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Community Development & Environment Conservation

Huvadhu Atolhu, Maldives

Our volunteers will be introduced to a variety of different projects such as the formation of mangroves, sea life & coral survey waste management and renovation work.

The Maldives is a nation of islands resting at the heart of the Indian Ocean. The country consists of over 1000 islands; 200 of which are inhabited by the local Maldivian people, while others are used for tourism and agriculture. PMGY created the Island Experience for volunteers to live the island life while also contributing to the surrounding environment and sea life. The Maldives is the third most endangered nation in the world due to climate change; PMGY volunteers will truly be able to make an impact on the well-being of this island and its people.

Highlights

  • Spend hours in crystal clear waters with sea turtles, eagle ray, dolphins and more
  • Get first-hand experience at marine conservation recreating coral reefs
  •  Have a picnic on a sand bank in the middle of the Indian Ocean
  • Spend time on remote islands of the Maldives
  • Renovate structures on one of the biggest inhabited islands of the Huvadhoo Atoll
  • Learn about the cultural background of these coral islands with their white sand beaches
  • If you are lucky, witness some of the world’s largest whales
  • Practice your Dhivehi, the language of the Maldives, with the locals
  • Spend 2-3 weeks in one of the top 10 spots for sea life encounters in the world
  • Teach English and sport to the local people of Hoadedhdhoo

We need your Help

In the last decade, the constantly rising sea level has been an obstacle for the Maldivian nation as its islands are slowly being washed away. This fact is a major concern for all those living on the habitable islands. In 2004, along with many other nations in the Indian Ocean, nearly half of the habitable islands were devastated by a Tsunami. Today the people still discuss how imperative it is to protect their land. The government has encouraged locals to infuse the beaches with mangroves which, in the case of another Tsunami, will take the shock of the quake and lessen the impact on the island.

Another major concern for the Maldivian people is the destruction of the reefs surrounding their islands. Much of the damage is due to the fishing industry as major companies come to build new harbours for the passage of large ships. PMGY volunteers will be able to get first-hand experience at recreating the coral reefs.

If you have a look online you will read about beautiful resorts, crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and incredible snorkelling opportunities. One major point that you won’t see in those highlights is that increasing tourism is negatively impacting the management of waste. There are islands in the Maldives specifically used to hold rubbish. This rubbish is then burned, which causes horrible affects to the atmosphere and surrounding environment. As you spend time on the islands you will see that rubbish floods the beaches and the problem needs mass attention. Beach cleaning will take place on multiple occasions to ensure the coast is safe for the sea life that PMGY volunteers are spending much of their time trying to reclaim.

Your Contribution

Most of the time will be spent identifying sea life and improving the wellbeing of the islands, but there will also be work done right at the heart of Hoadedhdhoo. The structures on the island are made with mostly coral from the sea floor, cement and sand. This is due to the high levels of moisture and temperature as the nation sits just south of the equator. Due to the extreme conditions the housing, community buildings and religious structures need some tender loving care. PMGY volunteers will spend 2-3 days participating in a renovation project alongside some very cheerful and kind locals.

After a week of learning a bit of Dhivehi it is time to teach them a bit of English! The programme includes a day or two of teaching both written and spoken English to Maldivians both young and old. If you aren’t a natural teacher, don’t worry, our local team will provide you all the assistance needed. If teaching English wasn’t enough, be ready because later in the afternoon you can lead fitness classes, swim lessons or even arrange a jog around the island!

The trip may sound like it is going to be a lot of hard work and long days, but the rule of thumb is ‘work hard, play hard’. This island experience will include barbeques on uninhabited islands, hours spent snorkelling with sea turtles and eagle rays, beach parties, movie nights and much more!

Typical day

Day 2 (Sunday) Orientation

Day 3 (Monday) Snorkel Adventure & Community Sports

Day 4 (Tuesday) Reef Fish & Coral Survey Project

Day 5 (Wednesday) Continue Reef Fish & Coral Survey Project

Day 6 (Thursday) Snorkelling & Beach Clean-up

Day 7 (Friday) English Teaching & Fitness Day

Day 8 (Saturday) Continue Reef Fish & Coral Survey Project

Day 9 (Sunday) Island Renovation

Day 10 (Monday) Continued Island Renovation

Day 11 (Tuesday) Reef Fish & Coral Survey Project

Day 12 (Wednesday) Thinadhoo City Tour

Day 13 (Thursday) Coral Site Visit & Community Sports

Day 14 (Friday) Mangrove Planting & International Cuisine Night

Two Week Participants – This is your last evening on this beautiful island and what better way to depart then to prepare a meal for the locals. Tonight, you will join with your fellow volunteers and prepare an international feast for the locals of Hoadehdhoo. The people absolutely love trying new foods and interacting with foreign volunteers. This is a night you will never forget and one that will offer a proper farewell to end your adventure.

