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SEED Madagascar

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Madagascar staff

SEED's staff in Madagascar work on the ground to design, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate projects, either independently with its local staff or alongside partner organisations. Collaboration between international and Malagasy teams ensures projects and programmes are underpinned by both essential regional knowledge and international best practice - both necessary to achieve our goals. SEED's specialist international staff and volunteers build capacity with local staff members and partners to promote sustainability.


Core staff

Photo of Lisa Bass

Lisa Bass

Director of Programmes and Operations

Lisa graduated in Sociology from Bristol University and spent the next 10 years designing and developing services for people with learning difficulties before moving to the British Red Cross to manage firstly their community services and then their emergency response services in the UK.

In 2007 she joined SEED Madagascar as a Pioneer, returning for a year in 2008 to complete policy and procedure work across the NGO. Inspired by the team and the work that they were doing, Lisa became the Director of Programmes and Operations for SEED Madagascar in 2009. Since then she has lead the international team, jointly developing the organisation together with the Malagasy management team in implementing cutting edge projects and ensuring that the work of SEED is leading development innovation, research and learning.

Photo of Joel Rajaobelina

Joel Claude Parany Rajaobelina

Director of Administration and Finance

Joel graduated from the University of Antananarivo with a degree in Economics in 2005. He then carried out many different jobs around the capital for several years. His last position in Tana was as the Agency Head for Anosy with Colis Express, Madagascar's leading courier company, and through this role Joel was transferred down to Fort Dauphin. After some time he took on a job in the Procurement Department of Kentz (one of the many sub-contractors brought in to the area to help with the ilmenite mine just north of Fort Dauphin).

In 2009 Joel was offered the position of Financial Systems Analyst for ONG Azafady and implemented a new series of financial procedures for the organisation through this role. In January 2011 he took on the position of Head of Finances to oversee the budgets and accounts of the NGO. Joel joined SEED in 2017 as Director of Administration and Finance.

Joeline Razafimihanta

Financial and Administrative Assistant

Joeline is from Fort Dauphin and studied Accounting and Finance at the Lycée Technique in town. After completing her studies in 2015, she worked as an Administrative Assistant at the Kaleta Hotel before joining SEED Madagascar in October 2016. Since then, Joeline has been working for us as Financial and Administrative assistant.

Michael Darling

Michael Darling

Media, Communications and IT Specialist

Michael studied Biological Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Zoology in his final year. During his summers he volunteered on field projects and with the CHaOS Science Roadshow, fostering a passion for biodiversity conservation and education.

After graduating, he took an education and marketing position at the Flamingo Land zoo in North Yorkshire, teaching pupils from local schools on subjects ranging from rainforests to rollercoaster physics, as well as producing photos and videos of the zoo's activities.

Michael joins SEED Madagascar as Media, Communications and IT Specialist, providing technical expertise within the Fort Dauphin office and creating media and graphics to publicise SEED's work.

Tsina Endor

Head of External Relations, Communications and Compliance

Tsina worked for ONG Azafady from 2005, starting as Secretary to the Director General and taking on the role as the Head of Volunteering in 2007. In 2017, she joined SEED as Head of External Relations, Communications and Compliance. Tsina is responsible for looking after all the volunteers that come to Madagascar on SEED Madagascar's Pioneer and Conservation Programme schemes. She organises the work schedules and support needed for both programmes. Tsina's job is very varied – the thing she likes most about it is meeting and looking after people, and making friends from all over the world.

Felana Randriamampionona

External Relations, Communications and Compliance Assistant

Felana grew up in Fort Dauphin and studied commerce and marketing at the University of Antananarivo. After graduating, she went on to work as a secretary for a forwarding company, and then joined ONG Azafady where she worked as a Community Liaison Officer on Project Malio for three years.

In early May 2017 she joined SEED Madagascar as the new External Relations, Communications and Compliance Assistant. Her role is to support the Head of ERCC across all areas of SEED Madagascar´s outward facing relationships and logistical tasks. Felana loves the challenges her work presents her with, and the fact that her role is very diverse. Her favourite part is to be able to assist a person or a team in order to make others more efficient.


