Marine Conservation & Environmental Volunteering in the Maldives

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 and marine wildlife of the island.

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, food, materials, visa, weekend island excursions & training start from £1060.

Environmental community volunteersSea turtle swimmingThe volunteer guest houseSea Turtle conservation projectFish swimming in coralMarine conservation awareness in the communityFish swimming in NaifaruMedical volunteer at the local hospitalAerial view of Naifaru islandVolunteer AccommodationBeach cleanup volunteers

About 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 3 different types of programme:

- Marine Conservation Volunteering Programmes
- Environmental Community Volunteering Programmes
- Medical Volunteering Programmes

Environmental 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. Volunteers are needed for the following projects; Botany and Gardening, Beach Cleanup and Eco-Waste Management volunteers.

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.

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 beach16th to 30th August 2018
30th August to 13th September 2018
13th to 27th September 2018
27th September to 11th October 2018
11th to 25th October 2018
25th October to 8th November 2018
8th to 22nd November 2018
22nd November to 6th December 2018
6th to 20th December 2018

10th to 24th January 2019
24th January to 7th February 2019
7th to 21st February 2019
21st February to 7th March 2019
7th to 21st March 2019
21st March to 4th April 2019
4th to 18th April 2019
18th April to 2nd May 2019
2nd to 16th May 2019
16th to 30th May 2019
30th May to 13th June 2019
13th to 27th June 2019
27th June to 11th July 2019
11th to 25th July 2019
25th July to 8th August 2019
8th to 22nd August 2019
22nd August to 5th September 2019
5th to 19th September 2019
19th September to 3rd October 2019
3rd to 17th October 2019
17th to 31st October 2019
31st October to 14th November 2019
14th to 28th November 2018
28th November to 12th December 2019
12th to 26th December 2019

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 medical programmes which are 3 weeks minimum stay.

The dates above are listed just as a guide. You can join this project for 2 week up to 3-month durations all year round, starting on any Thursday. The weekends in the Maldives are Friday and Saturday, making Sunday the first working day of the week. There is boat transportation from the Capital (Malé) to Naifaru island on Thursdays around 9 AM. So we recommend that all volunteers fly into Malé on Wednesday beforehand, spend a night in a hotel (where we can arrange a discount booking for volunteers) and then travel to Naifaru on 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.

Please email aaron@workingabroad.com if you have any specific questions about dates.


Costs
The cost for a 2-week placement is £1060 for the environmental community development projects and £1270 for all marine conservation projects. For medical projects, a 3-week placement costs £1685.

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 three 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 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, 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 3 meals per day for all volunteers. We will also organize for volunteers to eat together at local 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 any extra food expenses on top of this e.g. snacks.

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 or environmental 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 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 on our medical projects will be required to send us a police background check or similar document.

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.

Flights and Travel
Maldives sea turtleVolunteers should aim to fly into Malé, the capital of the Maldives on a 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 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 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.

Interactive Map & Background

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

About the Maldives

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 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;

Volunteer photos from 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 on 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 the Project

Maldives fish swimmingTo secure your placement and volunteer 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.

 

Apply Now


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