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Sustainable Development, Madagascar

Sustainable Development, Madagascar how would you like us to contact you?
via phone
Full Name*
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overview dates & rates volunteer
work &
extra fun
& travel
priced from
£ 1500 | | $
view gallery quick facts

minimum stay5 Weeks



Building & Development


Make a life-changing difference in one of the world’s poorest countries as you assist in providing educational activities, sustainable livelihood projects and doing construction work, all while discovering remote beaches, beautiful landscapes and unique wildlife.

Conservation main pin it!

Madagascar is one of the world's most impoverished and least developed countries in the world, with 77% of its population living below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day. The majority population work in subsistence agriculture, and 50% of children under three years of age suffer retarded growth due to a chronically inadequate diet.

Island-wide, about 1 in every 10 children die before the age of five from easily preventable diseases, rising to as many as 4 in 10 in rural areas. Poor hygiene is linked to typhoid, polio, acute respiratory infections and trachoma, the most common cause of blindness from infection.

Sustainable livelihood volunteer community projects aim to increase food security and household income in order to reduce poverty for marginalised communities in south east Madagascar. Running for over 10 years, this project involves working on a variety of sustainable development projects, while gaining first-hand experience of the resource needs of impoverished communities and how these impact on conservation efforts.

Besides the physical work of community upliftment projects, an educational component is also included in volunteer work opportunities. This may include teaching English to children in rural villages or unemployed young people in Fort Dauphin, health education in the form of songs and role-play to inform children about the benefits of hand washing and using latrines, or environmental education to raise awareness of the need for conservation of local forests.

This project is open to all and is suitable for student volunteering, gap year volunteering, career breaks or retirees. The work and lifestyle can be challenging but is incomparably rewarding. Be prepared for adventurous road journeys, physical work and long walks to reach remote and beautiful project sites as you discover a fascinating part of the world.

project pricing
5 Weeks: USD  GBP 1500 EUR 
6 Weeks: USD  GBP 1600 EUR 
7 Weeks: USD  GBP 1700 EUR 
8 Weeks: USD  GBP 1800 EUR 
9 Weeks: USD  GBP 1900 EUR 
10 Weeks: USD  GBP 2000 EUR 

Please note a longer placement may be possible - kindly send through an enquiry for more information.

project start date

Well construction pin it!

Well Construction

Clean water is vital to human life and as a volunteer overseas you will work with a construction team to build new wells requested by villagers and repair or improve existing ones.

Construction of latrines pin it!

Construction of Latrines

You will assist in the construction of latrines by cutting wire for the cement pit of the latrine, cement mixing and moulding for the SanPlat, side slabs and lid, and sawing and chiseling to create the wooden frame for the latrine building above ground. This will typically be for a local school and links well with Health Education lessons provided for school children.

Health education pin it!

Health Education

Through songs, role play and demonstrations, you will work with the Health and Sanitation team to inform children about the benefits of hand washing, teeth brushing and using latrines.

School building pin it!

School Building

Volunteer work may include a school-building project at some point of your visit in Africa. You may be involved in everything from digging the building’s foundations, constructing the walls and laying the floors, to painting the classrooms and building the benches ready for the first day of lessons.

English teaching pin it!

English Teaching

You will assist with voluntary teaching in the permanent English teaching program working with young unemployed youth in Fort Dauphin town and also teaching basic English to school children in the surrounding rural villages.

Improved food security pin it!

Improved food security

Basic lack of food is an ongoing issue which claims many lives in Madagascar. Volunteer community projects assist in developing the demonstration and training sites both in town and in idyllic but very poor rural villages. You will work on improved planting and harvesting techniques with improved crop varieties, and help develop sites into thriving examples for the local community.

A lot of emphasis is placed on implanting these project concepts into rural schools, working alongside teachers, parents and students to create school gardens, tree nurseries and teach other practical skills that are vital for the sustainable future of rural youth.

Things to do with your spare time
Included volunteer sightseeing pin it!
Included Volunteer Sightseeing

As part of your volunteer working holiday, you will enjoy an included visit to Nahampoana Reserve for an up close experience with several species of lemur. There will also be opportunities to visit local markets, forests or simply relax and surf on the stunning beaches surrounding Fort Dauphin.

Masoala National Park

Situated in northeast Madagascar, the Masoala National Park covers nearly 250 miles of rainforest and includes three marine parks. The park features ten species of lemur and is also home to a diverse array of birds and reptiles. The Tampolo, Ambodilaitry and Ifaho marine parks are ideal for snorkeling and kayaking adventures.

Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

Considered one of the country’s most sacred spots, the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga is a historical village that was once home to Madagascar royalty. The wall that surrounds the village was constructed with a mortar made of lime and egg whites. The Mahandrihono compound includes the former home of King Andrianampoinimerina, with walls made of solid rosewood, and artifacts of the island’s great king, including drums, weapons and talismans.


Ifaty is the name of two dusty fishing villages on the coast of southwest Madagascar. Offshore, a 60-mile long coral reef is ideal for diving, snorkeling and fishing.

Avenue of the baobabs pin it!
Avenue of the Baobabs

The Avenue of the Baobabs is a group of trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in western Madagascar. Its striking landscape draws tourists from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region.

Nosy Be

The small island of Nosy Be is one of Madagascar’s premier tourist spots. Clear turquoise waters and excellent seafood restaurants make it a great place to relax and unwind.

About Fort Dauphin
About fort dauphin pin it!

Based around Fort Dauphin in southeast Madagascar, you will be living and working in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the island and camping within rural, isolated communities. Madagascar is unique and one of the most fascinating yet least travelled areas of Africa. The diversity of the island is astounding, from the people to the geography, climate, architecture and wildlife. Brimming with endemic fauna and flora, 80% of the island's plant and animal species are found nowhere else on earth.

You will camp for the duration of your placement. Camping facilities are provided but you will need to bring your own tent. When in Fort Dauphin, you will camp at the stunning lake-side site of Lanirano, which is fully equipped with flush toilets and showers as well as electricity for charging cameras, ipods, mobile phones etc. Laundry services are also available locally.

Whilst working in the more rural areas facilities will be more basic but there will always be latrine and private washing amenities. Water will be collected (and treated) from nearby rivers and wells. Although conditions here will be more basic than you are used to we can assure you that you will be surrounded by some of the most beautiful sites in the world and wake up to deserted beaches and forests teeming with wildlife on your doorstep.

Feedback from our volunteers
Johnny Comber, UK

Volunteering was one of the biggest things I have done in my life, I would encourage everyone and anyone to look at this project and what the charity is all about. Whilst in Madagascar, I got experience life in a 3rd world country. Living in a tent in the middle of a field, having to get water from a well, no showers and no electricity. All this was fantastic as it made me really appreciate what we all have back home. I also got to experience being a part of local community, working in any village is fantastic. You feel so welcome with a great sense of purpose and the work you do with this organisation is so beneficial to that village. After returning to Madagascar, I gained a new desire; a desire to see the world, do good things with my life but more importantly, to return to Madagascar to help one of the poorest countries on this planet, it's people & wildlife. Please think about visiting Madagascar because it will reward you & open your eyes beyond belief. It isn't just about doing something to help others, it's an adventure & an experience you'll never forget.