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Join marine conservationists in their efforts to rescue and rehabilitate sea turtles, as well as enjoy spending time in one of the most idyllic places in the world.

Program Highlights: 
Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum two-week commitment): 

Arrival Day, Wednesday:
Arrive at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (MLE). You will be picked up from the airport and taken to a hotel in Male, where you will stay overnight (price of hotel not included in program fee).

Day 1, Thursday: The following morning a local staff member will assist volunteers in catching a speedboat to Naifaru, your home for the duration of the project. Volunteers will receive a welcome presentation and guided island tour of the area and be introduced to the marine center before lunch. After lunch, you will join the staff and other volunteers on the scheduled afternoon activity, usually a snorkel (weather dependent). Dinner to follow.

Day 2, Friday: You’ll join the team for breakfast followed by a morning activity. Following lunch, volunteers will head to their first shift with the turtles. The marine biologists will give the new volunteer a welcome presentation and explain how the shift runs. A typical shift includes emptying and scrubbing the tanks, feeding the turtles, administering fluid injections to turtles that may need it and interacting with resort guests who come for a tour of the Center. After shift ends, the volunteers usually try to catch the sunset at the beach before heading to dinner.

Day 3, Saturday: You’ll start the day at breakfast with team, followed by a morning activity. Activities are always weather dependent but include snorkels, beach cleans, volleyball, watching a documentary, etc. After lunch, begin the shift at the marine center. 

Day 4, Sunday: Besides Fridays and Saturdays, all other work shifts begin at 8:30 AM with feeding the turtles. There is a quick break for breakfast and head back to the Center to complete shift. From there, volunteers go to lunch followed by an afternoon activity before dinner.

Day 5, Monday: Monday is a day off. Volunteers still begin the day by having breakfast together, however, there is some free time between breakfast and lunch to relax. The team schedules an off-island excursion after lunch. Depending on what the current volunteers are interested in, the excursion usually entails snorkeling, visiting an uninhabited island, dolphin watching, or visiting a resort for the day.

Days 6-8, Tuesday-Thursday: The rest of the days follow a similar schedule with the morning shift occurring after breakfast, followed by an afternoon activity in between lunch and dinner which usually consists of snorkeling, beach clean ups, coral reef surveys, turtle rehabilitation swims, documentary viewings, etc.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow the schedule of working Tuesday-Sunday and having Mondays for group excursions. Volunteers departing will head back to the mainland on a Thursday morning and stay in a hotel accommodation (not included in program fee) and fly out from the Maldives on Friday. 


Program Accomplishments:
In 2019, this center admitted 60 injured sea turtles, 22 of which have been released so far.


Check out what our past volunteers had to say!
 
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Location of the Project:  Naifaru, Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives
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Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 4 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (MLE)
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Volunteer Work:  Sea turtle conservation
Age:  18 - 55
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Number of Volunteers:  1 - 8 international volunteers
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Important Note:  Volunteers staying for less than 30 days will need to arrive on a tourist visa whereas those staying for more than 30 days will need to arrive on a business visa. Business visas require a bachelor’s degree, police check with no convictions, and medical report alongside other documents. All volunteers arriving on a business visa must apply to the project at least 6-8 weeks in advance.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a volunteer house
Food:  Three meals daily
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Airport Transfers:  Transfers are organised by the host organisation, however the cost is the responsibility of the volunteer (this should be no more than $10 USD). The speedboat transfer between Male and Naifaru is included in the project cost.
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, hotel in Male upon arrival/departure (approx. $70 USD - cash payment only), cost of transfers between airport and hotel.
The project is located on the locally inhabited island of Naifaru, which sits within the Lhaviyani Atoll in the north of the Maldives. As the sixth most populous island in the Maldives, Naifaru boasts a lively community and offers a fantastic opportunity to meet new people. Most of the approximately 6000 inhabitants are Maldivian, however Naifaru is also home to a number of immigrant workers from countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The island is packed with intricate streets lined with shops selling everything from ice creams to tailoring services, and there are a number of restaurants serving both local and western delicacies. Take the time to immerse yourself in the vibrant, friendly and welcoming community and kick back and relax on the islands beautiful beaches.
Volunteers will help run a small rescue and rehabilitation centre for endangered sea turtles (predominantly green and olive ridley turtles). Most of the green turtles arrive at the centre having previously been kept illegally as pets, whereas most of the olive ridleys arrive having been caught in discarded fishing gear. Turtles are cared for in the centre by the resident marine biologists until they can be released back into the wild.

You will be joining a dedicated team of marine conservationists, helping to rescue and rehabilitate sea turtles. You will be surrounded by ocean enthusiasts dedicated to making a difference in the marine environment.

Volunteer tasks :

Mornings:
•    Empty the turtle tanks and clean and scrub them out before refilling
•    Feed the turtles

Afternoon Activities:
•    Take one of our resident turtles for a swim in the ocean
•    Snorkelling around the jetty or off the beach near the marine centre
•    Beach clean ups
•    Watching sunset at the beach or at a nearby café
•    Watching a documentary or playing cards/games

Evenings:
•    Card games
•    Catch crabs to feed to the turtles
•    Film night
•    Downtime 

Daily tasks may vary depending on the time and duration of your stay, and the number of turtles at the marine centre. Mondays are our day off and set aside for fun afternoon excursions arranged by the project staff.

Please note: Volunteer activities can change at any time based upon the needs of the project
Internet
Internet:  WiFi is available at the accommodation.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry facilities are available at the accommodation.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared accommodation (2-3 per room). All rooms are single gender and are equipped with air conditioning and an en suite bathroom. The volunteer house has electricity, communal living area and basic kitchen supplies. Private rooms are available at an additional cost (pending availability).
Food:  Volunteers are provided with three meals daily. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served buffet-style at a local restaurant. Vegetarian/Vegan options are available - please inform us of any specific dietary requirements in advance and the local team will be able to cater for these.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Age 18-55
  • Good level of physical fitness, confident swimmers and comfortable snorkelling
  • Possess an interest in marine life and marine conservation
  • Positive, open-minded, with a strong work ethic
  • Snorkelling equipment (mask, snorkel and fins)
Project staff organise weekly excursions for all volunteers (included in the project fee). Activities range from exploring uninhabited islands and specific snorkelling trips, to dolphin watching, fishing, and searching for manta rays. We also endeavour to arrange a day trip to a local resort if there is availability.

Participants have the opportunity to take advantage of discounted rates at Kuredu Island Resort and Spa at the end of their time on the project. Please enquire for further details/current deals.
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