Volunteer in the Maldives and Support Marine Conservation and Community Projects on the Tropical Island of Naifaru

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Volunteers are needed to join various projects within the beautiful tropical island of Naifaru, the capital of the Lhaviyani Atoll, in the Maldives. These projects are aimed at conserving the natural environment of the island and promoting social upliftment and cultural exchange. Projects include:  Teaching volunteering, Sports Coaching, Marine conservation volunteering, Community Development and Medical/Healthcare volunteering.

You can join for 2 weeks up to 12 weeks and we have places available all year round.

Individuals, groups and students all welcome.

Cost for accommodation in our shared volunteer house, materials, visa, weekend island excursions & training start from £945.

Plenty of snorkelling and diving to be done in the Maldives Volunteers can rent kayaks to discover islands and deserted beaches on days off Volunteer taking a stroll on the beach Volunteer snorkeling on the Marine conservation project Volunteer Accommodation Volunteer on the Turtle rehabilitation project Sea turtle swimming Community Development project in the Maldives Volunteer Teaching English in a local school Volunteers and staff snorkeling on a day off Aerial view of Naifaru island Volunteers doing a Beach cleanup Sports programme on Naifaru Art teaching project The volunteer guest house Volunteer working in a preschool Teaching kids to swim in the Maldives Volunteer on a Teaching programme Midwife volunteering programme Teaching and playing sports on Naifaru

The Project

The project is based on Naifaru, an Island in the Northern part of the Maldives. With a population of just over 5,000, Naifaru is the fifth most populated island in the Maldives. Naifaru is a bustling little community, but is not without problems, and this programme aims to bring together various community and environmental projects from all over the Island, to improve life for the local inhabitants. The Maldives has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year round and a great deal of sunshine. The weather is determined largely by the monsoon seasons.

We are offering 5 different types of programmes:

- Sports Volunteering Programmes
- Teaching Volunteering Programmes
- Marine Conservation Volunteering Programmes
- Community Development Volunteering Programmes
- Medical Volunteering Programmes

Sports Volunteering Programmes

Volunteer on sports coaching programmes. Work alongside the local community, other volunteers and local staff. Help both children and adults to improve their fitness, community involvement and self esteem. Volunteers are needed for the following positions; General Sports instructors (where you will be involved in coaching a range of sports), Volleyball instructors, Football Instructors, Group Fitness/Zumba Instructors, Athletics Instructors and Swimming Instructors.

For Further information on the sports coaching programmes, please click here.

Community Volunteering Programmes

Volunteer on community development programmes. Contribute to the improvement of the local environment. Work alongside local communities to develop new events and projects. Help troubled youth, and assist local NGOs to raise valuable funding. Volunteers are needed for the following projects; Botany and Gardening, Youth Counsellors, Community Organisers, Eco-Waste Managers.

For Further information on the community development programmes, please click here.

Marine Conservation Volunteering Programmes

Volunteer on Marine conservation volunteer projects. Help to protect and rehabilitate endangered sea turtle populations, conserve and repair local coral reefs, conduct marine life surveys & assist community awareness programmes. Volunteer with Sea Turtles and work on the projects that conserve these wonderful creatures.

For Further information on the Marine Conservation programmes, please click here.

Teaching Volunteering Programmes

Volunteer to teach children and young people. Help local inhabitants to learn new skills and improve their job prospects, and share your knowledge and skills. Volunteers are needed for the following positions; Art Teachers, Music teachers, Computer instructors, Teaching Assistants and Pre-school teachers.

For Further information on the teaching programmes, please click here.

Medical Volunteering Programmes

Healthcare volunteering and medical volunteering opportunities are available. Work in a local hospital alongside expert staff, treating patients and contributing to healthcare provision on the island. Improve and develop your own healthcare skills and experience. This project is ideal for those looking to pursue a career in medicine or healthcare. Volunteers are needed to join Medical Placements, Midwife Positions and Nursing Placements.

For Further information on the medical programmes, please click here.

Dates & Costs

Volunteers walking on the beach11th May to 25th May 2017
25th May to 8th June 2017
8th June to 22nd June 2017
22nd June to 6th July 2017
6th July to 20th July 2017
20th July to 3rd August 2017
3rd August to 17th August 2017
17th August to 31st August 2017
31st August to 14th September 2017
14th September to 28th September 2017
28th September to 12th October 2017
12th October to 26th October 2017
26th October to 9th November 2017
9th November to 23rd November 2017
23rd November to 7th December 2017
7th December to 21st December 2017

Please note that some projects have limited availability during local public and religious holidays and other events, and during certain periods due to the weather. Please see the further information pages in the 'Project Details' tab for availability for each specific project. For all of our projects the minimum stay is 2 weeks, except the teaching assistant & medical programmes which are 3 weeks minimum.