Day 15 (Saturday) Beach Cleaning & Bodu Beru Party or Departure

Two Week Participants – Saturday is your last day with PMGY. Departure will start early hours of the morning as the team will arrange transport for the domestic airport to send you back to Velana International Aiport to spend your final hours in this beautiful island nation. Please arrange your onward flight from Male no earlier than 12 noon to allow plenty of time to get back to the airport.

Day 16 (Sunday) Day on Uninhabited Island

Day 17 (Monday) Snorkelling & Sand Bank Picnic

Day 18 (Tuesday) English Teaching & Fitness Day

Day 19 (Wednesday) Uninhabited Island & Movie Night

Day 20 (Thursday) Coral Site Visit & Tree Planting with Students

Day 21 (Friday) Free Morning & Farewell Party

Day 22 (Saturday) Departure (no meals included)

Details on Arrival

The programme start dates are as follows –

10th March 2018
7th April 2018
16th June 2018
7th July 2018
28th July 2018
18th August 2018
8th September 2018

You should book your flight to Velana International Airport in Male (airport code MLE) on the selected Saturday start date. You are required to arrive between the hours of 01:00 and 13:00 to ensure you can board the domestic flight at the appropriate time. 

The programme ends on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

Free-time activities

Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups

Any questions? Just ask. We at Plan My Gap Year are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Plan My Gap Year.
Services by Plan My Gap Year
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Airport pickup (Male, Saturday, 1am to 1 pm)
  • In-country orientation
  • Private transport 
  • PMGY t-shirt
  • 24 h in-country support
  • 24 h UK-based support
  • Comprehensive volunteer handbook
  • Live pre-departure webinars
  • 100% financial protection
  • Certificate of completion
Airport Pickup at Male International Airport

Day 1 (Saturday) Arrive in the Maldives

Assalamu Alaikum! We are so happy that you have arrived in Male. When you touch down at Male Velana International Airport you will be greeted by one of the local team members (you will wait a max of 4 hours for your domestic flight). As you wait you can exchange money, connect to the airport wifi, watch the many boats come in and out of the harbour, check out the sea life swimming right under your feet, have a bit of ice cream to cool off in the hot weather from Dairy Queen, have a pizza from the Pizza company or enjoy an iced frappe from The Coffee Club.

You will take a domestic flight to Khadhedhoo Domestic Airport which takes roughly 1.5 hours. These flights run 6 times a day and dependent of your arrival time you will transfer at the appropriate time. Once you reach Khadhedhoo you will be greeted by another local team member and transferred by boat for 10 minutes to the island Hoadehdhoo; here you will go to the accommodation. Once settled you will be shown the Volunteer Cafe for a bit of lunch or dinner; depending on the time of day you are free to roam the island or chill out on the local beach.

Meals included: None

Accommodation

During your time with PMGY in the Maldives you will live in our Volunteer House. The accommodation is basic, but comfortable. You’ll be living with volunteers from around from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way. Everyday we will transport you via speedboat to the project site. This service is included in your Programme Fee.

The Volunteer House is located on the island of Hoadehdhoo. This island is home to 1200 local Maldivian people whom are just waiting to learn more about you. The atmosphere is peaceful and bright! Each room has bunk beds, up to 6 people per room (same sex-rooms only). Volunteers are provided with air-con and bed lining. You will have cupboard space to store your belongings, we encourage you to bring small padlocks to store your items in the lockable spaces.

Each room as an on-suite bathroom with a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold, but after hours in the sun that shouldn’t be a problem! The house has a communal area to hang out equipped with a refrigerator. 

A member of the local team will live in the accommodation amongst you. This ensures that you have around the clock support and security.

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

You will be served breakfast everyday at the Volunteer Cafe. The breakfast consists of: cereal, fruits, yoghurt, eggs and toast.

Not included: Lunch and Dinner

Most meals are traditional Maldivian dishes that can be typically consist of fresh sea food. Maldivian cuisine consists of a lot of rice, noodles and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

All meals are freshly prepared each day. If you fancy some western comforts, make a request to the local team and they can do their best to create a little menu for an evening (these will have a separate cost).

You are required to purchase your own lunch and dinner. This includes traditional Maldivian food options along with items such as Fish & Chips, Spaghetti and Macaroni (based on availability).

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Male International Airport (MLE) in Male. We assist you to find cheap flights to Maldives.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Maldives provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Maldives you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Maldives.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$894.00
3 weeks (max. stay)
$1,119.00
Average fees
$410.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Huvadhu Atolhu/Maldives between 2 weeks and 3 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Plan My Gap Year will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Maldives.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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