Talya Pillard was selected through the WWF's Volunteer & Internship Programme in 2017 for an assignment with WWF Madagascar for 4 months. Her video gives a good insight of what WWF volunteers are expected to do in the field in close collaboration with local communities using their know-how.
Testimonial Tahina (Madagascar, Aug-Dec 2016)
Don’t wait the perfect moment or opportunity to make a difference when you can, as the saying goes: “work at every moment whenever it is time or not”.
When I enrolled in the Explore program, I was searching for opportunities to enter the realm of work. I had accumulated knowledge on the protection of the environment but I had a limited experience on it. So I expected to learn the hows and whens and whys of the work on the environment, and I did learn. However, there was more behind what I got there: I was investing in the lives of others who interacted with me.
Such story happened to us Julia, Cyril and me Tahina at Masoarivo. We lived their lives: we travelled half a day to reach villages by walking between the mangroves trees or sailing along the channel. We had very limited variety of food, but everything we ate were so tasty, especially fish, be it fresh, dried or smoked! And we learned to cook local snacks like “bonbon coco”. On the other hand, we shared with the community environmental issues such as scattered plastic waste, tree cutting, etc. We also spent a lot of time with the Secondary School (CEG – Collège d’Enseignement Général), and my favorite moment was with the students trying to create a vegetable garden thanks to the idea of bringing seeds of different kinds. It was the beginning of an adventure in the lives of these students.
For you, WWF explorer to be, know that you have something useful and necessary to be shared. And this is an input few expert have: THE TIME. You have 3 to 6 months to spend with communities to learn from them and share with them the best of you that can help them improve their lives and make the most of it! . Finally, I wish that all WWF explorers in the past, present and future can be proud of their actions. A lot has been achieved but a lot remains to be done!