Women for change 2013: Brigitte Michel / Mauritius


Most of the female drug addicts in Mauritius are both infected with HIV and are victims of social isolation. Those that manage to escape their situation are rejected by their peers and society. Assistance in reintegrating society is essential for this marginalized population. In 2009, Brigitte Michel founded A.I.L.E.S (Assistance, Information, Freedom, Hope, Solidarity) as a prevention and treatment initiative for these people. When they attend a methadone-based drug rehab programme, they also need psychological and social support. There is a lack of any real infrastructure to accommodate them and their families.



The project aims to develop activities that help women who have stopped using drugs to secure and acquire job skills by providing them support to start a micro-business in their local area. The women will receive training to teach them how to manage a budget and handle administrative processes, manufacture a high-quality local product, etc. The other component of the project will be focused on educating women about their rights and the risks of domestic violence, drugs and HIV. The ultimate, and most important goal is to restore their confidence and hope!

The future: rehabilitate and then reintegrate 75 women into society. Make it easier for these women to start new businesses. In the long term, establish a prevention campaign aimed at young people on the dangers of drugs and HIV.



women for change, get involved!

The Orange Foundation and the Women’s Forum have created the women for change Award to recognise humanitarian projects led by women in Africa.

From 16 September to 15 October 2013, people voted online for the project they thought was the most important. The project of Maria Raharinarivonirina, president of SOS Children’s Villages Madagascar, received the most votes and won a €25,000 grant. On October 16th, participants at the Women’s Forum in Deauville also had a chance to vote for their favorite project.They selected the project of Marie Nomo Messina, Director of Hand in Hand association in Cameroon, who also received a €25,000 grant.

All 5 women are all making the world a better place through their commitment to promoting women’s rights, dedication to children and their work to reintegrate marginalized populations.Because the Orange Foundation wants to support all of them, the 3 other candidates will each receive a €5,000 grant to help them develop their projects

Discover or rediscover their stories.

Edition 2013: Sarah Toumi, Brigitte Michel, Marie Noma-messina, Anta Mbow, Maria Raharinarivonirina.

Edition 2014: Mariama Moussa, Noushka Teixeira, Massego Mmipi, Adamou Hawaou, Togo Mariam Sidibe.

Edition 2015: Lily Fouad Attallah, Nour Al Emam, Khedija El Madani, Rocio Nieto, Nora Belahcen Fitzgerald.

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