Amie Byrne

Friday 05, October 2012

Volunteering in a different country is something I have always wanted to do – I was just never presented with the opportunity until a year ago when I stumbled upon Volunteer Maldives whilst researching potential places to pursue my dream. I am glad I took the initiative and invested my time with such a fantastic organization. My volunteering experience was seamless from the moment I enquired about the Programme to the moment I arrived at the airport at the end of my Programme to fly home to the UK. I was given excellent in country support and felt I could contact the company if I had any issues and was made to feel extremely welcomeupon arrival and was very thankful for the personal touches provided by the company.

I spent one month on a Programme working with preschool children on the island of Komandoo. The children had such an eagerness to learn and take on new information and were entirely fascinated with this stranger who had entered their world. In the short time I spent on the island of Komandoo I forged bonds with members of the community in a way which I did not think possible in such a short period of time. The moment I arrived on the island I was made to feel completely welcome. The islanders treated me with the utmost respect, kindness and curiosity which I found entirely endearing.

Although I was a stranger when I arrived by the end of my time on the island I felt like a part of the community. I will be forever grateful to all of the members of the community who looked after me and ensured that I was safe and quite literally having the time of my life. From the councilors who made sure I was able to get the most out of my time on their island when I was not in preschool through fishing trips, days out on uninhabited islands, swimming and snorkeling along with invitations to their homes, to the local teenagers who took me on various walks around the island to explore their world, to my host family who allowed me to stay in their home and essentially become part of their family and to the children in inspiring me further to pursue my ambition to teach.

My experience in the Maldives has opened my eyes to a completely different way of life. It was an absolute privilege to learn first-hand about the culture and history of such a remarkable place. The beauty of the Maldives and the people who live there has to be lived to be believed. I will forever hold all of the people I befriended and lived amongst dearly in my heart. I hope that this experience is the first of many experiences I will have volunteering abroad and I know I will come back to the Maldives in the not too distant future.

Name: Amie Byrne (UK)
Island(s): Komandoo
Duration: 4 Weeks