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Things To Consider Before Starting A Madagascar Community Project

Travelling and volunteering abroad is an absolute fantastic opportunity for people, young and old, to develop new skills, meet new friends and learn things about themselves they never knew before! Now, most people want to get everything they can from their travels; an opportunity missed is sometimes missed forever! Travelling abroad can be tough, you’re constantly pushed to the edge of your comfort zone, but for most people this is when they shine their brightest!

To help you reach your full potential, and get the best experience ever, here are 5 tips to help you prepare for your Frontier Madagascar Community project!

1.    Learn the lingo!

In Hellville people speak Malagasy, French and some English. Why don’t you push yourself and try to learn/improve upon another language whilst you’re here! Not only is it beneficial to you, it’s easier for buying things and getting around, but also the locals love it! They really appreciate it when you make the effort to try and use the language; granted they’ll probably have a giggle at you for your accent but don’t let that put you off, it’s meant in the friendliest way!

2.    Brush up on your nursery rhymes!

The kids out here love to sing and dance! If you’re coming out to do a teaching project, getting the kids to sing nursery rhymes is a great way of teaching them English! Also, if you’re lucky, once you’ve taught them some new songs, they might teach you some of theirs! Win, win situation right there.

3.    Research your recipes!

A lot of our volunteers come here just before starting university. Now, how cool would it sound if you tell your flatmates, “oh yes, I learnt to cook in Madagascar.” I’d say pretty darn cool. You can find some really delicious, tropical ingredients out here too, so get creative! Become a Masterchef and impress your friends with Malagasy recipes!

4.    Go stationary mad!

If you can afford to, it’s a good idea to bring out some funky paper, pens and any other fun bits of arty crafty things you have lying around. It really does make learning fun if it’s got bright green and purple stripes on it. The kids love getting arty and I’m sure your inner child will love it too! So much fun to be had!

5.    Bring an open mind!

This is my last and most important tip. The living conditions out here may not be as good as what you’re used to at home and there are some cultural practices which you may not fully understand if you’re coming from a more diverse and accepting society. However, embrace the differences, allow it to broaden your mind because travel is a massive learning curve and perfect for gaining life experience and tolerance of others, which are two great traits to possess! Don’t try to enforce your opinions on people whilst you’re out here, discuss both sides to the argument and you’ll probably discover something new!

You’ve got to grab life by the handlebars and seize every chance that goes your way! A little bit of effort goes a long way so live life to the full and keep pushing yourself and learning, I dare you!

By Lizzie Unsworth, Field Communications Officer

Find out more about Frontier's volunteering projects in Madagascar.

Check out what volunteers in Madagascar are up to right now!

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