28 Feb 2018 Staff Spotlight: Faramalala Rabemananjara
When asked how she thinks her PIVOT colleagues might describe her, Faramalala (Fara) answers, “social, social, and sosialy” – yes, that is the same word in English, French, and Malagasy. And, indeed, friends and co-workers can all agree that Fara embodies the essence of her work as manager of PIVOT’s Social Work team in a way that constantly touches those around her.
While searching for a job while completing her masters degree in social work, she discovered PIVOT and felt the open position was a sign that she was ready to serve a population in need. Among PIVOT’s earliest hires, Fara moved to Ranomafana from Tana, Madagascar’s capital, soon after finishing her studies
It was a challenge, she says, to begin at PIVOT without a program in place for social support; it has not been widely considered a priority within Madagascar’s public health system. She was not deterred by the challenge, however, and, inspired by her favorite quote “never give up; failure is the mother of success,” Fara became an integral part in developing PIVOT’s social program, which is a hallmark of the organization’s patient-centric approach. She and a small team set up a system in alignment with government policies that would serve patients and their families based on the challenges of their lived experiences.
Her favorite aspect of the job now is working together with patients to find solutions to their nexus of social, financial, and medical challenges, and figure out what options are available to help them overcome any barriers to care.
Today, Fara’s commitment to furthering PIVOT’s mission is so tangible, there little difference between how she carries herself on or off work hours. A hike with Fara – one of her favorite local past-times – will often yield new friendships forged with locals. A patient home visit with Fara – a part of her work that aims to remove social barriers to care – tends to look like she’s stepping into the home of one of her loved ones.
She exudes warmth and has an indisputable knack for establishing trust.
Fara delivers a wheelchair to 8-year-old spina bifida patient, Georges.
Fara loves the people in her community and working for an organization that serves them well. What makes her most proud to work for PIVOT is that it “acts according to the needs of the population,” she says. “As the majority of Malagasy do not have savings to cover care,” she says, “the fact that PIVOT covers the cost of care is a real relief for the beneficiaries.”
While her late father has always been her greatest inspiration, Fara says it was her mother who confirmed for her that she was meant to pursue a career in humanitarian work when she told her, “you will be like a sun for the people who communicate with you.”
Her teammates at PIVOT can attest to that. Fara approaches her work with a bright energy, sense of humor, and professionalism, that enables her to establish a rapport with every type of person in PIVOT’s sphere, from patients to government officials, and everyone in between. Social, social, and sosialy are all good things to be as manager of the Social team, and we are indeed fortunate to have her help leading the charge to better the lives of those we serve in Ifanadiana District.
Fara leads a community sensitization gathering in Ifanadiana District.