Some children in the rural region of Mahatalaky in Madagascar must walk up to 12 miles a day to reach any school. Illiteracy here is among the highest in the nation. Volunteers with the nonprofit organization Azafady work with members of Mahatalaky villages to build school- houses in the area. The project is run in collaboration with the Malagasy Ministry of Education.
HOW YOU HELP: Take part in building a two-room, tin-roofed wooden schoolhouse by assisting with such tasks as laying stone floors and installing shelving and blackboards; you might also help build a latrine, a well, or a teacher’s house.
HIGHLIGHTS: Scope the treetops for ring-tailed lemurs at Nahampoana Reserve. Play a pickup game of soccer with school kids. Sample the program chef’s specialty, cassava fritters with ginger.
Azafady, 44/(0) 20-8960-6629, two-week trips from $950, including meals and lodging in tents. This appeared in the May/June 2010 issue.