You can join this project for 2 week up to 3 month durations year round, starting on a Thursday. The weekends in the Maldives are Friday and Saturday, making Sunday the first working day of the week. There is transportation from the Capital (Malé) to Naifaru island on Thursdays around 9 AM. So we recommend that all volunteers fly into Malé on the Wednesday, spend a night in a hotel (where we can arrange a discount booking for volunteers) and then travel to Naifaru on the Thursday morning. Friday will be a day off where you are introduced to the island and where you will have an arrival briefing and on Saturday, you will have an excursion to a nearby uninhabited island and your first working day will be Sunday.

We can also however be flexible with dates and can usually accommodate as well. Please email aaron@workingabroad.com if you have any specific questions about dates.

The cost for a 2-week placement is £945 for all teaching and community development projects, £995 for all sports coaching projects, and £1135 for all marine conservation projects. For medical projects, a 3-week placement costs £1475.

Please note these are the minimum available durations for each project type, to request prices for longer durations, please email aaron@workingabroad.com

The above costs include all accommodation and breakfast meals each day, airport pickup and drop off and boat transfers to and from Malé to Naifaru, weekly excursions to nearby islands for picnics and snorkeling (1 per week each Saturday), access to a 24/7 support hotline, organisation of a visa on your behalf if required (If you are coming as a medical or teaching volunteer, or coming for over 30 days you will need to provide colour scans of certain documents to us upon confirmation of your booking), placement and support from our partner organisation in the Maldives and WorkingAbroad Projects. What is not included is your flights and travel to and from the Maldives, Lunch and Dinner each day (a typical meal at a local restaurant is about $4), hotel stays in Male if required (around $50 per night), personal expenses, police check (if required) and your own health and travel insurance.

Volunteers can also participate in a range of pre-arranged activities during their time off, including swimming and snorkeling, fishing, island exploration and surfing and diving trips. These activities will have an additional cost.

Food, Lodging, Amenities, Travel

Volunteer accommodation in the MaldivesAccommodation and Food
Volunteers on this project stay together in our shared volunteer guest house. The guest house comes with a living room with comfortable furniture, laundry facilities, TV, a large bookshelf and a fridge. All rooms in the house come equipped with aircon, fans and wi-fi internet. The standard room is a two to three person shared (single sex) room with its own Western-style bathroom.

We provide breakfast for all volunteers staying with us but not lunch or dinner, we find that volunteers prefer to choose what they want to eat from the various different restaurants around the island and pay for it directly. As a guide, it costs (4$) per meal for volunteers. So 8$ per day if volunteers want to eat every meal in the restaurants. We will also organize for volunteers to eat together at the restaurants with the staff from time to time as a social event and order the food in advance if needed, but volunteers will need to pay either in dollars or local currency during their stay for their meals.

Volunteer guest house on NaifaruIsland Amenities
There are many small stores on the island selling basic goods, for volunteers who wish to do some shopping. The main street of the island also has a number of clothes shops and tailors, and there are several cafés and restaurants, mainly serving south Asian cuisine. Transportation in Naifaru is usually done by foot or bike, as the island can be traversed in 10 minutes. There is a branch of the Bank of Maldives on the island, equipped with an ATM, as well as a post office branch. The Island has one hospital, which is is a short walk from the volunteer house, and also includes a pharmacy.

Volunteer Requirements
Volunteers should be aged 18+, physically fit, speak English, and have a strong motivation to volunteer and experience a new culture. Volunteers coming for less than 30 days on the marine conservation, sports coaching or community development projects can join with a regular tourist visa obtained on arrival at the airport. However due to government restrictions, all volunteers wanting to join the Teaching or Medical projects, or coming for a stay of over 30 days should have completed a University Degree or equivalent qualification as we will need to obtain a business visa for you in advance of your arrival. Volunteers should be self-motivated, adaptable and flexible and willing to live and work in a tropical environment. Tetanus, Diptheria and Hepatitis A & B vaccinations are recommended. Volunteers who are working with children or on our medical projects will be required to send us a police background check or similar document. Volunteers joining the youth counselling, medical & sports coaching projects should also have some previous experience/qualifications in this area.

Please note that the Maldives is an Islamic society. This culture plays a big role for volunteers on Naifaru island, and there are certain courtesies volunteers must observe. Women must cover their arms and knees when in public (though not required in the accommodation). However, you are not expected to wear a scarf and there are several excursions away from the island where volunteers can use normal swimwear. There is no access to alcohol or pork. Alcohol is prohibited in the Maldives and is only available at the resorts. For Marine projects, volunteers are encouraged to bring their own snorkelling equipment (mask, snorkel and fins), and some previous experience of marine projects or snorkelling is benefical.

