In big cities and in the developed world it is easy to get swept up in your day-to-day life and forget about how our lives impact on the environment. In the villages of the Spiny Forest I quickly realised that livelihoods do depend on the environment. The most important lesson that I learnt was that the main problem of conservation exists because everywhere around the world people are so busy solving small problems in their daily lives that they don’t realise that they are causing bigger problems in the world around them.
And I learnt how to draw world maps in the sand.
If you are looking for a challenge, Madagascar and the YVP is probably the thing for you. The WWF is an extremely important and well-known organisation in Madagascar and as such, you will be taking on a great deal of responsibility as a volunteer with the WWF.
Don’t be afraid to apply!
- If you have never studied in a field relevant to conservation (I hadn’t), don’t worry, you’ll learn quickly.
- If you haven’t travelled much, Madagascar is a great place to start. The WWF looks after you well and you will soon discover that you are far stronger and more capable than you thought you were.
- You will become fantastic friends with the other volunteers! You share a very important quality; you all took the chance to apply.
Madagascar is an extraordinarily diverse country, so expect that the project you are working on will be different from many of the volunteer teams’ that have gone before you, what you will share with them though is a small part of you that is still lost in Madagascar no matter where you are or what you are doing.