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Ladner teenager part of group to build a dormitory in Madagascar

Ladner's Linda Rainbow was part of a team from Scouts Canada that spent last month in Madagascar working on an international development project.

Ladner's Linda Rainbow was part of a team from Scouts Canada that spent last month in Madagascar working on an international development project.

"It was an amazing experience for me to learn about the different culture in Madagascar and to work with people to accomplish our goal we set out to do," said the 19-year-old.

The team, made up of 16 youth and six adult supervisors, built a dormitory in the village of Ambato Boeni. Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa.

Rainbow noted the dorm would provide room for around 24 students, all girls from age 14 to 19.

The team met one of the girls, also seeing her "shanty village" and living conditions.

"It really clarified how important the project was for the village," Rainbow said.

Her favourite part of the trip was working with locals and no matter of the cultural and language differences, being able to complete the project. Their team worked with local Scouts during their last week.

"It was great to work with them and feel the connection of the Scouting movement," Rainbow said.

The project was originally planned for 2009 but was postponed due to political unrest in the country.

"This project will not only bring education to a population where only 45 per cent of youth will ever go to school, but it will also make it possible for students from outside of the village to have a place to stay during the week, spreading education throughout the region," according to the Scouts Canada website.

Rainbow, who's currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in business management, plans to continue volunteering with Scouts as a youth commissioner for her local council.

dwillis@delta-optimist.com