At a glance
- Spend your time helping village children, most of whom are from severely disadvantaged families, learn to read, write, and count.
- Get off the beaten track In Madagascar. Adventure awaits around every corner, so be sure to bring your backpack and some hiking boots!
- You’ll also hone skills like planning and leadership, which will help you in any career you pursue.
Completely flexible datesSee Dates
Anyone aged 16 or over can join
Is volunteering with children in Madagascar right for me?
This project is open to people of all ages and experience levels. If you’re energetic, proactive, and enjoy working with young ones, doing volunteer work with children in Madagascar is a good fit for you.
It’s a great opportunity to expand your skill set, especially if you’re aiming for a career in childcare. You’ll learn valuable leadership skills as well, as you’ll take the lead with planning activities at the centre. This kind of experience is a great addition to your CV, and helps your application stand out.
Don’t worry about being left to work alone. Our staff are there every step of the way, and will be happy to give you advice and guidance. We also have various online resources for you to draw on, and run regular workshops with all our Childcare volunteers.
If you enjoy exploring unusual places, this volunteer project is also the perfect opportunity to indulge your senses in a truly unique island setting.
What will I be doing on this project?
As a volunteer working with children in Madagascar, your role is pivotal to the smooth running of the our centre. Here are some of the tasks you can expect to get involved with:
- Run activities that promote early childhood development
- Introduce literacy and numeracy to prepare children for school
- Make sure children practice good hygiene every day and talk about health issues
- Run a summer camp during the school holidays
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Run activities that help children achieve developmental milestones
You’ll work with children between the ages of 3 and 6. These kids come from families that cannot afford education.
It is very important that children receive the kind of stimulation that will help them achieve important developmental milestones. Your work includes playing educational games, doing arts and crafts, and doing fun activities that encourage learning.
We also partner with an organisation that will sponsor the children through their primary schooling once they have successfully graduated from our centre.
Introduce literacy and numeracy
Many children do not know how to read, write, count, or identify different shapes when they arrive at the centre. Help them get ready for the challenges of school by teaching basic English and French (if you are able to) and coming up with fun numbers games to improve numeracy.
Improve hygiene standards
Help reduce the incidence of avoidable infectious diseases by introducing the children to a variety of good hygiene practices. While they may also learn these at home, repetition at the centre will help them settle into a routine. Do this by making sure they wash hands before meals and after going to the toilet, and help them brush their teeth properly.
Run a summer camp
If you join our project between June and the end of September, you’ll help us run a summer school. This falls over the children’s longest school holidays. Here, you’ll continue our educational work by teaching numeracy and basic English/French. You’ll also get the children involved in small community projects.
Where in Madagascar will I be working?
You’ll be based in the tiny village of Andasibe on Madagascar’s east coast. You’ll work at our Early Childhood Development Centre, which is fully funded and run by Projects Abroad. Here, we help young children whose families require additional support for their child’s education.
We also partner with an organisation that sponsors their primary school education once they graduate from our centre.
There is only one dirt road going through Andasibe. It gets quite muddy at times! You can expect rain all year round. Bring warm clothes for in the evenings and good sturdy shoes you don't mind getting dirty.
While Madagascar is considered an island, it is rather large and home to a huge array of wildlife that occur nowhere else in the world. In fact, 80% of the Madagascar’s species are endemic to the area. This means that Madagascar is the only place you’ll ever get to see them in the wild!
What my typical day will be like volunteering with children in Madagascar
A typical day starts at 8am, when the children start arriving at the centre. Help settle them in before kicking off the day’s lessons. You begin by teaching either English, French, maths, phonetics, or the alphabet until 10am.
The children will break for 30 minutes in the morning. After this, you’ll play fun games and do activities to practice what you taught them earlier. This will last until 12pm. During lunch, you’ll go home to eat with your host family.
Activities at the centre resume at 2pm. In the afternoon, you’ll lead sessions such as arts and crafts, songs, games, or sports. The working day normally comes to an end at around 4:30pm.
Free time in the late afternoon or at lunchtime can be used to prepare materials and activities for the following day. Weekends are your free time to relax and explore with your fellow volunteers.
What are the aims and impacts of this project?
The aim of this project is to help improve the numeracy and literacy levels of children whose parents can’t afford to send them to preschool. We do this by funding and running our own Early Childhood Development Centre. Without the centre, parents would be forced to keep their children at home.
As a volunteer, you have an important role to play. The centre depends on you to support children’s basic education and to help them prepare for first grade.
In collaboration with a local partner, we select children from families who need the most assistance. Once they graduate from our centre and are the right age for school, our partner will sponsor their education.
We’ve laid out four goals in our Childcare Management Plan to structure this project:
- Increase literacy
- Improve English/French
- Improve hygiene levels
- Raise awareness about healthy living
We keep track of the progress towards these long term goals in our Global Impact Database, which you will help update.
Experience a volunteer opportunity with children in Madagascar and help give children the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your stay in Andasibe. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.
The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Leisure activities and free time
Madagascar is synonymous with unique plants and animals. With leaping lemurs and swaying chameleons, the country has a lot of interesting sights for nature lovers.
While you’re there, be sure to visit one of the many national parks. You’ll get to see some of the wildlife that call this island nation home. The Avenue of Baobabs is also a must-see. These towering trees, with their unusual trunks, are known as Africa’s tree of life.
You can see the jagged cliffs and interesting rock formations of Tsingy de Bemaraha. Madagascar borders the third largest coral reef system on the planet, making it a great location for snorkelling and scuba diving.
We run a number of different projects here, so there will likely be other volunteers in Madagascar during your project. So you can travel independently or spend your free time with a group of like-minded, passionate volunteers.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Madagascar
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