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Madagascar Volunteer - Building Bridges to Support the Community

Building Bridges to Support the Community

Madagascar Volunteer - Building Bridges to Support the Community

Madagascar has some serious wet seasons! It’s known for flooding roads that make areas impassable for days. That’s island life and members of the local community on Nosy Komba van share many stories of how it effects their lives.

While Nosy Komba doesn’t have roads, there are many paths around the island that the Malagasy villagers use regularly. Some of these pathways become hazardous during the wet season, to the extent that it keeps people at home and sometimes prevents children from going to school.




Madagascar Volunteer - Building Bridges to Support the Community

One of the worst passages lies right next to the Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute’s (MRCI) base camp and it connects the villages on one side of camp to the main village of Ampangorina. The water runoff from the rain makes this area completely untraversable. To benefit the community, MRCI staff and volunteers took on the challenge of building a bridge over the water way.





Madagascar Volunteer - Building Bridges to Support the Community


Madagascar Volunteer - Building Bridges to Support the Community

The MRCI construction volunteers lead by construction officer, Luke Middleton, designed the bridge and MRCI funded all of the materials. To help the community further, funds were allocated to hire workers from the local community to help with the project.  Using builders from within the community ensured that we had the necessary knowledge to build environmentally appropriate structures.





Madagascar Volunteer - Building Bridges to Support the Community

Once organized, the project took about three weeks to complete. Now the villagers can safely make their way to work and children can easily get to school when conditions aren’t favourable. This is one of many examples of how we try to improve the Nosy Komba community, ensuring that our presence on the island also brings value to it.




If you would like to find out more about our construction projects on Nosy Komba, contact us today or apply online to take part in one of our volunteer programs.

Forest Conservation Volunteers work with a little Church Village
BlogForest Conservation

Forest Conservation Volunteers Sleep in a Little Church

Every two weeks, our forest conservation volunteers make the relatively long walk to the top of Nosy Komba to spend a night in a church. The main objective is to do a solid night survey in the forest surrounding the area. However, a lot more gets accomplished.

Forest Conservation Volunteers work with a little Church Village

Around this little Catholic Church is the micro village Antanamonpere (village of my father). There are only about 12 people who live in the few houses surrounding the church and their purpose is simple – to care for and maintain the church and the surrounding property that belongs to the priest.

This church has an interesting history that dates back to the mid-late 1800s. In fact, they were the first to bring the Ylang Ylang flower to Madagascar on Nosy Komba. Now this flower is widely used to make essential oils, a main export of the area. The Forest Conservation Volunteers work with a little Church Villagepriest resides in a lower village, Ampangorina, which is the biggest village on Nosy Komba. At roughly 80 years old, he still makes his way to his church weekly as the weather permits.

The foresters’ bi-weekly expedition provides a steady income to the church village. The Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute pays the locals to kindly provide dinner for the volunteers and for the use of the church in which they sleep. The village takes great pride in this task, providing a beautiful spread of local foods including coconut rice and papaya salad. It’s a real treat for those looking for an authentic experience.

It is important to our conservation efforts that all projects have good community relations and this is one way our volunteers accomplish just that. Interacting with the Forest Conservation Volunteers work with a little Church Villagelocal community and sharing our conservation ideas and practices is the best way for us to ensure long term success. This church walk is one of many our projects where everyone is a winner.

If you would like to join our forest conservation program and make a difference to communities in Madagascar, contact us today or complete our online application form.

Madagascar Volunteers - volunteers play basketball
AchievementsBlogCommunity DevelopmentIsland Life

Volunteers Bring Communities Together With Basketball

Madagascar Volunteers - volunteers play basketballMadagascar Research and Conservation Institute’s Community Co-ordinators, Niamh Flynn and Rojo Andofinoana Razafisalama, came together with volunteers and villagers to rehabilitate the old basketball courts in Ampangarina, Nosy Komba. The team reached out to several groups to raise funds, reconstructed the goal posts and court, and held a community tournament all within 3 short weeks. This was an impressive feat that couldn’t have been accomplished without the help of Marsellin and other members of the Nosy Komba community.

Madagascar Volunteers - volunteers play basketballNiamh and Rojo reached out to Noelle Couper at Warriors Basketball Club in Dublin, Ireland requesting support for this project. The club responded generously, being the main contributor to the near $500 raised for the project. With these funds, new goal posts could be constructed with new hoops and nets, and the courts were cleaned and repainted. Once the funds came through, the community and volunteers came together and completed the work in mere 10 days!

Madagascar Volunteers - volunteers play basketballVolunteers wanted to mark the opening of the courts by holding a tournament and the response from the community was overwhelming. Four teams were formed; BB Aliomo, BB Chicago, AS Jetno, and of course the volunteers’ team – Camp. The dedicated teams practiced continuously and were in tiptop shape for the big day. To ensure a fair match, a referee from Nosy Be was brought in to oversee the tournament. People from all over Nosy Komba came to support their teams which resulted in a fun and festive day all around! In round one BB Aliomo beat out BB Chicago and AS Jetno beat out Camp. BB Aliomo won the tournament over AS Jetno in the shootout. The day was shrouded in fun and excitement for sure!

Madagascar Volunteers - volunteers play basketballSince the reconstruction of the basketball courts and the tournament, people have been seen enjoying them every day. Villagers young and old, boys and girls can be found shooting hoops and having a great time all day and even into the night with the moonlight! It has truly brought so much joy and togetherness to the villagers of Ampangorina and Nosy Komba. Thank you to all who contributed physically and financially, your contributions will be lasting in the hearts of those who get so much enjoyment with these new courts.

To find out more about how to join our volunteers in Madagascar, contact us today or complete our online application form.