Student all set to take part in Madagascan project

Reporter:

Helen Davies

A BUDDING conservationist is travelling to Africa.

Victoria Knight, from Mynydd Isa, will be volunteering in Madagascar this summer.

She will be taking part in a project run by Azafady, a charity working to stop poverty and environmental damage in Madagascar.

Vicky, 21, is in her third year studying environmental science at Glyndwr University and in July she will be spending 10 weeks in the African country.

“We spend eight weeks doing lemur conservation and biodiversity research,” said Vicky.

“Then we spend two weeks doing community conservation going into schools teaching children about the forests and planting trees. We are also going into houses and making stoves which are more fuel efficient.”

Set in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island and is recognised as one of the planet's top conservation priorities.

“Lemurs are in need of protection in Madagascar,” said Vicky. “There are 71 species of lemur in the country that are found nowhere else in the world.

“There’s a huge population there now. They’re trying to get more mines but in 10 years they will run out but the habitats will be destroyed so they won’t have anything to attract tourists.

“We’re trying to help them be more sustainable.”

During her trip Vicky will spend ten weeks with a team of volunteers from all over the world camping in basic conditions.

She said: “I’ll have to wash my clothes in a bucket and use cold showers but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.”

As part of the scheme, Vicky needs to raise a minimum donation of £2,650.

“The money all goes back into the charity apart from 10 per cent which funds volunteers’ food. I have to pay for my flights, visa and insurance.”

In a bid to raise the cash Vicky will be walking up Snowdon in May and is also planning a car boot sale.

To sponsor Vicky call 020 8960 6629.

See full story in the Leader

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