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Velondriake community scholarships

Each year Blue Ventures awards scholarships for community members in the Velondriake area to undertake an intensive six-week training course in marine science and conservation research alongside our international expedition volunteers. The programme focuses on learning how to scuba dive, conduct ecological surveys and identify species. It reflects Blue Ventures' strong committment to investing in people, building local capacity and nurturing marine conservation from the grassroots.

More than a dozen villagers have received scuba certifications to date, including two who have reached the level of dive master and one who has since become Madagascar’s first open water scuba instructor. Our scholars have gone on to assist with a variety of community-based conservation initiatives in Velondriake.

Velondriake community scholar profiles

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Dominique Razafisanais 22 years old. He lives in Andavadoaka and was previously a fisherman. Now he helps Blue Ventures with surveys and data entry. His favourite aspect of the course was learning about marine biology.

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Joeline Jean-Baptiste is 23 years old. She lives in Andavadoaka and was previously a sea cucumber collector. Joeline is now a sexual health peer educator for Blue Ventures. The aspect she enjoyed most about the course was working with computers.

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Edgar Andronic is 25 years old. He lives in Lamboara and was previously a fisherman. Now he helps Blue Ventures with surveys and data entry. The aspect he enjoyed most about the course was working with computers.

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Tolotra Tolojanahary is 25 years old. He comes from Antsatsamaroy and was previously a sea cucumber collector. The aspect he enjoyed most about the course was learning about marine biology.

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Bridgete Finy is 30 years old. She lives in Andavadoaka and was previously a cook at the Manga Lodge restaurant. Her favourite aspect of the course was the diving.


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Samson Albain is 24 years old. He comes from Tampolove and was previously a fisherman. Samson most enjoyed the community development aspect of the course.

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Sakira Izidoro is 26 years old. He comes from Vatoavo and was previously a migrant fisherman. Now he helps Blue Ventures with surveys and data entry. The aspect he enjoyed most about the course was the diving.