The Power of One Person. Nadine Pierre, Mauritius #Africa4Her

Nadine Pierre, 43 years is a proud woman who has chosen to live her life passionately and above all to be human from the core of her being…into her actions.  From a young age, Nadine was part of the Girl-Guides and the values inculcated are firmly rooted in her. At secondary school level, she devoted herself more to her studies but when her daughter joined the Girl-Guides and was Blue Bird, the Guiding spirit came tickling her back again.  For the past 13 years, she has been more actively involved in the various activities and has served as Commissioner for 4 years up to now.  Currently as Commissioner she is responsible for no less than 65 girl guides spread over different regions of the island.  At some point she was also part of the Executive Committee of the Mauritius Girl Guides Association (MGGA).

Nadine’s desire to empower other women and to make a difference went further.  With the sponsorship of Microsoft, the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) for the training and the E-Inclusion Foundation for the provision of Personal Computers, her team and herself have been able to reach 6 different rural regions of the country and bring the English Literacy using IT (ELIT) to women.  The programme has helped women to raise their level of English, be empowered in entrepreneurship skills, develop a productivity culture and intergeneration learning and to familiarise themselves with and learn to use Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, sending e-mail and using Skype. By interacting with these women, she has also exposed to them the Girl-Guides for their daughters which altogether will help the young girls to learn life skills, be of service to others, spare them from falling prey to social ills and enable them to become responsible and reliable citizens of the World.  Her ambition and future target is to be able to reach 20 regions, thus bringing ELIT to approximately about 400-500 women and eventually later guide those who wish towards entrepreneurship.  She is currently in the process of writing up her project so as to secure the necessary funding.

On a more religious aspect, Nadine has been bringing after-school catechesis to youngsters of secondary school level, at her parish St Helene, since 8 years now.  Since 9 years, she is also a trainer of the group “Ensam Lame dan Lame” of Ste Therese’s parish which through training, endeavors to enable women to stand back on their feet, be free, responsible and fraternal.
Among her other achievements, Nadine is a Program Facilitator for Junior Achievement Mascareignes which help students assess their personal skills, interests and values, understand economic benefits of education and explore career options.  She disseminates the programmes to the Girl-Guides over different regions of Mauritius and boys and girls of her town too; altogether 425 youngsters.   She also followed the Build Your Business course, the WIN Leadership Programme and the Finance for Non-Finance course from the Women In Networking (WIN) Mauritius.

Her passion for cake confectionery led her to become a member of EFOI association (Entreprendre au Feminin Ocean Indien) of which she is the Secretary since 5 years now.  As part of an entrepreneurship project, herself and 3 partners set up the Ecobrik Co. Ltd which designs and manufactures interior products using renewable materials, mainly Vetiver.  The vetiver is also cultivated to extract essential oil and w ill be weaved to make curtains and mats.  Another innovative product of Ecobrick Co. Ltdare briquettes (made out of paper, remains of garden fall  and remains from production of vetiver by-products) which are environmentally friendly and used for clean burning in lieu of carbon.  Once burnt, the ashes may be re-used to make new briquettes.  As part of their goal to promoting Women Entrpreneurship and Economic Empowerment, the AMFCE (Association Mauricienne des Femmes Chefs D’Entreprise), the Decentralised Co-operation Programme, the European Union and the Empretec Mauritius, extended their support to Ecobrik Co.Ltd in terms of marketing tools for a duration of one year.

Being part of the EFOI and WIN networks has helped Nadine grow and blossom like a flower and be now able to stand up and speak for what she believes in.  Nadine has women empowerment at heart, she firmly believes that young girls should be valued and encouraged to give the best of themselves.  Her desire to live a simple life where she can be of service to others and be an active part of the development of her country inspire much respect and admiration.

For Nadine, sharing her life experience with other women and young girls is meant to show them that we all live challenges but we can still make the choice to live positively.  We must take out the best of life, upgrade ourselves and make the most of our potential to go further.  She adds that empowerment and training entails a more human approach; i.e. to put ourselves in the skin of the other, feel the other’s feelings and get to the level of the other so as to uplift her.

Her Final message:  Be Proud to Be A Woman!!!