How much does it cost to volunteer? Why do you charge international volunteers to work with you? We charge fees for volunteering for two reasons:
1) We charge a basic volunteering fee for non-residents of Madagascar because it costs money and takes time for staff members to orient international volunteers, and to facilitate activities with the girls. 2) We charge for specific services, like meals and airport transfer. You are also welcome to make your own arrangements for accommodation, meals and airport transfers (please indicate your preferences on the Volunteer Application).
Pricing Pricing is dependent on length of stay. LIST
How much do things cost in Madagascar? What other things might I spend money on?
Taxi to and from airport in Ivato to Faravohitra (these are both Tana-area neighborhoods): approx. 40,000-50,000Ar, each way
Hotel in Tana: approx. $XXX and up per night (depending on the hotel you pick)
Cost of an Apartment in Faravohitra: approx. $XXX per month
Food: in Tana, $XXX and up per meal, depending on where you eat. You can eat very cheaply by shopping for groceries at street markets and epiceries. For example:
Baguette - 400-600Ar
Egg - 450-500Ar
Butter - 4000Ar
Vache Qui Rit - 3000-6000Ar
1 Liter of Milk - 2800Ar directly from a cow, 4000Ar-6000Ar in a milk carton
Malagasy yoghurt ("yaourt a maison")- 200-400Ar
Cheese, European ham – prices as in Europe or higher
Dinner in a local restaurant ("hotely") (rice with meat and sauce) - 2500-8000Ar
Dinner at a restaurant - 15,000-40,000Ar (depending on the restaurant)
Bus tickets around Antananarivo - 400-600Ar
Taxis around Antananarivo - 5,000-15,000 Ar (sometimes more at night, Sundays and holidays; always more up hill or when the taxi is not moving to start with)
Bus ticket to the ocean - 25,000Ar
Renting a car with a driver- approx. 120,000Ar per day plus gas (approx. 3500Ar/l)
Supplies for classes/activities:Depends on what and how many supplies are needed to successfully teach your class or activity. We try to keep the groups at around 5-7 girls, but have occasional exceptions.
What will my responsibilities be as a volunteer? You'll be teaching a class/leading activities for a few hours each day. All volunteers are also welcome to help with informal activities and games throughout the day.
If I live at AAF, what is the Volunteer House like? The Volunteer House is very simple. It has only one room, which you will share with up to two other volunteers of the same gender (so, three of you). There is a bathroom with a toilet and a shower, which has cold water only. You can heat water on the stove top to make a warm bucket bath, which is what we do in the winter. A photo gallery is available here.
There is a simple kitchen with a gas stove top and a sink. There is no oven or fridge, which is the case with most kitchens in Madagascar. There are a lot of stands and small shops, called epiceries, in the neighborhood where you can get grocery products, fresh vegetables and fruits.
What should I do to be healthy in Madagascar? It's good to consult a tropical medicine doctor about vaccinations and preparation before coming. The malaria risk is relatively low in Antananarivo, but it exists. You should consider prophylaxis and use mosquito repellant with DEET.
Parasites are widespread, so you should always wash your hands, eat thoroughly cooked food and wash raw/soak vegetables and fruit. Drink only boiled or bottled water. You can buy antibiotics here, inexpensively, or you can bring them preemptively from your country, just in case.
What should I wear?
Men's clothing: Pretty much what you'd wear at home. Pants, t-shirts, and button-down shirts are the norm. Shorts are not common for adults, except for sports and work outdoors.
Women's clothing: Please note that, to comply with local customs, you should keep your shoulders and knees covered; nothing too sheer or too tight. Short shorts are not acceptable in Malagasy culture. T-shirts, jeans, black leggings, and long skirts are also acceptable clothing for women.
We send our volunteers a nice big packet of information on what to expect, so don't worry if all your questions aren't answered here!