Volunteers having fun on the beach

Flights and Travel
Volunteers should aim to fly into Malé, the capital of the Maldives on the Wednesday evening prior to their start date (always on a Thursday). Volunteers may then wish to spend the night in Malé to acclimatise. Discount accommodation in Malé can be organised on your behalf, 1 night in a hotel typically costs about $50. On the Thursday morning you will then be collected from the hotel by project staff and travel by speedboat to Naifaru island, ready to start your placement. We recommend you plan your departing flight for any given Friday or Sunday. You can then depart from Naifaru by speedboat either Thursday or Saturday. Alternatively, if possible, you can book your departing flight late Thursday or Saturday night (no earlier than 9:00 PM) so that you will not have to spend a night in Male.

If required (I.E> if you are staying for over 30 days or coming as a teacher or medical volunteer), a business visa will be organised on your behalf prior to your arrival, once your place on the programme has been confirmed, and the cost of doing this is included in the project fee. Volunteers will need to provide us with scanned copies of certain documents after acceptance to the project at least 5 weeks before your arrival date, as well as a criminal record check for medical projects and those working with children.

Interactive Map & Background

Below is an interactive map showing the location of the project:


A geological eccentricity nestled in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are a series of ancient coral reefs that grew up around the sides of towering prehistoric volcanoes. These immense structures have long since sunk into the ocean, leaving behind coral islands of incredible natural beauty, from the modernity of Male to the idyllic paradise of the Southern Atolls.

The Maldives have bright blue skies, all-year sunshine and fantastic diving and snorkelling in lagoons the temperature of bath water. The country embraces travellers from around the world, but maintains a deep Muslim faith.

Find out more at: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maldives#ixzz2MBwxuvsV

Volunteer Testimonials

Jess Fuller from the UK volunteered as a swimming coach with local children on Naifaru in Summer 2016, below are some photos she has shared from her project:

Maldives swimming coach volunteerSwimming coaching in MaldivesVolunteering in the Maldives with local children









Some great photos below from volunteer Tiffany Ma, from Australia, who joined the Youth Counselling Programme

Volunteer photos from the Maldives












Volunteers with seaturtles in the Maldives

Ex-volunteer Michael Lueng, from Hong Kong:

Volunteer swims underwaterI truly appreciated my three months here in the Maldives. I learnt a lot about myself through volunteering in Naifaru – participating in projects, writing grant proposals, talking to local residents, and getting to know the culture here. It was great getting to work with the variety of projects here, as I got to be involved with the World Bank, UNDP and UNODC programmes. I got to know my strengths and weaknesses and think about my own priorities in life. This is a unique experience and I will fondly look back on the summer days I have spent here as a college freshman. The staff at has been very helpful and kind, always open and eager to share their experiences and thoughts about Maldivian life and culture. I especially would like to thank Mohamed, for taking good care of me during my stay here – getting medicine for me when I was sick, taking me out to fishing trips and always checking in on me to make sure that I was well. I would also like to thank Nashid, Liusha and Aisha for being warm and welcoming, inviting me to their home for meals – it is great to be able to get a taste of Maldivian life. Their children, Aayish, Koko and Naisam have been wonderful company, keeping me amused and occupied with their daily musings. The clear blue sea and abundance of marine life here in Maldives is amazing, and I’m sure volunteers will enjoy their stay here very much. This is an experience that I will never forget and always treasure.

Adolfo Marques from Brazil who joined the Marine Conservation project to volunteer with sea turtles:Volunteer smiling

I had a wonderful experience. Being in contact with the ocean and its life is magic. The peaceful coexistence of different cultures brought me immeasurable growth. Fishing community combined with the quality of life and teachings that I will take to the rest of my life. Working in Naifaru as a leader, developing environmental activities with the community and volunteers was amazing. I learned to put into practice a lot of knowledge that before I had never developed. I am sure that in Naifaru I left a bit of me and I brought with me all the people and the things that they taught me.

Syed Abdul Salam, from Dubai, joined the community Organiser project:

Volunteer in the MaldivesI have truly had some of the best weeks of my life in this amazing island, not only have I met so many genuinely nice people, but I have had the opportunity to be involved in a really wide array of community projects, ranging from drugs awareness programs to eco waste management and construction of the islands children's park. The staff have been nothing but amazing, incredibly friendly, helpful and organized, bringing together people of all ages from all parts of the community to work with our programs.

I will definitely be back in Naifaru next year, and I'm already counting the days!

How to Join

To secure a placement and volunteer with sea turtles, in medical centres or on community projects in the Maldives, please complete and submit the form with your application payment of £195. If for some reason, your application is not accepted, we will reimburse this payment fully. However for those who are accepted, you will be required to pay the final balance 2 months before arrival. Once we have confirmed your place, you will receive an information package on the programme, details on your specific project/position, information on the island, suggested items to bring, how to travel there etc.


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