Mr Roger Samba, President of the Velondriake Association, established the Samba-Getty university scholarships fund with Blue Ventures, after winning the J.Paul Getty Award for outstanding leadership in conservation.
Mr Samba has played a pivotal role in the creation and development of Velondriake, the largest locally managed marine area in the Western Indian Ocean, including community-led temporary fishery closures and aquaculture zones. The leadership demonstrated by Mr Samba has empowered communities in southwest Madagascar to engage in marine resource management, influenced national fisheries legislation and inspired others to replicate this successful model. WWF's prestigious J.Paul Getty Award, described by US president Ronald Reagan as "the Nobel Prize for conservation", carries a $200,000 prize which Mr Samba has used to create the Samba-Getty university scholarships fund for aspiring marine conservationists from the Velondriake area and other parts of Madagascar.
Samba-Getty university scholar profiles
Olivia RAOELIARITIANA is 19 years old. She is doing a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science at the IHSM (Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marine) in Toliara.
"I applied for a Samba-Getty scholarship because I noticed the increasing effects of climate change which is one of the major factors affecting our environment. I would like to contribute to managing the natural resources upon which human life depends.”
Seraphin RAFARALAHY is 25 years old. Originally from Andavadoaka, southwest Madagascar, he is now studying Geography at the University of Toliara.
“I applied for a Samba-Getty scholarship to allow me to pursue higher education opportunities because I want to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to help manage my community's marine resources. The experiences I've gained from Velondriake are driving my ambition to be a conservationist like my brother, who is a Velondriake Association committee member.”
Norova FARALAHY is 21 years old. Originally from Andavadoaka, southwest Madagascar, he is now studying Geography at the University of Toliara.
“The lessons I've learned while working on Velondriake projects have inspired me to contribute to marine conservation in my community. My father is a fisherman and, as I'm one of seven children, my family isn't able to support my studies. Being awarded a Samba-Getty scholarship is enabling me to attend university, widening my career prospects for my future and the future of my family.”
Livatiana RAMANJEHIMANANA has a bachelor's degree in Marine Science and is now pursuing a master’s at the IHSM (Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marine) in Toliara.
“I would not have been able to continue my studies without this scholarship because my mother has passed away and my father is already retired. I have always been at the top of my class and I love pursuing my studies at the IHSM because it is giving me lots of knowledge about the coastal and marine environment."
Carole ZAFIMIHARY is doing a bachelor's degree in Marine Science at the IHSM (Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marine) in Toliara.
“This Samba-Getty university scholarship provides me with the possibility to finance my studies in order to protect the nature which I love.”
Danoary ANDRISOA has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and is now pursuing a master’s at the IHSM (Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marine) in Toliara. He's interested in conducting research into the octopus fisheries in Velondriake.
“I applied for the Samba-Getty scholarship because I couldn’t afford to continue my studies without support. Lack of funding is one of the reasons why many Malagasy students fail to complete their studies.”
Yacinthe RAZAFIMANDIMBY works for Conservation International and is involved in the establishment of the Ambodivahibe Marine Protected Area in northwest Madagascar. He's studying for his PhD in Applied Oceanography, using qualitative and quantitative assessments of climate change, and monitoring their effects on coral reef ecosystems.
"I applied for the Samba-Getty scholarship because of the visible change I have observed in marine ecosystems during ecological assessments carried out around Madagascar, showing a growing indication of impacts related to climate change. At the end of my studies, I would like to establish a global model of change types and the rhythms of their effects on coral reef ecosystems and species in north Madagascar. In the future, I would like to see this approach effectively applied to all marine areas across Madagascar and the entire Western Indian Ocean."