Zentralafrikanische Republik: Lea Ngaïdana

To educate a woman is to promote the culture of peace.

— Lea Ngaïdana

Lea Ngaïdana (45) founded the Association of Central African Women for the Fight Against Illiteracy (Afcla) in 2000. The association promotes literacy for women at all levels as the basis for fighting injustice, discrimination, violence, politico-military crisis and establishing long-lasting peace. Using communication, advocacy and negotiation, she helps women organize into working groups.

Lea Ngaïdana is the founder and chairlady of the Afcla. Since 2000 the association has promoted women to become partners. 80 percent of them are illiterate. She says the development of a country is achieved through better support for all women. This has not been the case in the Central African Republic where many women suffer daily violence. Lea studied in Bangui where she obtained a technical and professional diploma, then joined the public service in 1984. She trained to become a literacy officer, and in 2002 she became the head of the literacy service. She has been awarded several distinctions for her contribution. She uses information, eucation and communication, advocacy and negotiation to fight for the emancipation of rural women. Women of diverse backgrounds are organized into specific working groups, such as businesswomen, gardeners, food processors, farmers. However, her work is hampered by various problems including inadequate transport to the women’s groups, often by public means. She also spends much time away from her family. Lea raises financial support from international organizations. She successfully secured funds from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 2004 to run literacy courses and start income-generating projects. Lea was among a small group of women who presented peace proposals to the former president of the Central African Republic. In her capacity as assistant general secretary of the council of NGO's she also participated to preparatory seminars for the National Dialogue. Lea has participated in meetings in support of peace organized by the UN agencies, the government and the civil societies, testifying her courageous involvement and devotion to the national cause and her conviction that development is possible only through lasting peace.

Association of Central African Women for the Fight Against Illiteracy (Afcla)