Community Health

Photo of Nary Charlier

Andrianarivelo Zafindrazana Charlier (Nary)

Project Malio Co-ordinator

Nary is a Fort Dauphin local who worked with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) out west in Ambovombe before joining ONG Azafady in 2011 and SEED in 2017. He started as Agricultural Extension Manager within the sustainable livelihoods department, overseeing all rural activities including upland rice cultivation training and vegetable gardens. Nary joined the community health team in December 2011 as Health Education Manager and now coordinates various health education activities including the community-led total sanitation initiative. He is supported by Dr Mamy and manages a team of community agents including Giona, Benedicte, Organes and Lea.

Rachel Mather

Rachel Mather

Head of Project Development

Rachel joined the SEED team in August 2015 after spending two years coordinating a health promotion project at the University of Southern Queensland. Taking advantage of Australian online education, she studied for numerous health and international development qualifications while travelling across Asia and Africa and is currently completing a master's degree in Clinical Epidemiology.

Rachel appreciates the diversity her role affords in coordinating projects for community health, WASH and construction. She enjoys the challenge of intersecting community identified needs and Malagasy cultural nuances with current international best practice, and gets especially excited by the opportunity to contribute to these practices by sharing SEED project learning.

Photo of Gerard Andriatsiory

Gerard Andriatsiory

Project Votsira Co-ordinator

After studying rural development, Gerard went on to specialise as a Technical Manager in healthcare, working in Toliara to provide specific psychological and social support for those living with HIV.

He joined SEED in October 2014 to manage Project Safidy within the Community Health department which works to improve sexual health education through student peer educators in Fort Dauphin.

Gerard wishes to be as effective as possible in his job and achieve high standards of professionalism in everything that he does. He enjoys working with like-minded individuals and is impressed by the strong sense of team-spirit and solidarity amongst his colleagues.

Kathy Kirsch

Research Specialist, Project Malio

Kathy first developed her passion for international development while volunteering with Engineers Without Borders on water projects in Bolivia. For her final capstone project, she researched solid waste management designs for two communities in Honduras. In 2014 she graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Environmental Engineering.

After graduation Kathy joined the U.S. Peace Corps. She spent the last 2 years with the Peace Corps working on education and community health projects in Cameroon. Now at SEED Madagascar, Kathy is working as a Research Specialist with Project Malio, working on urban sanitation. She is thrilled to learn about Malagasy culture and work on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) issues.

Harry Chaplin

Tatirano Project Manager

Harry first volunteered with SEED ‘s conservation programme in 2011 before getting his Master's in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Exeter, UK. During his time at Exeter, he wrote a feasibility study on the improvement of drinking water provision in southeast Madagascar, based on the village of Sainte Luce.

He went on to design a rainwater harvesting system for his undergraduate dissertation before obtaining the funding needed to implement the project. He has been on the ground running Tatirano since October 2015 and is now looking to scale up to reach more people with clean drinking water.

Alex Hunter

WASH Officer

Alexander completed a master's degree in Community Water and Sanitation from Cranfield University. During this time, he conducted research for WaterAid in a urine reuse technology producing fertiliser. After which focussing his research on child protection in Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in emergency refugee/IDP camp environments in the first 6 weeks of an emergency response. Having completed his master's Alex volunteered with The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) for 6 months working in a variety of departments from the Emergency Response Group to data input.

Having completed this, he began looking for opportunities to gain experience abroad in project development. Inspired by stories from colleagues he began looking in Madagascar. He was drawn to SEED by their focus on ensuring sustainability, community involvement and local capacity building in all their projects.

Laure Bedecarrax

Project Development Officer

Laure first became passionate about international development during a year abroad spent in Hong Kong as a part of her degree in International Relations at the University of Kent. There, she developed a particular interest in the provision of Chinese aid to sub-Saharan Africa, which she decided to focus on in her dissertation.

