I am in Madagascar since mid March. As I wrote in my previous blogpost, I started a sabbatical year with my husband and our first destination was a small fishing village on the west coast of Madagascar. For six weeks we worked as volunteers for a British NGO, Blue Ventures, supporting in their education programme, engaging with local communities on the topic of marine resource management and drafting a report about BV’s strategy in the region.We also started a joint blog about our experience, where you can find a more detailed description of what we’ve been doing and lots of beautiful pictures taken by my husband.

Blue Ventures health centre, Andavadoaka, Madagascar

I reunited with some of the things I did two years ago, like this mural I painted on the health centre’s wall with a local artist, Nady.

Blue Ventures education centre, Andavadoaka, Madagascar I tried to bring my illustration skills to support the various projects and produced three posters.Malagasy family tree illustration for Steph'Andava in Madagascar to help learning personal pronouns in French This one was for Steph’Andava, a partner of Blue Ventures, working with local teachers and students on improving their French language skills. They needed a poster that would help to practice personal pronouns in French. The black figure on the bottom right represents the speaker, and the idea was that the students can stick the personal pronouns on post-its onto the poster. Infographic for Blue Ventures about fisheries monitoring through Open Data Kit in MadagascarNext, I did a poster targeting community members (the large majority of whom are illiterate) to explain Blue Ventures’ data collection work. All sharks caught in the region are measured and the data is then used to understand the larger trends in shark populations. Last, but not least, I created an infographic targeting future volunteers. Our group of 15 young people had quite a rough time in terms of intestine problems, so I sat together with the expedition manager and came up with the above poster. Sometimes we all forget how important a small gesture like cleaning our hands can be in an environment like Andava. This has been a fantastic opportunity to combine my environmental background and my illustration skills and I was super happy to do it as a Blue Ventures volunteer. I look forward to finding similar projects in the future, where my drawings can serve an important cause, such as protecting natural resources or helping education.