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Charity seeks construction volunteers for Madagascar projects

11 Feb 18 A small UK-based charity has put out a call for volunteers from the construction industry to help with its projects in Madagascar.

The charity runs a number of construction projects, from digging wells to building schools, and is currently crying out for people in the industry to help.

SEED Madagascar is calling for the people from the UK construction industry to help make a difference. Madagascar often makes headlines for its wildlife – it is famed for its diversity of animal species and in particular its lemurs – but the African island is also home to some of the poorest people on the planet. Some 92% of the population live below the poverty line of US$2 a day and as many as four in 10 children in rural areas die before the age of five from easily preventable diseases such as diarrhoea.

The charity has been helping both the people and wildlife of the African nation for nearly 20 years but needs more help.

As part of its work, SEED Madagascar regularly helps build schools, wells and toilet facilities. The schools are part of an ongoing project aiming to increase education in the country and thus give people the tools they need to bring themselves out of poverty, whilst simple wells and toilet facilities help deal with hygiene and disease.

The charity is in urgent need of volunteers for these projects and are hoping Britain’s construction trade may be able to help. SEED Madagascar offer two- and three-week placements on the island, where volunteers’ skills are put to good use working on a variety of community construction projects.

In a group of like-minded individuals, with a team of Malagasy guides and an international group coordinator, volunteers could get involved in everything from digging foundations or bricklaying to building classroom furniture or excavating a well.

“I'm an electrician and general builder as well as SEED trustee,” said Ross Chamberlain, director of Blueprint Construction & Development. “Having worked with SEED Madagascar on a number of water, sanitation and building projects, I have first-hand experience of how much difference those with building skills can make in the country. I swapped knowledge with local tradesmen who taught me about their building materials and methods. It was a fascinating and supremely rewarding experience.

“Whether you can spare a couple of weeks, fund someone’s trip or simply make a donation, this is an incredible cause to get behind.”

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The charity stresses that it is not ‘all work and no play’-  whilst on the placements there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy the experiences and landscapes Madagascar has to offer – and see lemurs.

“If people are looking for something exceptionally exciting to do in their time off there is no more charismatic country to visit in the world – from the beautiful isolated beaches and world famous lemurs to charming coastal towns and friendly locals there are few places on Earth that can rival the fascination and adventure found in Madagascar,” said Mark Jacobs, managing director, SEED Madagascar.

He adds that there are costs associated with the placements, including flights, but many volunteers cover these through fundraising.

Jacobs is keen to hear from anyone who works in the industry and feels they may something to offer – whether an individual with relevant skills, a company director who may be able to fund a placement or anyone would simply like to make a donation.

Contact SEED Madagascar – tel: 020 8960 6629, email:

There is also a story about the charity in the current issue of The Construction Index magazine (link opens in new tab).

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