Madagascar: The Place to Volunteer
Madagascar is a unique, beautiful island off the coast of Africa and is the fourth largest island in the world. Home to more than 100 different types of Lemur which are endemic to Madagascar so there is a hub for animals found nowhere else in the world and is an excellent place for wildlife conservation. The Malagasy people have a few cultural diversities which set them apart. They have values which shape their belief’s ‘fihavanana’ which means solidarity, ‘vintana’ which means destiny, ‘tody’ which means karma and hasina a traditional life force which legitimises authorities. There’s a lot to learn in Madagascar because of its vast cultural resonance, the country has influences from Africa and Asia and this has developed their cultural behaviour.
Why you should go
Madagascar is an exciting, lively location where you can truly have an experience you will never forget. Volunteers who go to Madagascar are always so happy because of the amazing Malagasy people they meet and the exotic wildlife they get to interact with. The country which is home to multiple types of lemur and distinct reptile life brings an authentic experience while seeing these creatures. You get a mix of forest life and marine life and truly can explore a multitude of environments. The people of Madagascar are friendly and vibrant who love to learn about different cultures and therefore you immerse yourself in to culture and teach them about yours. Becoming a volunteer will be one of the most rewarding things you do with your life. You are giving back to the world, while receiving priceless gifts of nature, wildlife and culture.
What you can do
Madagascar is a brilliant place to go if you want to volunteer, as there are so many different opportunities. You could work with wildlife and help to conserve their habitat or dive in the beautiful ocean’s surrounding the island and explore the marine life. There are also opportunities to teach within the community which allows you to meet amazing children whom will make your experience extra special. If you want to start your journey to Madagascar, but are unsure of what you want to do check out the volunteer projects there are and start your experience.
Cover a varied and enjoyable teaching programme and engage strongly with your pupils, learning about them along the way. You may be helping a local teacher at the school as well as being required to take control of your own lessons, which will encourage you to formulate ideas and develop your teaching skills and techniques. Your contribution will be extremely valuable and working with the children will truly encapsulate your Madagascar experience. The experience is highly rewarding and while teaching in one of the most extraordinary places in the world. Find out more here.
Madagascar Marine Conservation & Diving
Discover and chart extensive areas of pristine coral; record healthy populations of fish and coral cover, and learn to identify a wide range of intertidal creatures from tiny Hermit Crabs to sparkling sea anemones. On shore you will explore the lush mangrove forests; the unique ecosystem which straddles the land and the ocean. The coast of Madagascar is one of the least explored diving areas in the world and there’s still a lot to discover, it is an epic adventure through a beautiful aquatic dream. Find out more here.
Madagascar Wildlife Conservation Adventure
The aim of this project is to contribute to the ongoing efforts to understand the local environment and monitor a spectacular array of wildlife. Madagascar has been isolated for over 84 million years, creating a biodiversity resource of global significance, with over 80% of species found nowhere else on Earth! Nosy Be's fauna includes three species of Lemur, including the diminutive Mouse Lemurs (Microcebus), the smallest primates on earth! This project allows you to experience the wildlife in their natural habitat and truly experience the depths of the Madagascar rainforest. Find out more here.
Fay Partridge is an Online Journalism Intern for Frontier, a non-profit conservation NGO that helps people plan their gap year with over 300 opportunities to volunteer abroad and take part in adventure travel across the globe. Read more articles like this on their blog, Into the Wild, or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.