E: Daniella@PLAYMadagascar.com T: +261 032 4343 652

Long overdue airport update: muddy hikes, lemur stories and monster pigs

International transit for all its discomforts and miseries affords a couple of luxuries I’ve been deficient in the past month: time and super fast wifi! Both necessary for blogging -something I’ve let slip in favour of another two expeditions to three remote villages, negotiations over community radio governance, a quick Easter weekend trip to the spectacular Isalo National park and a dynamic workshop with MRMW teacher interns. Now, traveling back to Australia after 2 whirlwind months in Madagascar, I finally have the chance to catch up on these long overdue... Read The Rest →

Voices of the forest: SOS radio expedition to Mandrivany

From February 22nd-25th, Lova and I joined the dynamic My Rainforest, My World team on an unforgettable expedition to Mandrivany village to begin the scoping process for our SOS radio project. The aim of the trip was to share information, drum up interest, gather baseline data around community knowledge and needs as well as begin the process of recording stories from the forest about human-lemur interactions. An hour’s drive along the winding road between Ranomafana and Manakara took us to Kelalle, a small roadside stop and another hour’s hike through... Read The Rest →

Rekindling Community Radio -Feon I’ Ranomafana (Voice of Ranomafana)

Last Wednesday I joined the Mayor of Ranomafana, a group of comune workers, government observers and CVB staff on a mission to bust into Ranomafana’s radio station in the first of many steps towards reopening the abandoned site. The station has remained unused for the past 2 years when it was closed abruptly after funding ceased from a major broadcast training project. As the crowbar dealt its final blow to the corroded lock, I took a sharp, involuntary breath and peered into the dark room. It was immediately clear that... Read The Rest →

Characters from the forest…

This comet moth is one of the unique and wonderful creatures we’re imagining to work with for an animal play set, currently in the design phase. We’ve been discussing ideas with Susie McGuire of Conservation Fusion, to play around with a forest set that we can use towards children’s story creations across programs. The hope is that having forest characters from Madagascar accessible in rural villages will make these incredible endemic species a source of pride as part of children’s emerging narratives. And a sustainable handmade design, created in country, can place that pride... Read The Rest →

This Lemur Life: Waves for Conservation Education

Emma here, with some exciting news to share! Our application for the Save Our Species (SOS) Threatened Species grant for the radio education project “This Lemur Life”—Waves for Conservation Education, with the Stony Brook Foundation, was successful! Over the next 12 months our cross-disciplinary team, Florent Ravoavy, Lova Razafindravony, Alain Rasolomampriandra, Daniella Rabino, Katherine Kling and myself, Emma Browne, guided by Dr. Patricia Wright, will work together to develop SOS lemur radio programs, an educational support pack and teacher training activities. These will encourage rural children to relate to interconnected needs in their... Read The Rest →

Meet the Training Stars

This week was pure magic, filled with real life miracles for My Rainforest, My World. Based at Centre ValBio, student teachers and teachers lead environmental education in remote villages around Ranomafana NP with the education lead Florent Ravoavy, and our own, Lovasoa Razafindravony as Project Manager! I love it, since this is exactly what I’ve been rooting for. Exciting to see community-led education connecting back to the scale of villages around the forest, as promised in the park’s early days. But this project was also big to start, with ten villages involved year one, and... Read The Rest →

Rotary becomes a PLAY partner!

These last two Thursdays, I’ve been with Rotary friends in Great Britain, accepting a check of £1007.50 to begin working on the design for our storybook in Madagascar! Grateful to have the support to begin on this adventure. 🙂 This began with interest from the Rotary Club of Lewes, who were happy to think about how to help us with the dreams they became a big part of, hosting my 2011-12 scholarship year. Alain and I needed the help to be able to start our artistry for this children’s book we imagined. And then, the District jumped in,... Read The Rest →

PLAY Grows!

All summer, PLAY was busy with friends. Whether meeting with researchers at the Children’s Environments Research Group, planning projects, or spending time at Stony Brook University with Pat Wright and graduate students, it’s been a fun summer. I even got to spend time with Stephen Nash in his incredibly rich lab/ office/workshop space before it disappears, who pioneered scientific illustration for conservation education and primates. So much fun talking to him about everything, including insights on natural gardening. Did you know that if you put mulch (dead leaves) on top of soil, it gets... Read The Rest →

the weirdness of goodbyes

During the last few months of my open Madagascar year, I was able to meet with more great people working throughout Madagascar, form strong friendships, making it, eventually, strange to leave. Reflecting back to the shaky start of the year, when I was doing what I thought I should, but didn’t know where it would lead, it’s good to find living people that share these dreams, and know that they belong here in this strange home. Alain and I worked with Francois from Tana Planete on a well-worthwhile spotlight of... Read The Rest →

Artisan Workshops

Once my computer was back, off to Ranomafana artisan workshop. It was a great set of days bringing together artists to explore new ideas, attend a series of workshops, and fine-tune their crafts with added inspiration. An incredible talent from Vietnam led the workshops, and a few of us helped with the planning and organizing. It was the first time the local artisans ever got to work together, and we hope it will have lasting effects on their creative work and marketability. Artist Alain from PLAY helps lead a workshop... Read The Rest →

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