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Volunteer stories: Gemma's story

Gemma Holloway – Sainte Luce Research Assistant/Livelihoods Advisor

Gemma Holloway

If you are looking to gain or build on experience in international development or conservation, I would highly recommend SEED Madagascar. It gave me a hugely valuable opportunity to put into practice what I had learnt on my Masters and to build on the small amount of development experience I had gained previously through working with farmer groups in Cameroon. I worked with SEED Madagascar from July 2011 to Sept 2013 coordinating a natural resource management project in the beautiful, but ecologically fragile, community of Sainte Luce. Whilst one of the key objectives of my role was capacity building the team of local staff I worked with, I saw it more as an exchange of knowledge and experience since I learnt so much from them and from the communities we worked with. After leaving SEED Madagascar, I went on to become a consultant initially staying in the field of natural resource governance and now working more on sustainable agriculture and food security. For me, it was vitally important to gain an understanding of rural development at the field-level before going on to work at a larger scale and SEED Madagascar provided me with this opportunity. I now work on large scale EU and DFID programmes at the national and international level and I feel that I can bring more to the role thanks to my experience in Madagascar.