Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. Nearly 78% of the population lives below the poverty line. The majority of the population relies on agriculture for their survival and is particularly vulnerable to weather-related disasters and climate change. Although the tourism industry has grown significantly over the past few years, this has often failed to translate into economic opportunities, particularly for women. The Tsingy Nature Reserve is located near the western coast of Madagascar. Due to its unique landscapes, preserved mangroves and communities of rare and endangered lemurs, the site is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
UNESCO, through its Capacity Development for Education Program (CapED), is working to improve the livelihoods of young women and communities living near the Tsingy Nature Reserve to become financially independent by providing them access to training and employment opportunities in the sustainable tourism industry . Tourism to the region has increased substantially over the past five years, representing an important economic opportunity for local communities.
Fondation CHANEL is supporting UNESCO, through the CapED Program, to provide youth living near the Tsingy Reserve vocational training opportunities in the hotel and restaurant management sector. Additionally, economically vulnerable women will receive training in vegetable growing and handicrafts, enabling them to form cooperatives and sell their products on local markets. The project also aims to promote sustainable tourism in the region by training local cultural guides and build the capacities of local villages.
UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that aims to contribute to peace and security by promoting access to education, science, and culture.