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Coming Home: Madagascar

Madagascar | Danielle Montecalvo

Home: Rochester, New York


I had been serving since September 2018 as an English educator at University of Mahajanga.

Here’s what I left behind: My 200 first-year engineering, computer science, and applied language students, as well as 275 university students returning for their second and third year.

My host family: Papa, Mama, four host sisters—Vesna, Johanna, Fifa, and Anyah.

My host cousins, Tafar and Zela.

My counterpart, Mrs. Jemima Johnson.

University colleagues and staff. Neighbors, market sellers, store vendors, and friends throughout the city.

And here’s the unfinished business I’d like you to know about: My grant to acquire refurbished computers through World Computer Exchange. My English and malaria contest — to develop a community of educators, health professionals, and regional officials to support motivated high school students as they learn malaria awareness, prevention strategies, and practice sensitization skills in English. My student-run English club, English Practice Mahajanga, to engage the local community in language, leadership, team-building, and volunteering in their local communities.


I hope that everyone in Madagascar will continue to stay safe. And that Volunteers can return to communities across the red island soon! 


I left inspiring projects with students and members at the American Corner of Mahajanga, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. We conducted field trips, translation projects with Operation Smile and Starkey’s Foundation, STEM education workshops through NASA’s GLOBE program, workshops to acquire tangible skills for personal and professional development.
I think about them often and chat with my community daily. I hope that everyone in Madagascar will continue to stay safe. And that Volunteers can return to communities across the red island soon!


Hosting the Ambassador

See more from Danelle's service


This story was first published in WorldView magazine’s Summer 2020 issue. Read the entire magazine for free now in the WorldView app. Here’s how:

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