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About Me

Salama ! (Hello in malagasy language)
I’m Antoine, I’m 23 and I live in France.

At the end of my bachelor degree in a French business school I had chance to spend time abroad to gain experience.

For me, to be a volunteer for a WWF project was a unique opportunity to understand environmental conservation work. And more it was a chance to live and work with local communities who kept a different way of living based on happiness and art of sharing.

Enjoying each moment of life, smiling simply, was a quality that communities shared with me.

Mountain sports are my passion and I’m always ready to take my rucksack and discover a new country hiking on it's unknown roads.

I lived a great adventure during the Explore programme where we walked for days in the middle of Madagascar's wild nature. Dry red mountains, thick humid forests, rice culture plains opened my eyes to Madagascar’s natural beauty and still lives in my head now.

What I learned while I was there

Sharing life.

One of my best souvenirs from this volunteer experience was my arrival in my host Malagasy family.

I was the only “vazaha” (white foreigner) in the middle of a crowd which looked at me and spoke a language where I didn’t understand any words.

Time after time, I was requested to play with the community soccer team for the usual Sunday match. I’ll always remember the eyes of about thirty children surrounding me.

They are people very welcoming and I was easily integrated into community life. I learned the basis of Malagasy language with patience and naturally they showed me their everyday life. I was like an apprentice and I could discover a life simpler than mine, close to nature and where time was stopped.

I realised how much these communities belonged to the natural environment like the forest, their first resource. But forests are very fragile and disappear more and more, threatening endemic plant and animal species like lemurs.

We were 5 volunteers helping WWF staff work on promoting sustainable solutions to help the communities’ development and maintain a better management of the forest. Awareness work is tough and long but I’ve seen communities united and involved to sort out this issue.

It was a good lesson in my life from the industrial country because these communities remind me that our connection with nature is strong and we have to protect it.

Through dances and songs, walks everyday in the wild nature to meet amazing lemurs or just be sat around a fire at night under a starry sky, I'll keep in mind the unique moments shared with communities and the volunteer team, thinking that one day I’ll be back in Madagascar…
Me and my host family having a meal, Ambodihasina, August 2006. 
© Antoine Beaulieu
Me and my host family having a meal, Ambodihasina, August 2006.
© Antoine Beaulieu

My Video

Through this video below I open my travel diary to share with you some moments of this experience. I try to show you also, that Malagasy communities are very close to nature and give their best to protect it!  What about us…?

Contact Me!

If you're thinking of volunteering and want to talk more about what it's like and what to expect, you can email me at this address:

Back from Madagascar, I noticed that I went there wanting to give a lot but I came back noticing that I’ve received much more! That’s the Explore programme’s morality. Are you ready for it?

Some of the images that best sum up my time there