Botany and Gardening
Do you enjoy working with plants and gardening? Would you like an opportunity to work with tropical plants whilst meeting a lot of new and exciting people? We are working on improving the beauty of Naifaru island by establishing public green areas. Areas where people can meet and socialize. People of the community are currently forced to meet in uninviting areas such as open squares or sports areas like football or volleyball courts.
Of course, creating green spaces requires someone to plan, plant and care for the plants, and to educate the island community on future care and management. As a resident botanist/gardener, you will be tasked with doing trips to nearby uninhabited islands to collect and bring home trees and samples to be planted throughout the island. Your main focus will be on public parks. You will be working closely with community representatives as well as other volunteers such as those in construction, grant writing/fundraising and community organizing projects. The exact projects you will be working on will be determined prior to and upon your arrival, in collaboration with staff and local community representatives. Once a project is worked out you will be given relatively free reigns to plan and execute it. Finally, the botanist/gardener programme also has a branch which focuses on building awareness within the community in terms of growing and treating household vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce and spinach etc.
Project unavailable in July
As a youth counsellor you will be working closely with representatives from the community such as school staff, parents, government officials as well as other volunteers, to plan and implement programmes for helping youth with their various issues. The main focus of this programme is to increase awareness of drug-issues. As with the rest of the Maldives, the Naifaru community of roughly 5000 people has seen an increase in drug usage over the last ten years. The island's youth is especially affected. The drug-users of this island mainly sniff glue or chemical solvents such as paint thinner, but over the last few years there has been an alarming increase of the accessibility of harder drugs such as ‘brown sugar’ (cheap heroine-based drug) and cocaine.
As a youth worker volunteer in Naifaru you will get to work closely with youth and you will find that drug related issues stem from a variety of different conditions which we’re also working on: There is a very high youth unemployment rate, so they need to be kept occupied to help against drug-abuse. There are also limited educational options after finishing primary and secondary education. The programme will focus on drug awareness campaigns for youth and the general community as well as looking into other problems such as alcohol issues and similar. Although Naifaru island’s problems may seem mild compared to other places in the world, this is still something which is eroding the foundation of the community and any help you can give will be much appreciated!
Project available year round. Please note that volunteers on this project should have some previous experience in working with youth, counselling or similar areas.
As volunteers assigned to the various programmes on the island always have their hands full with helping the community on various tasks, there is great need for volunteers to help as community organizers, to step in and assist whenever the various programmes require events to be established. The community organizer programme seeks to act as a bridge between the various other volunteer programmes on the island and their relevant representatives from the local community.
The aim of the programme is to give the community a person who can focus his or her attention solely to the implementation of various projects and programmes. Also the programme aims to give international volunteers an insight into the local community so that the implementation of current and future projects will go smoothly. Being a community organizer, you will also be someone who the other volunteers can turn to for assistance when they are working on establishing community events, effectively giving you a broad insight into all of the ongoing projects!
Project unavailable in December and January
Eco Waste Management
If you are passionate about the environment and want to make a difference, then this is your chance to combine your passion for environmental issues with life on a tropical island and make a real difference to a community in need! On Naifaru island (and in the Maldives in general) there are serious waste management issues. These issues stem from a lack of capacity, awareness and knowledge about waste management and environment protection.
This programme focuses on the planning, development, and implementation of a comprehensive waste management plan to help the island in the fight to control the waste and pollution. As a volunteer on the Eco Waste Management Programme, you will be involved significantly in community organizing efforts and awareness campaigns to increase attention towards this issue. These campaigns often focus on schools and community centres. You will also be closely involved with representatives from the local authorities, community leaders, and youth in the various steps of planning, developing, and implementation of the waste management plan. Volunteers engage in every step of the process to best utilise the skills they bring into the community.
Project unavailable in November and December