Welcome to Eco-Volunteers !
Seamarc’s volunteer work programmes in the Maldives
Marine Discovery Centre Volunteers
Who is this Programme aimed at ?
Seamarc’s eco-volunteers programme is a great opportunity to work in the field alongside experienced marine biologists, for an established environmental consultancy company at one of the finest Resorts in the Maldives.
As such, our programme is aimed at dynamic individuals who want to “make a difference” – everyone from recent science graduates to people with a keen interest in marine conservation. You will experience a wide range of practical tasks to further your career in marine biology, and gain valuable knowledge by working alongside like-minded conservation professionals.
It is also an excellent opportunity to work with people from various countries and backgrounds, and to mix with local communities at your Homestay or Guest House. Each island is friendly and fun-loving, and you will have the chance to experience this unique traditional Maldivian life-style that you won’t find in the travel brochures.
What sort of work will I be doing ?
The mix of tasks will vary week-by-week depending on requirements and the weather. Examples of the tasks you might be required to help with, including but not limited to:
- The usual working day will be 9:00am to 6:00pm, with occasional evenings.
- Reefscapers – main tasks – maintenance and photographing of coral frames.
- Turtle Rehabilitation – assisting with feeding, medical treatment, cleaning, pool maintenance.
- Turtle ID – photographing wild turtles on snorkel safari, to identify and add to our database.
- Turtle Nest Protection – promoting the programme, scouting islands for turtle nests.
- Manta Trust – observing and photographing manta rays (seasonal from June to November).
- Taking and editing good quality photos and videos for use on our websites.
- A short 500-word write-up (with photos) suitable for publication on our websites.
- Good general health and physical fitness.
- Age 18 – 40 years.
- Competent snorkeller or qualified diver (preferred), with confidence in the water.
- An interest in the environment, and a desire to learn more about marine biology.
- All nationalities are welcome, but a good standard of spoken English is essential.
- An easy-going, flexible attitude and team-player.
- Be good at following instructions, to work unsupervised in a dedicated manner.
- Willing to work long & irregular hours if required, sometimes into the evenings.
- Smart appearance with a good standard of personal hygiene.
- Minimum duration 14 days, maximum 30 days (longer by special arrangement).
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is not suitable for this Programme ?
This programme is not suitable for people looking for a budget holiday to the Maldives. If that is your aim, you will be happier staying at a local island guest house, for example – http://www.maldives-guesthouse.com/ .
We are offering a volunteer placement, and although you might leave us with a suntan, it will have been gained from snorkelling and working in the lagoon, rather than lounging on the beach or snoozing poolside !
And if you are in search of exciting nightlife then you are advised to look elsewhere – we are more likely to be found working late, updating our coral frame database or accompanying guests on a night snorkel tour, than sipping cocktails and dancing to Bob Marley remixes into the small hours.
What will be included ?
- Assistance by Seamarc and/or Resort personnel, from arrival to departure.
- Airport transfer to and from the Resort (via speed boat or seaplane, as appropriate).
- Accommodation in a room on a local island (Homestay or Guest House).
- Daily transfers to/from the local island and the Resort.
- Orientation and training sessions by our marine biologists.
- 3 meals per day at the staff canteen, with short tea breaks and drinking water.
- Government taxes as applicable.
- One free recreation activity per week (when available).
- One free Reefscapers coral frame.
- T-shirt & shorts to wear as daily uniform.
What is not included ?
- Your international flights, to and from the Maldives.
- Expenses incurred during stopover en route to the Maldives, and time spent at airports and in Malé.
- Comprehensive travel & medical insurance for the full duration of your trip away from home.
- Whilst on the local island – soft drinks & snacks, and WiFi (you should buy a SIM on arrival at the airport).
- Pocket money.
- Please bring your own snorkel kit (mask-snorkel-fins) and footwear – black sandals/flip-flops.
- Please bring swimwear – black long-sleeve rash vest and black knee-length board shorts (see photos, below).
Cost to Join the Programme
Due to the logistics of being a small and dispersed island nation, costs are very high in Maldives (compared to neighbouring India and Sri Lanka). Almost everything needs to be imported into the country, from rice and wheat to construction materials and staff at all levels, so the prices of goods and services reflect this.
- Accommodation is shared with other volunteers in a single-sex room, with attached ensuite shower/toilet.
- Costs include all applicable taxes, and return transfers to/from the resort.
- Charges per person, per stay, full board (all meals) included, in USD$ :
What are the working hours ?
After arrival, it may take several days to recover from jet-lag and acclimatise to the heat & humidity. During this time you will be introduced to the staff and be given a guided tour of the facilities. You will then start on-the-job training, and will only really become an asset from the second week onwards.
You should make yourself available for work between the hours of 09:00 and 18:30, although the typical working day will be slightly less than this. All staff work for 6 days, with one full day off per week that is planned in advance by mutual agreement with your Manager.
In Maldives, sunrise is usually around 06:00 and sunset around 18:00, irrespective of the season (although these times do vary by about 30 minutes). Many resorts (including Four seasons Resorts Maldives) operate ‘+1hr’ ahead of local time (meaning 07:00 sunrise and 19:00 sunset).
What can I do on my day off ?
A weekly diving trip or guest excursion is included, and there are regular boat trips to neighbouring islands where you might be able to hitch a ride. You might spot spinner dolphins, a pod of pilot whales, or get the chance to snorkel with mantas and even a whale shark if you are very lucky …
There are staff sports facilities and swim/snorkel spots, or you may just wish to catch up with your laundry or your sleep ! Note that all guest facilities of the resort are not available for use by staff or volunteers.
Visits to the capital island of Malé will probably not be possible due to the travel distances involved. In case of emergencies, you can arrange a trip in advance with your Manager, but this will likely involve overnight accommodation (at your own expense).
What To Expect
- Access to staff facilities, staff gym, sports grounds, café, laundry facilities (all subject to availability).
- The staff canteen caters for all levels of Resort staff, and offers a wide choice of local & international style dishes as well as vegetarian options.
- Cigarette smoking is limited to designated staff areas, and only during official break-times.
- There will be some computer/internet time available in the office (subject to availability of computers) and the staff cybercafé is available after-hours.
- This will be a public-facing role so you need to be of smart appearance, with a good standard of personal hygiene, without visible tattoos or facial piercings (and men to be clean-shaven daily). Hair colour, if dyed, should be a natural-looking shade.
- You will be expected to comply at all times with the Resort’s high international standards.
Your accommodation will be on a local inhabited island ‘village’, in either a homestay or guesthouse (occasionally, we may need to find you alternative accommodation of an equivalent standard, depending on circumstances and availability).
- Maldivians are generally hospitable and welcoming of visitors.
- Your room will be shared with other same-sex volunteers.
- Rooms are quite basic – a bed, wardrobe, ceiling fan (maybe no air-conditioning) and a private en-suite shower room/toilet (no hot water – not really required).
- There will be no WiFi, but the 3G signal is usually OK; buy a SIM at the airport on arrival into the country.
- You will need to respect traditional customs and Islamic etiquette; no alcohol; you should wear sleeved T-shirt and shorts to the knee; swimming is limited to specific areas of the beach (and only when dressed modestly in T-shirt/shorts). If you have any specific questions, please get in touch.