WWF, through its youth volunteer programme, Explore!, has contributed greatly to the development of young ambassadors for conservation. Launched in 2005 by WWF International, we have had the honor to host over 100 volunteers in Madagascasr since 2006. Explore! regularly gathers groups of six young volunteers from around the world for a three-month placement in field projects, giving them a chance to experience first-hand the life of remote rural populations while contributing to front-line conservation and associated social-development programmes.
This is an experience that can dramatically shape the volunteers’ vision of life, review their own value scales, and focus on the essentials from a perspective they wouldn’t otherwise easily find. In the Explore! experience in Madagascar, these volunteers are in remote and typically challenging areas, working with local communities on small projects such as environmental education for children, reforestation, small income generation projects, biological inventories, etc. Through this immersion, they are not only immersed in a novel culture, but they also witness the life and pressures experienced by the people in these communities, their daily needs, and the different ways in which they interact with and depend on the environment around them.
When they leave Madagascar, the volunteers become amassadors for conservation and have the opportunity to make presentations about their experiences when they return home. For many, Explore! is an important factor in future life and career choice. Even though the program is still young, there is already a network for former volunteers to stay in touch with the Madagascar programme and with other volunteers, that helps to facilitate this connection.
Read more at:
Youth Volunteer Programme or Explore!
To date, we have had 21 groups of volunteers