Laure first volunteered with SEED’s Pioneer programme in April 2016, whilst completing her master’s degree in International Development at the University of Warwick. After finishing her postgraduate studies, she decided to return to Madagascar and SEED to explore the different aspects of the education projects she had previously volunteered for.

Laura Parry-Billings

Project Development Intern

Laura graduated from McGill University in 2014 with a BA in International Development. During her university summers, she gained practical experience in global and UK public health, interning at an international HIV/AIDS charity, an Italian grants-giving foundation, and the King’s Centre for Global Health. After graduating, she spent six months working on the recruitment and follow-up for an evaluation of an online sexual health service in London. Keen to gain a better insight into the health challenges facing low and middle-income countries, she went on to complete an MSc in Global Health at University College London in 2016.

Having spent 4 months interning in the London office, Laura has developed an understanding of SEED’s cross-cutting projects and volunteering programmes. With a passion for community-based and participatory development approaches, Laura is excited to be joining the team in Madagascar and is looking forward to working on SEED’s community health projects, whilst also experiencing the unique and vibrant Malagasy culture.

Whitney Hill

Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights Education Specialist, Project Safidy

Whitney graduated from St. Edward’s University in 2008 after studying Sociology and Spanish. She spent the next several years working as a case manager for women who were homeless due to intimate partner violence, and went on to earn a Master of Public Health degree in 2013. Since completing graduate school, Whitney has led multiple community health interventions for vulnerable and marginalised populations including chronically homeless individuals and refugees.

Whitney joins SEED as the SRHR Education Specialist for the Safidy project. She was drawn to the role by the organisation’s rights-based approach to sexual and reproductive health education, the strong partnerships SEED has within the community, and the excitement of getting to know the people and culture of Madagascar.

Bethany Fawcett

Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights Specialist, Project Safidy

Bethany graduated from the University of Plymouth as a nurse and after working for a year went on to achieve an MSc in International Public Health from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Throughout her MSc she took a keen interest in sexual and reproductive health rights and was able to carry out her final year project in India conducting research that explored young people’s perceptions of it. Subsequently Bethany went back to nursing as a Contraceptive and Sexual Health Nurse for a UK based charity and has recently gained Nurse Diplomate status from the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health. Bethany joins the team as the SRHR Specialist working on Project Safidy. She is excited to work in a specialism she loves as well as learn about Malagasy culture.

Tsinjo Rahaingoarivelo

Project Safidy Coordinator

After graduating from the University of Antananarivo, Tsinjo started her professional career working for six years as a Digital Marketing Designer. Her experience as a committed Girl Guide developed her leadership and project management skills, which she uses to run mass mobilisations and spread awareness of WASH and preventing violence against women and girls.

In 2013, she was nominated by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to coordinate the Surf Smart Project across Madagascar, which involved developing and delivering curricula for girls age 12-25 on the safe use of social media. Tsinjo likes working with young people and advocates for youth implementation in decision-making processes.

Tsinjo’s experience has led her to focus her professional career on working closely with communities to make change happen. She joins us at SEED as Project Coordinator for Safidy, our Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights project.

Rakotomandimby Sambo (Dadah)

Senior Community Liaison Officer, Project Safidy

Dadah is a Fort Dauphin native, studying for and receiving his baccalaureate degree at Lycée Sacre-Coeur. After that, he learned French language and computer skills, working with NGOs on the south coast of Madagascar in maternal and children’s health, and the prevention of STIs and HIV/AIDS. Dadah later worked as a family planning trainer and a supervisor of peer educators for ONG ASOS, and campaigned for maternal and children’s health with Project SANTENET2. Interested in the prevention of STIs, HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy among the youth of Fort Dauphin, Dadah joins us as Senior CLO for Project Safidy.

Eulalie Beatrice Rasoamanahirana

Community Liaison Officer, Project Safidy

Eulalie studied at the Tsihombe high school and received her baccalaureate degree in Ambovombe in 2010, before moving to Fort Dauphin to work as a healthcare assistant in the Marillac clinic. For the next two years she delivered health campaigns across Fort Dauphin, gaining experience in STI and HIV/AIDS prevention, then worked in health and sanitation for the Iray Vatsy association, PIC and WaterAid.

