Madagascar - the red island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. When most people think about Madagascar an image of the cute little lemur, with its big eyes, pops into their head. The fourth largest island in the world has not only a unique flora and fauna, but also a lot of adventures, cultural peculiarities and culinary highlights. In the community projects in Mahajanga, you will have the opportunity to experience all this and become part of the daily life of the local community.
Community and Volunteer Programs in Madagascar
As a volunteer in Madagascar, you can achieve sustainable success for the local community within various community programs.
You may not realize it at first sight, but Madagascar is great! It is a very large island, about the same size of Germany, Austria and Switzerland put together. All our volunteer projects are located on the northwest coast, in Mahajanga. The port city, which also bears the name Majunga, is the capital of the region, but is still quite a quiet place. Many adventure tourists seek shelter here as they journey to the National Park Ankarafantsika, Baie de Baly and Tsingy de Namoroka National Parks. For this reason, Mahajanga offers a good blend of tradition and tourism and you will find everything you need during your volunteer work within a comfortable distance. It is only 15 minutes by bus from the Volunteer house to the nearest ATM and large supermarket.
A Successful Start to Your Madagascar Adventure
Volunteer work almost always means to travel to a new, unknown place, usually alone. In order to ease the culture shock and get moving into your project, a joint introductory week with all other volunteers will take place at the beginning of all programs in Madagascar. In addition to useful information about travel safety and acceptable behavior, you will learn about the country, people, culture and traditions of the local community in Mahajanga. The introductory program also includes a language course in the Malagasy language. Basic language skills are definitely an advantage, as the majority of the native population speak only a little English.
Madagascar offers one of the greatest biological diversities on Earth. Of the approximately 200,000 different animal species on Madagascar, about 150,000 are endemic. The most famous examples of this are the lemurs. These live exclusively in Madagascar. But the lemurs are considered one of the most endangered species of mammals in the world. Approximately 90% of the various species of lemurs are on the red list of endangered species. Therefore, in Madagascar there are now many conservation centers to protect this endemic species. As a volunteer in a lemur rehabilitation center, you can help protect these endangered animals.
Not only are animal species threatened. Mangrove forests growing in the tropical coastal region are also disappearing. Mangrove forests are threatened primarily by the development of urban areas and overfishing. Many mangroves have also been converted into rice plantations or areas for salt production. This problem is being addressed through special programs designed to preserve and cultivate new mangrove forests in Madagascar. Your volunteer work will not only comprise of hands on work with planting, but also developing and managing events to create greater environmental awareness among the inhabitants of the island.
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. Lack of access to education means little chance for a successful future for the rural population in particular. Although some state initiatives are in place, they do not make a large enough of an impact nor are they easily sustainable. This community care program in Madagascar was created to provide free education for children and women in and around Mahajanga. Volunteers are particularly helpful in teaching English. Fun and games should always be part of the teaching/learning activities, to keep the participants lively and engaged.