gender, cultural and ethnic identity. Education improves not only the socio-cultural development of a person but also the economic development of a country. However, this right is still not accessible to many children, particularly in developing countries.
What have you done so far for your first project in Madagascar?
Sylvia: Since the creation of the association, we are constantly receiving school supplies, medical equipment such as crutches and wheelchairs, educational objects and games, toys… Last month, in April, in collaboration with my scuba-diving club ‘CISN’, we traveled to Madagascar and I took this opportunity to bring anything I could for the children. The kids were so happy! After the distribution of what we brought there, one kid told the professor “teacher, I can’t wait to go to school! When do we have class?”. Hearing this from the mouth of this little girl was my favorite moment. At this moment, I knew why I was there, why I created this association… to make the kids want to go to school, enjoy it and progress.
Watch their lovely faces down below!
We also created an online fundraising on our website (www.soaassociation.org) with a secured system of payment. You can donate at any time and the minimum amount is 1€ J. (Note: the website is in French but we are working on the English version)
What about next year?
Sylvia: All I can say is that we might go to Haiti…
Would you like to share something else?
Sylvia: Yes! On the 24th of June, we are organizing an event in an art gallery near the Sacré-Coeur. Several artists, musicians and brands supporting the association will be present. Snack bar, acoustic session, exhibition, fund-raising, showcase… The SOA team is doing its best to make this day enjoyable. Feel free to pass by with your friends and family or stay with us and share an unforgettable moment.
If your closet is full of unused school supplies… PLEASE don’t throw them away, we will be glad to take them at this event. And if you can’t come for some reasons, send me a message on our website so that we can organize a meeting.
What is the money for?
We will use the money to:
- Buy school supplies for the kids and make sure that each of them has a full schoolbag
- Renew the school supplies needed for the class activities
- Adapt the study areas and the playground to the handicaps of the kids
- Recruit someone to assist the teacher in charge of the kids who is teach alone since 2007
- Organize educational outings
- Official website: soaassociation.org
- Facebook: facebook.com/SOAAssociation
- Instagram: instagram.com/soaassociation
SOA Association | THEIR HAPPINESS, OUR MISSION
Presented by Sylvia Razafimanantsoa