Eulalie joins SEED as a CLO for Project Safidy, where she likes working with the international team on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, family planning and STI prevention. She’s looking forward to improving her English language skills too!

Soavoatsy Maka

Community Liaison Officer, Project Safidy

Maka studied at Fort Dauphin’s Lycée Pole, where he received his baccalaureate degree in 2014. He has worked with ONG ASOS as a technician on their collaboration with UNFPA, and as a trainer in nutrition, WASH and family planning in Ambovombe, moving on to FVFO in Amboasary in 2016. He joins SEED as a Community Liaison Officer for Project Safidy, where he hopes to reinforce his knowledge and skills and work closely with the international team.

Hugo Legge

Project Development Officer, Project Tatirano

Hugo joined SEED in March 2017 after completing an MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. During his MSc he focused on environmental health and conducted research into the relationship between child health and water supply in Gaza and the West Bank. Prior to this he worked in Jerusalem for the Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene Group (EWASH), helping to implement inter-organisational advocacy strategies for the WASH sector. In his spare time he likes cycling, reading science fiction and skateboarding.


School, Sanitation & Water Infrastructure

Mahalomba Hasoavana (Lomba)

Head of Construction

Lomba started working for ONG Azafady in July 2001 as a guide on the Pioneer scheme. In 2006 he was appointed as Team Leader, a job that he did until 2009 when he successfully coordinated a latrine construction project for ONG Azafady in the Amparihy area of Fort Dauphin. He was promoted to Head of Construction in October 2010, joining SEED in 2017, and oversees the implementation of the NGO's various construction initiatives including schools, classroom furniture, wells and latrines. He works with Serge, Bik and the construction team.

Photo of Bruno Soja

Bruno Soja (Bik)

Construction Manager

Bik studied a four year Public Works training course in Fort Dauphin which involved practical experience of constructing houses and bridges, masonry and carpentry. After finishing this he went on to gain experience in team leadership, project planning and budgeting of materials. Bik initially started work at ONG Azafady in 1999 to oversee construction repairs, before being promoted to Team Leader and then again in 2009 to his current position as Construction Manager. He works with Lomba to manage the construction team on a number of SEED Madagascar projects across the Anosy region.


Environment & Sustainable Livelihoods

Florence Skinner

Florence Skinner

Head of Project Development

Flo studied Law at the University of Cambridge, focusing in particular on international law and human rights law. Her passion for international development and sustainable livelihoods was fuelled during a period of travel and volunteering in Central and South America and South East Asia. She returned to complete a number of internships with development charities in the UK.

Prior to joining SEED, Flo worked for over three years with an international charity providing humanitarian assistance in the Middle East. She coordinated projects in livelihoods, training, education and health, and led the development of corporate projects and partnerships.

Flo is inspired by SEED’s model of working with communities to build local capacity and promote sustainable change. She is fascinated by the complex environmental and livelihood challenges faced by the Malagasy people and jumped at the opportunity to support SEED’s work whilst living in the stunning and biologically rich Anosy region.

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Sarah Brown

Stitch Sainte Luce Coordinator

Since studying Textile Design at Glasgow School of Art, Sarah has been working with fabric and stitch. She gained a first class degree in Embroidery, and did a postgraduate course in Creative Business Development in 2007. She then went on to work as a freelance artist, exhibiting stitch based installations in the UK and internationally, alongside lecturing positions at Leeds College of Art and Manchester Metropolitan University, and freelance lecturing throughout the UK.

After volunteering on the SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme during her summer break in 2011, Sarah was inspired to work with SEED to start an embroidery project in Sainte Luce. She passionately believes in both the tangible and intangible benefits of creative practice.

Harriet Stigner

Harriet Stigner

Beekeeping Specialist

Harriet first discovered her love of beekeeping as a volunteer beekeeper at Hearst Magazines. She left publishing in 2014 to pursue a career in apiculture, working as a Beekeeper and Project Manager for Urban and Community Beekeeping and building her third sector experience as Board Secretary for Ovarian Cancer Action.

