The history of Madagascar claims that Malagasy and French are the official languages of the country. According to ClickAfrique.com (2007), the constitution of 2007, Malagasy was the national language while French and English were reinforced as the official languages. It is important to note that the motivation for the inclusion of English was partly to improve relations with neighbouring countries where English is used and to encourage foreign direct investment.
However, in the November referendum of 2010, English was removed as an official language from the constitution. Even after the removal of English from the constitution, one is happy to say that YMCA is doing its best to teach young people English, thus linking them to opportunities within and outside Madagascar. This therefore requires a more proficient use of the English language. The English Club has over eighty members and most of them are young people.
There are different levels of referencing English speaking. Basic, independent and proficient users. This is where as the YAC, we step in. To help strengthen learners to reach C1 level of the English language. A C1 speaker is able to fully express themselves in any circumstance as it is at an advanced level. This is important to note considering the linking to opportunities objectives, outside of Madagascar. It is sad to note that when the first YAC left, there was no one to continue the Advanced English Club. It is thus very encouraging and noteworthy that YAC participants are helping youth widen their opportunities in the outside world and will in the nearby future, help youth get involved in some of the most important activities within the YMCA.
In conclusion, conducting the advanced English Club within the YMCA, is an excellent way to empower youth, especially those in Madagascar. They serve as examples to many others that the English language is also an important language channel in communicating ideas and learning new skills. Furthermore it is an international language, thus open doors to many opportunities around the world.
Source: Caroline Nyakubaya is a Zimbabwean YAC 2017 participant currently stationed in Madagascar