A new chapter has started in the history of AiNA soa. After founding the organization in 2011 and leading its development since then, Nicole has handed the leadership to Jacqueline.
Years of development
AiNA soa started from a vision that Nicole had when she first visited Madagascar with the Mercy Ships in 1996. She set the first board and registered the association in Switzerland. Then she came to Madagascar in 2013 with the zeal to implement first aid teaching to the communities of Madagascar. The ones who are underserved from public services are the primary targets. The first team was formed and after getting over some administrative hurdles, a partnership with the Ministry of Health was established.
Anyone who came into contact with Nicole could clearly feel her courage and determination. She inspired her relatives and friends with her vision and built a circle of support. She placed special emphasis on training the Malagasy team and on writing the first aid book, which served as the basis for further work. While teaching villagers in remote areas, her heart and soul into the mission.
A personal tribute
“People come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn; and we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them, and we help them in return.” Stephen Schwartz.
My memory made a flashback through the past years Nicole and I have known each other. It started with me being an occasional translator for her outreach team in my home village in 1996. From that point on we were helping each other in different projects, became friends and then coworkers at AiNA soa.
In all these years I experienced many of her qualities. Below are just a few lines I wrote in July 2022 to show my heartfelt gratitude for her commitment.
For the example you have shown:
Demonstrating love in a country not your own,
Obeying God wherever He leads you,
Standing on principles you believe it’s true;
For willing to sacrifice a great amount
Of energy, money and more we can’t count;
For the difficulties you accepted to go through,
And your investment in us, as your staff too;
For always considering the best option,
Even to withdraw from your presidential position.
We wish a new flourishing season for you
You will always be that courageous founder of AiNA soa;
Jacqueline, on the board membership since 2018, is now taking the lead. She has been to Madagascar a few times, for holiday and for Master’s study and volunteer work at AiNA soa. For the past two years, she has been the vice president of AiNA soa and responsible for operational issues. In addition, she was the communication link between the team in Madagascar and the board in Switzerland. She actively leads the fundraising campaign for AiNA soa through the annual Wings for Life Run. She is a young lady full of passion for development work and committed to lead AiNA soa to the next step of its expansion.
Nicole has planted a fruitful seed in Madagascar. Her work is greatly appreciated. AiNA soa is now making first aid knowledge easily accessible for Malagasy citizens. A long way has been done, and we continue to make history.
The AiNA soa team and Jacqueline Ribeli end of 2019