After managing several hives, including those at The British Museum and London School of Economics, and leading a series of pollination projects, Harriet joined SEED as an International Beekeeping Specialist in October 2015. When she is not in the field, Harriet works as a Hive Explainer for Royal Botanical Gardens Kew; delivers pollination workshops and continues to illustrate Visual Learning Aids to support SEED’s beekeeping projects.

Allison Burtenshaw-deVries

Senior Project Development Officer

Allison graduated from Trinity College at the University of Toronto with a degree in Political Science, with a research focus on the economies of developing nations. With a desire to put these learnings into more tangible practice, she completed post-graduate studies in International Development Project Management at Humber College, and joined our Sustainable Livelihoods team in 2015.

She first became interested in the work of SEED due to its approach that development should not pit the thriving of people against the thriving of our planet, and is proud to work for a team that aims for both to thrive together. Alli can more often than not be spotted on one of Madagascar's lovely beaches, whether supporting SEED's Project Oratsimba working in community-managed lobster fisheries, or enjoying a sunset or weekend dip in Fort Dauphin.

Billy Curryer

Project Development Officer

Billy completed a BSc in Biology at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2014. An interest in conservation and climate change, and a desire to implement these interests in a development context consequently led Billy into studying an MSc in Environmental Change and International Development, also at the University of Sheffield.

During his master's, Billy developed an interest in the REDD+ mechanism, and was fortunate enough to conduct research in rural Nepal into community implementation of REDD+. Working and living in close confinement with the surrounding community fuelled Billy’s interest to pursue work in the field upon conclusion of his master's. Billy also conducted his dissertation on REDD+, working at United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, to investigate the degree of REDD+ finance that is addressing biodiversity conservation across the globe. The idea of integrating development and conservation projects, especially at the community level through utilising locally developed initiatives, is of particular interest to Billy and is the reasoning behind his desire to work with SEED Madagascar.

Jack Ord

Project Development Officer

In 2014 Jack completed a master’s degree in International Politics, with a focus on globalisation, poverty and development, from Newcastle University. His thesis investigated the social and economic impacts of global illicit drug markets upon developing states.

After his studies, Jack worked as a volunteer coordinator for an NGO in the Maldives whose projects focused heavily on marine conservation. During his time here, he became enthralled by the relationships held between natural ecosystems and the economic development of the communities that utilise them.

Jack then spent two years in Hong Kong developing English language curricula and resources for language centres and schools. He arrives in Fort Dauphin eager to build on his experiences and contribute to the inspiring work of SEED Madagascar.

Paula Amour

Stitch Project Assistant

Paula has been working with Stitch Sainte Luce from the outset, initially during phase I as a translator and during Phases II and III as Project Assistant. Educated in Antananarivo, the capital, Paula developed her English and French language skills in her previous employment, working front of house in the hospitality industry in Fort Dauphin. Now an accomplished embroiderer herself, Paula continues to assist the students with practical, creative and emotional support. A Malagasy single mum who is able to support her family, Paula is a wonderful role model for young women in the community who regularly ask her for informal advice on a range of matters. Paula is currently based in Sainte Luce full time.

Vicki Howard

Project Development Officer

Vicki’s first taste of Africa was on a school expedition to Kenya in 2010, doing community service and climbing Mount Kenya. After completing a BA degree in History and Politics at the University of Sheffield, she spent three months volunteering in Tanzania with street children before travelling overland from Nairobi to Cairo.

Vicki went on to do an MA in Conflict, Security and Development at the University of Exeter, looking at global security trends and specifically the growth of Islamic militant groups in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of the MA, she completed a work placement with an international development NGO working in rural Nepal, which inspired her to pursue this area of work after graduating. Vicki was drawn to work at SEED because of the approach the organisation takes towards developing local capacity and can’t wait to explore Madagascar.

Callum Sheehan

Project Development Officer

Callum graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2016 with an MA in French. During his time at university, he completed a number of volunteer placements in southern France, learning about sustainable agricultural techniques.

