My ExperienceThe best part of the Youth Volunteer Programme (YVP) is that 6 young people are thrown together from all different corners of the globe and they get to become friends in one of the most beautiful, surprising and challenging countries in the world.
Our project was largely focussed on forest conservation, which involved several key tasks including; educating local communities on the value of the forest, hands-on tree planting and discussions with charcoal farmers about how they can use the forest sustainably.
Coming from Australia I am used to warm weather, but the Spiny Forest region of South West Madagascar was relentlessly hot.
Take a look at our video...
WWF Volunteers Katherine, Robert & Maia with SEESO project (Synergie, Energie, Environnement dans le sud-ouest Madagascar), Feb-May 2010
And I learnt how to draw world maps in the sand.
My Advice...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.
"The Explore Programme is unique; there isn’t another opportunity like this, it will change you in ways that you won’t even realise.
Back in Australia, I'm studying a Master of Economics at the University of Sydney, looking for more adventures and trying to convince the other volunteers to come visit me.
After being surrounded by the natural beauty of Madagascar for 3 months I was reminded of how much I appreciate the outdoors, and have been taking every chance possible to enjoy getting out into nature here in Australia. When I look back through my photos of Madagascar it is hard to believe that I was there.