grantees » Nirinamalala Zosette Ralison

Rina Ralison, Madagascar

Rina has a unique capacity to apply her sensitivities to people’s needs to conservation objectives. She has always been successful in her communal approach to resolving conflict, and has a good understanding of the world’s common vision. Notably, Rina was a group leader in researching for, demarcating, setting up and implementing the surveillance strategy of the Makira Protected Area, which is the largest of the remaining Malagasy rainforests. In the words of the Malagasy Primate Group President Ratsimbaafy, “Rina is among the few Malagasy who can work in sites where the 4×4 cannot always get access”. Combined with the fact she is a young mother in a gender-unequal society, she has gained much respect and admiration from her colleagues. Today, Rina is a Grants specialist for the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Using the JWH initiative grant, Rina completed a training in Nairobi on “participatory assessment, monitoring and evaluation of projects” at the Kenya Institue of Social Work, which she found indispensable for her work as it is “especially necessary for work and projects implementation with local communities. This experience helped me to get a better understanding of the principles and procedures for effective community-based project monitoring and evaluation, and allowed me to think about strategies to make community-based projects successful.” It was also her first time out of her country, which greatly expanded her horizons and her networks. Forever keeping up with new developments in her field, she has made a point of staying abreast of technological developments and would like to gain a greater understanding of the Geographic Information System software to use in her work. For the big pictures however, she says: “in the future, my goal is to be able to establish and manage an independent organization working in the field of sustainable development, health and education, and environment with a focus on women and children.”