After graduating, Callum decided to gain more experience in international development by taking part in the UK government-funded ICS programme. He spent three months working in a rural community in the Makwanpur region of Nepal on a joint WASH and livelihoods programme. Here he helped in training the local community to use poly-tunnels as a means of diversifying their produce and protect their livelihood against the effects of climate change.

Callum was particularly inspired by SEED’s integrated and holistic approach, and is excited to gain a deeper knowledge of development during his time with us in Fort Dauphin.

Photo of Sylvestre

Sylvestre Mbola

Rural Livelihoods Coordinator

Sylvestre worked for 7 years as a guide at the Berenty Lemur Reserve out in spiny forest before joining Azafady. In 2002 Sylvestre began working for ONG Azafady as a translator for a sea turtle project near Sainte Luce and in April 2002 he started working as a guide on the Pioneer scheme. When ONG Azafady launched their new Lemur Venture volunteer programme in 2007 Sylvestre was appointed to the position of Team Leader due to his extensive experience of working in the area. When Azafady launched ACP in 2010 Sylvestre continued as the Team Leader and being based in Sainte Luce he developed a close relationship with the community. He also has an in-depth knowledge of the problems they and the surrounding forests face. In September 2011 Sylvestre took on the role of Sainte Luce Community Agent, acting as the key point of contact between Azafady and Sainte Luce, facilitating open communication between everyone who works there. In 2017 he joined SEED as Rural Livelihoods Coordinator.

Jevago Spynaire

Beekeeping Technician

Jevago is from Nahampoana just outside Fort Dauphin, but went to school in Tsivory. Before joining SEED, he worked as a nursery manager for Nahampoana Lemur Reserve, and then moved on to Agrivet where he worked as a beekeeping and chicken farm technician. Jevago joined ONG Azafady in 2014 as a beekeeping technician, a role that he has now taken on for SEED Madagascar starting early 2017. His role also includes doing training with local beekeepers which he really enjoys.

One of the things Jevago likes most about his job is that it not only allows him to work with something he is passionate about, but it also provides him with an alternative livelihood as he is in fact a beekeeper himself!

Juvenal Eliasy

Community Liaison Officer, Sustainable Livelihoods

Juvenal grew up here in Fort Dauphin and graduated from Lycée Pole with his Baccalauréat. Before starting his job with SEED Madagascar, he worked for various organisations where he received training in facilitation, communication and staff management. Juvenal has broad experience as both supervisor, storekeeper and vegetable gardening trainer!

He joined ONG Azafady in 2010 where he worked as a community agent on a number of projects. In 2017 he became the Community Liaison Officer for SEED Madagascar´s Livelihoods Department, a role he very much enjoys because he learns a lot and gains valuable experience at the same time as he gets to work closely with people.


Volunteering

Jamie Neaves

Conservation Research Coordinator

Jamie caught his first slow worm at the age of 10 and ever since then has had an affinity for anything with scales. Since that first encounter his interests in zoology have grown, graduating with an MSc in Biodiversity & Conservation from the University of Southampton.

During his undergraduate studies he visited Madagascar for the first time, researching Nile crocodiles in the northwest of the island. Returning as a herpetologist for another 3 seasons he quickly fell in love with the unique wildlife, people, food (and beer).

Jamie now works as our research coordinator and is excited to work alongside the local community and international team in order to further understand and conserve the threatened littoral forests of Sainte Luce and the flora and fauna that so heavily relies upon them.

Photo of Sam Hyde Roberts

Sam Hyde Roberts

Executive Conservation Programme Coordinator

Sam is an aspiring evolutionary biologist and passionate conservationist with a broad range of taxonomic interests. Having worked on a diverse array of projects over the past decade, in many different places around the world, Sam has now returned to the UK to fulfil the role of SEED's Executive Conservation Programme co-ordinator. Exciting times!

It is Sam's ambition to further investigate the effect of habitat loss and deforestation, and to contribute to the long term survival of Madagascar's exceptional biological diversity. Parallel to his research and conservation work, Sam is also a keen wildlife photographer.

