Running for over 10 years, this project involves working on a variety of sustainable development projects, while gaining first-hand experience of the resource needs of impoverished communities and how these impact on conservation efforts. This programme gives you an understanding of development projects working on the ground in some of the poorest communities in the world, whilst working alongside local people on a variety of tasks. The specific projects you will work on are diverse and will vary according to the present needs of specific communities. Rest assured whatever you are working on will be invaluable to the local people and there is something for everyone on this project!
You will be working for a UK registered charity and Malagasy NGO whose aim is to eradicate poverty, suffering and environmental damage in Madagascar. The organisation’s approach is one of co-operation and participation with local communities living in the southeast of the country and its work aims to alleviate the effects of poverty and to support viable, environmentally-sensitive development. The charity works for a better future for people, communities and the environments in which they live.
Set in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island and has a colorful and unique human culture as well as breathtaking natural scenery and flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth.
Joining Pioneer Madagascar means that you will be living, working and travelling amongst some of the most beautiful and remote parts of Madagascar. The town of Fort Dauphin, where the NGO is based, is set in a stunning location in the southeast of the country, with beautiful beaches and close proximity to some of Madagascar's famous nature reserves. Projects take place both within the town and in the surrounding rural villages.
Pioneers take part in a range of practical construction work, conservation projects and educational activities as required by the NGO's projects, which focus on health and sanitation, sustainable livelihoods and conservation. The projects are led by some of the most competent conservation and development workers on the island and are entirely based on communities' expressed needs. You will be an integral part of the team and gain an insight into real grassroots conservation and development. Some examples of projects that you will be learning about and may work on are:
•Building and equipping schools
•Health and sanitation work including building wells and latrines
•Raising health and hygiene awareness - typically working with children in rural areas on crucial issues like nutrition, hand-washing and malaria
•Teaching English to school children and unemployed adults in rural areas
•Environmental education in remote villages
•Sustainable income-generating activities such as beekeeping and community vegetable gardens
•Development of sustainable agriculture
•The construction of fuel-efficient stoves within rural communities
This volunteer project seeks to minimize its impact on the environment and work in a sustainable manner which benefits the community. Wherever possible only local suppliers are used and local people are employed, and group sizes, water usage and motorized transport are all kept to a minimum. Volunteers are taught some of the local dialect of Malagasy and made aware of local customs before starting work.
Basic camping facilities are provided for Pioneers throughout the scheme, although Pioneers do need to bring their own tent. Facilities are basic especially when working in rural areas. There will always be latrine and private washing facilities. Electricity and piped water are available when in Fort Dauphin, however in the field, water is collected and then treated from rivers and wells.
All meals are provided for Pioneers throughout the scheme. Meals mainly consist of rice, beans, vegetables and fruit. Fish (or eggs for vegetarians) are provided when possible. All meals are prepared by a cook, who travels alongside the group. The best possible treated drinking water is always available.
£1395: 4 Weeks
£1495: 5 Weeks
£1595: 6 Weeks
£1695: 7 Weeks
£1795: 8 Weeks
£1895: 9 Weeks
£1995: 10 Weeks
Don't let the size of the required fee put you off! The project managers have a dedicated office to support volunteers, with a wealth of fundraising experience and resources including manuals, posters, sponsor forms, online donation facilities, collection boxes and even a lemur suit!
The cost of the programme is essentially a donation to support the charitable work of the organisation. Funds generated by the programme support projects in Madagascar, with over 90% of all donations being spent in direct pursuit of our charitable aims and providing vital support to our ongoing projects in the areas of health and sanitation, sustainable livelihoods and conservation.
The donation covers you for all in-country travel costs (excluding flights), project costs, training, meals and plenty of safe water, use of basic campsite facilities, orientation and a dedicated team to guide you in Madagascar. It does not include flights or any pre-departure expenses, such as visa fees, travel insurance and medical expenses.
Dates for 2017
4th January - 14th March
4th April - 12th June
4th July - 11th September
3rd October - 11th December
Dates for 2018
9th January - 19th March
3rd April - 11th June
3rd July - 10th September
2nd October - 11th December
Likely Weather Conditions
January to March – Hot and humid with rain.
April to July – Drier. Hot in April then growing noticeably cooler
July to September – Dry. Cooler in July then growing noticeably warmer
October to December – Windy. Progressively hotter and more wet.
MINIMUM AGE IS 18