Entries in #wildlife (5)


From Conservation to  Teaching

After working in both marine and forest with wildlife, it was definitely a change to move to the town and start teaching. At first the thought of it was very daunting as it was very different to anything I have ever done but now looking back on it I am so glad I decided to this part of the project.

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The life of an Adventurer  Volunteer

I am writing this blog as my time in Madagascar is coming to an end. I leave this beautiful island next week, and the thought of this makes me very sad! I have been here on the Teaching, Wildlife and Diving project; spending two weeks on each.

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Involving Locals In Conservation Decisions is  Important!

Here in Madagascar a large proportion of local people who live by the coast rely on the marine environment to survive. The ocean provides a vital source of food and the means by which people can make a living.

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My Time On The Teaching, Wildlife & Diving Project 

I stepped off the airplane upon arriving in Nosy Be and was instantaneously welcomed by the luscious landscape and the scorching weather. After being met by a Frontier representative and exploring Malagasy culture, travelling alone didn't feel so daunting.

Even now, after my fourth week of volunteering, I continue to be amazed by every aspect of this exhilarating country. From exploring the vibrant traditional markets of Hellville, to dancing with the locals in the rural village of Ambalahonko, as a Frontier volunteer you are immersed completely into an exotic and cultural lifestyle.

In a Teaching, Wildlife, and Diving programme, you get the opportunity to make an impact in both an educational and a conservational sense. In the last four weeks, I have been staying in the Hellville community house along with other Frontier volunteers. The programme has offered such a diverse teaching experience; from visiting a local orphanage for children with polio, to teaching school children and youth club members, I have seen so many students develop in both confidence and ability. Over the course of consecutive lessons, you bond with the students that you teach, you learn their strengths and limitations, and you build upon these.

On my first lesson I taught greetings and it was incredible to see the enthusiasm and concentration on the kids' faces. During recap, it was clear how far even a short lesson can hold an impact on a child's educational development. Particularly with Frontier, I know that when I leave in two weeks, there will be another volunteer building upon the impact that I have made in my last 4 weeks, and creating an impact of their own. With this in mind, it is reassuring to know that Frontier leave an ongoing footprint in the Nosy Be community. So far, teaching students English at youth club has been the highlight of my work. Over the course of three lessons per week, their development of both grammatical and conversational skills has been clear. Touching on ideas of faith, science and creativity in debate style conversation, not only have the students developed opinions of such issues, but as a volunteer, I have learnt so much about their own culture and faith. It is incredible to learn about a culture so diverse from that back home.

On the weekends, community volunteers head to camp in Ambalahonko and stay there until Saturday morning. On the Thursday nights, we play a Frontier versus villagers Ultimate Frisbee game. Despite our brutal efforts, and occasionally having almost double the team members of the opposition, we never fail to lose against the Olympic standard locals. It's so great to be able connect with the locals in such a way, and at Victor’s traditional food buffet every Friday, you experience food at its best and experience a Malagasy party like no other. On a Frontier Madagascar project, every experience is a first. Whether it's jumping from the waterfalls, to dancing at a village baby reveal party, to aiding a child's educational development, Frontier has not failed to deliver the most incredible 4 weeks of my life so far. Now for the next 2 weeks!

By Sophie Hind - Teaching, Wildlife & Diving Volunteer

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

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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!