Madagascar should be an island paradise ~ but it isn't. Today it is ranked in 151st place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards and a horrifying half of all children under the age of five will die of diarrhoea. In fact, despite being surrounded by
it, safe and secure water is a real problem in Madagascar with just 18% of its schools having access to it and only 30% having toilets. HIV/AIDS is also rampant with five children being born every day in
Madagascar with the virus and 910,000 orphans live in the country, one out of every ten children.
Nearly 70% of Madagascar's population lives below the
poverty with poverty rising to 85% in rural areas.
As such volunteer work programs in Madagascar focus on working with orphans and
child headed families, education and developing a sustainable water supply
and safe latrines to replace communal ones (see above)
that lead to children and adults having prolonged
periods of sickness. Other
volunteer projects include conservation work to help kick start the tourist
industry that has been decimated since sanctions were imposed on the country following the 2009 coup. If you are considering undertaking volunteer opportunities Madagascar make sure you leave some time to explore this island nation with its beaches, reefs and rainforests.
With its population of some 23 million, Madagascar is home to wildlife not found elsewhere on earth and amongst its other attraction are Ranomafana National Park in the southeast of the island, the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
~ the historical home of the Madgascar Royal family, and the Ile Sainte Marie; an awesome paradise on the east coast which is great for swimming,
snorkelling and looking out for sunken pirate ships as well as passing whales during the summer months! If you run or
know of a volunteer work project in Madagascar let us know by
contacting here. We look forward
to hearing from you!