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Plan My Gap Year

English Teacher for Children, Youths and Adults

Taolagnaro, Madagascar

We need volunteers to support English lessons for students, who have dropped out of school and see the English centre as an opportunity to enhance their prospects.

The Programme 

Madagascar represents a country of beautiful, yet fragile eco-diversity, a delicate economy and unstable education opportunities. Schools in Madagascar are traditionally underfunded with educational resources spread across the country unevenly. Often it is the poor and rural communities left behind.

Officially Madagascar is bilingual consisting of French and Malagasy. The local dialect spoken across Madagascar is Malagasy, but French represents the language of direction in school. With its increasing presence as the global language, English has fast become the desirable language for Madagascan people to learn and move forward in life. For Madagascans, it offers enhanced employability prospects particularly in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.

The PMGY teaching English programme in Madagascar aims to facilitate this. It is a project that is truly embedded in the local community. It provides an opportunity for all community members whether beginner, intermediate or advanced, to develop and continue to drive their levels of ability in English. The centre is also home to a library and a great place for volunteers to chat with locals over a hot drink.

Many students at the centre are usually people within the local community who have dropped out of the education system at a younger age in their early teens. Indeed as an education system, the majority of primary school-age children do attend school, but only around a third of these stay on for secondary school attendance. Often this may be to enter the workforce from an early age or to support and provide for their family, but many of the times it can be also where people have taken a bad turn in life and end up in difficult environments.

For many of these people the English centre represents a rehabilitation opportunity and hope for a better life. Your presence and support alone can encourage enthusiasm, build friendships and help enhance drive and future prospects.

The centre is generally open to students of all ages and backgrounds. There are around 200 students registered in total at the English centre with children as young as four to adults in their late 40s. Students are generally split across 4 levels with each level having their own classrooms so they can practice together with their own teachers and volunteer support at similar levels of understanding.

Many of the students come from troubled lives, have dropped out of school or college and see the English centre as an opportunity to enhance their prospects. Students with these backgrounds have gone on to earn jobs as teachers, translators, tour guides and more with the support of the English centre.

Your Contribution

Volunteers will support the great work and success stories that develop through the English centre. A mix of classroom learning, one to one focus and a conversationalist approach are just some examples of how volunteers will input into the day to day of the English centre.

Utilising games and activities to drive engagement, confidence and entertainment of the students is also recommended particularly when at a younger age. The students at the centre will be interested to learn more about you, your culture, your hobbies and your family so be prepared for lots of questions too! Dancing to music and playing sports are just other ways the English centre keeps you entertained in your time with us in Madagascar!

Volunteers at the centre will take up a varied and enjoyable schedule when they join us in Madagascar. From leading your own activities, supporting local staff and teachers with their lessons or inspiring extracurricular events; your time, efforts and creativity will not be undervalued. Not only will this enhance a variety of skills you were not aware off, you will endure a hugely rewarding experience through inspiring a community that strives for better opportunities.

It can often be the case that local teachers and support staff are limited largely to their local Malagasy dialects with minimal knowledge of the English language to follow having had no prospect or opportunity themselves. Volunteers are encouraged to also take time to coach and develop the English speaking and learning with the staff at the centre, too.

Therefore, not only will you play a part in developing the students levels of English, but your time is equally as valuable spending time assisting the local teachers and staff members at the centre to develop their own English language skills.

Volunteers are advised to plan and prepare activities well in advance and advised to make lessons fun and engaging to develop the conversational skills and assurance of the students. Naturally this will require volunteers to be flexible, use initiative and as pro-active as can be.

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 might also consider joining a 1 week Nature Reserve Preservation programme. 

Details on Arrival

The programme starts every 1st and 3rd 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
Diving/Snorkling
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 (fluently) and French (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High School level
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

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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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Plan My Gap Year.
Services by Plan My Gap Year
  • Accommodation
  • One night in a hotel in Antananarivo
  • Airport pickup (Antananarivo)
  • Airport pickup (Fort Dauphin)
  • 3 meals a day
  • In-country orientation
  • 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 airport transfer will take around 10 minutes from Fort Daulphin.

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 are 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 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.

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, egg, 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)
$1,179.00
5 weeks
$1,382.00
6 weeks
$1,584.00
7 weeks
$1,787.00
8 weeks
$1,989.00
10 weeks
$2,394.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$2,799.00
Average fees
$264.00/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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