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Hoby

Conservation Programme Team Leader

Hoby started working with ONG Azafady in July 2008 as a guide for Lemur Venture and continued in this role when SEED's Conservation Programme was introduced.

He first became interested in Malagasy wildlife when a friend of his worked as a guide at Andohahela National Park and Hoby visited him every weekend to learn about conservation.

Hoby enjoys working with the volunteers in Sainte Luce, sharing experiences with them and explaining about Malagasy biodiversity, traditions and his culture. He can often be seen around camp playing music when the team have a break from exploring the forest.

Vanessa Barlow

Conservation Programme Research Assistant

Vanessa graduated from the University of Leeds in 2016 with a BSc in Biology. During her university placement she spent 9 months in South Africa working as a primate carer at the Vervet Monkey Foundation. Here she aided in the rehabilitation of monkeys that had been abused by human interference, gaining valuable insight into the challenges presented by human/animal conflict. This cemented her enthusiasm in the fields of ethology and primatology. After completing her degree, she decided to focus on environmental conservation and gain greater experience in scientific research that will help contribute to the preservation of Madagascar’s unique wildlife. Vanessa was drawn to SEED’s involvement with local communities to promote sustainable livelihoods alongside protecting the native fauna and flora of fragile ecosystems.

Larissa Barker

Conservation Programme Research Assistant

Larissa graduated from the University of Nottingham with a BSc in Zoology and went on to the University of Leeds to complete a Master's in Biodiversity and Conservation. For her master’s thesis she studied golden lion tamarins and their use of food associated calls to see if this behaviour was an example of teaching in the animal kingdom. Her fieldwork experience includes studying pollinators in Portugal, large mammals in Honduras and ungulates in Kenya.

Her interest is in the conservation of large carnivores and primates and she is also an avid wildlife photographer. She came to SEED to be able to contribute to the conservation and research of amazing endemic species that have long fascinated her before going on to complete a PhD.

Katrina Von Burg

Conservation Programme Research Assistant

Katrina graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2016 with a BA in Biology. While there she worked as a research assistant monitoring the recovery of an invaded urban forest and as a community educator for students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These both contributed to her interests in plant biology and community development.

After graduating Katrina worked on a project investigating the role of naturally occurring pathogens in maintaining forest diversity in a mixed coniferous forest.

Katrina came to Madagascar to contribute to valuable conservation research designed to best protect and monitor the endemic plant and animal species populations.

Photo of Aime

Aimé

Pioneer Guide

Aimé was born and raised in Mahatalaky, one of the main rural areas where SEED works. Aimé cares about the local region and wants to help Azafady achieve its goals. Before joining the NGO team he worked in several different jobs but mainly as a tourist guide, taking groups around southern Madagascar for the past 18 years.

He started working for ONG Azafady as a Conservation Programme guide in July 2011, before moving to Pioneer in 2013 and SEED in 2017. He thoroughly enjoys this job which combines his passions; supporting his local region, caring for the environment and working with people.


English Teaching

Leah Passauer

English Teaching Coordinator

Leah graduated from Virginia Tech in 2009. Inspired by her three years living in Brazil while in high school, after 5 years working in management, Leah left her career to join Peace Corps. During her Peace Corps service she worked as a University TEFL Instructor in rural China, and developed a women’s empowerment club for the student population.

After Peace Corps Leah took a fellowship role with an NGO in West Bank, Palestine with a focus on English curriculum development. After this experience Leah finds herself at SEED Madagascar working as the English Teaching Coordinator. She enjoys learning more about the culture and working with both the local and international staff to support the development of the English Programme at SEED Madagascar.

David Tweedie

English Teacher

At the age of 18 David spent a year as a volunteer English teacher in Senegal before training as a lawyer. His career as a partner in a law firm in England, practising mainly in medical negligence, lasted until 2015. Upon retiring from the firm, he took the CELTA course to train as a teacher of English as a foreign language, with a view to travelling the world.

Having spent some months in Colombia, where he learnt a little Spanish, he took 4 months cycling in Europe, then came to Madagascar to teach English with SEED.