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Plan My Gap Year

Caretaker for Children at Support Centre

Taolagnaro, Madagascar

We need volunteers, who provide support, care, education and affection to neglected children in order to protect them from poverty and child labour.

The Program

Madagascar is home to over 22 million people, yet many of whom live in desperate poverty with the youngest children often being the ones who suffer most. Madagascar’s fragile location just off the East African coast leaves it prone to natural disasters and tropical cyclones that wreaks destruction on much of the infrastructure including roads, schools and homes.

Even though Madagascar has the potential to be a prosperous country with its minerals, fertile soil and oil reserves; events like these combined with high levels of corruption, fragmented government policy and rapid population growth means poverty and in particular rural poverty remains rife.

The rural areas of Madagascar feel the effects for the most part with many living in isolation and food shortages, neglected from safe access to drinking water and lacking in public services and basic infrastructure.

With well over a third of Madagascar’s population aged less than 14, the effects of this particularly on the children and their nurturing and development can be devastating. Many children in Madagascar grow up without parental care or protection. Consequently, child trafficking and exploitation remains quite prevalent in Madagascar. This can be anything from begging on the streets, selling products or even sexual exploitation. Whilst enrollment into primary education at just under 100 per cent may look good on paper, the reality is primary schools are littered with high dropout rates.

What can be more commonplace is for thousands of children as young as five to be working as domestic servants for long hours across each day without payment or operating dangerous machinery to cater for the agriculture and exports industry. Whilst it must be said the Madagascan government have made inroads more recently to prevent the worst cases of child labour, it remains a serious and prevalent issue in Madagascar today.

The things that children need in life such as stability, care, education and affection remain neglected from a lot of Madagassy children. They represent the most vulnerable demograph of the population something which the PMGY childcare programme aims to address and offer protection and support, too.

Your Contribution

The volunteers’ help at the purpose built support centre for vulunerable children in the community plays a big role in regenerating hope, confidence and prospects for these children. The centre is home to orphaned and disadvantaged children ranging from 0-12 years of age. With the centre home to around 100 kids in total you are sure to be busy throughout and your time and support will be invaluable.

Volunteers are encouraged to help out in all shapes and forms at the centre which segments into pre-schools and primary schools. This incorporates teaching basic English, leading fun and interactive games and activities, helping the centre moms with general maintenance and cleaning and providing daily hands on care and affection for the children.

The centre originated over 25 years ago and is not only in place to offer childcare and education, but also works to provide vocational training, medical services and family strengthening programmes. Volunteer support in these areas is encouraged and appreciated.

Irrespective of the circumstances and extreme poverty these children have encountered, they will be super excited to interact and engage with volunteers and learn from you just as we hope volunteers will be excited every day at the centre to do likewise with the children and support staff at the project.

Having a basic understanding and level of French may be helpful for volunteers from a communication perspective. However, do not worry if this is not the case as there is plenty of opportunities along the way and different forms to engage with the students.

Volunteers will be provided with a starter pack of note-pads, pens and pencils as well as a weekly photocopying allowance to help prepare for each day at the project.

While you’re in Madagascar, you have the opportunity to join our 1 week Nature Reserve Preservation programme. 

Details on Arrival

The program starts on the first and the third Sunday of each month. The programme runs throughout the year.

You should book your flights to Antanarivo International Airport (airport code is TNR). You will then need to book a domestic flight for the following day to fly from Antanarivo to Tolanaro Airport in Fort Daulphin (airport code is FTU).

The programme ends on the Sunday of your final week.

Free-time activities

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time. All of our programmes have been designed so that you have weekends off. This gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures.

Furthermore, you’re going to meet so many new people during your time with PMGY that you’ll definitely meet some travel buddies along the way!

Before booking your flights we recommend that you look into travel opportunities within the relevant country either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. If you do plan to travel extensively please factor this into your flight itinerary, as we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering as you have made a commitment to the project.

Swimming
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level) and French (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Any questions? Just ask. We at Plan My Gap Year are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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We refund your fees if Plan My Gap Year cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Plan My Gap Year.
Services by Plan My Gap Year
  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals a  day (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Airport pickup (Antananarivo)
  • One night in a hotel in Antananarivo
  • Airport pickup (Fort Dauphin)
  • In-country orientation
  • Transport to project
  • 24 hour in-country support
  • 24 hour UK-based support
  • Comprehensive volunteer handbook
  • Live pre-departure webinars
  • Certificate of completion

Airport Pickup at Marillac Airport

The time for the airport transfer to the project site is around 10 minutes from Fort Dauphin.

Accommodation

During your time with PMGY in Fort Daulphin you will live in our Volunteer House. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. The projects are usually within walking distance from the accommodation.

The Volunteer House is located just outside of central Fort Daulphin, in a peaceful part of the coastal town. Volunteers have access to a private garden that leads to the beach to take in some idyllic views and even take up some surf lessons should you wish, too!

Each room has bunk beds, up to 8 people per room (same-sex only). Volunteers are provided with fans in the room and their own mosquito net and bed linen.

Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Madagascar is hot and humid all year round! The house has Wi-Fi (although intermittent) and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. There is also a kitchen area with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled.

We encourage you to bring some small padlocks for your suitcase to store any valuables you may have. A laundry service is also available for a small fee of around 3 USD per bucket load. Communal areas will be kept clean regularly by the housekeeper.

There is always local team representatives that live on site or close by to the accommodation. Although volunteers have their own private space there is still the security of living next to our local team who can assist you if need be. It is also a great way to socialise and to learn more about Madagascan way of life.

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

All meals whilst on the programme are included in the programme fees volunteers pay. There is an on-site housekeeper at the acccomodation who prepares lunch and dinner each day. Breakfast is usually continental and self-service with the food reserves available for volunteers to help themselves in the morning.

Lunches and dinners are rice-based and usually made from fresh vegetarian based ingredients. Occasional meat dishes will be on offer through the course of the week.

Depending on the timings and needs of the project; volunteers may sometimes take a packed lunch to eat at the project.

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

Breakfast: bread, fruits, eggs, cheese, jam

Lunch: rice, beans, fresh vegetables

Dinner: zebu beef, fish, pasta, potato

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Marillac Airport (FTU) in Fort Dauphin. We assist you to find cheap flights to Madagascar.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Madagascar provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Madagascar you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Madagascar.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$1,104.00
5 weeks
$1,307.00
6 weeks
$1,509.00
7 weeks
$1,712.00
8 weeks
$1,914.00
9 weeks
$2,117.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$2,724.00
Average fees
$252.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Taolagnaro/Madagascar between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Plan My Gap Year will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Madagascar.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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