“The term ‘community’ never meant a lot to me until I became a Pioneer in April 2011. I was thrilled to find that life in Madagascar
was literally a world away from what I am used to in London
. People truly cared. People offered what little they could. People were eager to learn, but just as much to teach.
I went to Madagascar on my own and came back with a new family and a new outlook. I learnt from each and every person I met, from fellow volunteers to guides, our construction team, security team, market vendors and local families. Even the children who visited our camp daily bought a whole new level of positivity, enthusiasm and hope with them. Work on Pioneer was gruelling and the living conditions very basic, but the prospect of giving something back to this amazing nation pulled us through the exhaustion, unpredictable weather, various sicknesses and flooded toilets! The locals were fully supportive of our work, and accepted us into the community whole heartedly; their gratitude and excitement for the future made the hard times well worth the effort and the good times even better! It is funny how very simple life turns out to be when all creature comforts are removed, and how much deeper a connection is made with the people and land.
I would thoroughly recommend Pioneer to anyone who is passionate about new experiences and is willing to give 100% of themselves to a totally new way of life. You will not be disappointed by what you get back for it; there isn’t a more beautiful place, nor a more amazing nation out there, and in my opinion, no better way to explore it .”