Q: ARE THERE SET DATES TO JOIN YOUR PROGRAMS ?
A: No, we slot you into to programs as and when a space becomes available. We have a number of islands we work very closely with and will co-ordinate with you the best day to arrive to take a scheduled transfer, but otherwise, when you decide when to come, and we’ll organise your program accordingly.
Q: CAN I CHOOSE WHICH ISLAND I GO TO ?
A: We’ll take any requests you have into consideration; such as if you want to go to an island where there are other volunteers, but we can’t guarantee you will have your first choice as it depends on where a placement will be available. All the islands we work with are beautiful, with fabulous little communities just waiting for you to come and help out!
Q: DO I NEED PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE TO JOIN A PROGRAM ?
A:For most of the programs no, and we’ll guide you as to what will be most appropriate by looking at your Resume’ carefully. As a general rule, those applicants with the English language as their mother tongue, or are totally fluent will be able to assist in the classrooms, with Junior school aged children (7-11 years), and of course qualified teachers will take their own classes.
Younger volunteers with a good command of English are normally placed in pre-schools, helping out with fun, educational games for 3-7 year olds.
Sports and youth workers need to come with bags of energy, and all volunteers we ask of them to come with open minds and hearts, with a genuine desire to experience a unique culture, in a beautiful country – what you put into a program, you will get out twice as much!
Q: WILL WE BE SAFE ON MY OWN ?
A: We’ve had many volunteers come alone – and they are always taken good care of. Ladies should be cautious, as with anywhere in the world, and taking advise, and being mindful of their behaviour will all ensure you are safe. Being quite a conservative society, its important for girls travelling alone to ensure they are wearing appropriate clothing and not to be flirtatious in any way. More information will be sent in the Terms and Conditions and in our Tips and Advice during the application process.
Q: WHY ARE YOUR PRICES A LOT LESS THAN OTHER VOLUNTEER COMPANIES ?
A: Volunteer Maldives is a ‘not for profit’ company and we try to keep our prices as low as possible to encourage more volunteers to come as you really are needed here in the Maldives! We work closely with the islands we offer, and where possible, the programs are very much a joint venture with parents of the students and other community members contributing wherever they can.
Q: DO YOU HAVE A PAST VOLUNTEERS I CAN CONTACT FOR INFORMATION ?
A: Certainly! Please do take a look on our website through our testimonials, and if you would like us to put you in touch with a previous volunteer that will be no problem at all.
Q: WHAT SUPPORT IS THERE WHEN I COME ?
A: Our team is based on the capital island of Male’, from the moment you send in your first inquiry until the time to leave the Maldives after your program – we’re with you all the way! Whilst you are in the Maldives, you will be give your own local SIM card and have 24/7 access to us if necessary! On the island where your placement is, there is always an appropriate NGO member, School Principle, or Island Councillor. If there is anything you feel you cannot go to your island contact about, you are more than welcome to contact one of our team.Our team is based on the capital island of Male’, from the moment you send in your first inquiry until the time to leave the Maldives after your program – we’re with you all the way! Whilst you are in the Maldives, you will be give your own local SIM card and have 24/7 access to us if necessary! On the island where your placement is, there is always an appropriate NGO member, School Principle, or Island Councillor. If there is anything you feel you cannot go to your island contact about, you are more than welcome to contact one of our team.
Q: WILL THERE BE OTHER VOLUNTEERS ON MY PROGRAM ?
A:Possibly – it very much depends on what program you’re taking and what time of year. If you particularly want to be placed with another volunteer, we’ll try our best to accommodate your request. Sometimes it is actually better to placed on an island as a lone volunteer, as it encourages you to really make an effort to know your hosts, and get involved with the community. On the other hand, being placed on an island where there is already a volunteer, a new member can glean knowledge from the already established one – so there are pro’s and con’s for each!
Q: IS THERE A STRICT DRESS CODE ?
A: The Maldives is 100% Islamic, and though it’s pretty moderate, there are some guidelines that should be followed with regards to dress. Men have it a little easier (what’s new?!) as long as they have shorts and t-shirts for casual wear, and trousers and shirt for the classroom – they’re sorted!
For women, although it is not necessary to cover you head or dress head to toe in a black Hijab. For ladies, skirts and dresses can be worn, but should be on or below the knee. & frac34; length trousers, and full length are also fine. T-shirts and shirts are fine, but should have sleeves, and should not be low cut. For swimming, t-shirts and long shorts are best.
For both the gals and the boys – when in the classrooms, more formal wear should be worn – with shoes/sandals, not flip -flops please. Gentlemen can wear short shirt sleeves, a tie should be brought along just in case of a formal event, otherwise not necessary to wear daily in the classes.
Q: WILL IT BE POSSIBLE TO EXTEND MY TIME WHILE I'M THERE ?
A: Yes it may be possible – as long as the volunteer is able to extend their flights, and pay the additional program fees incurred, we can usually extend your time on the islands and more often than not the community will be thrilled a volunteer would like to stay longer with them!
Q: WHAT IF I ARRIVE AND THEN WANT TO GO HOME EARLY ?
A: It can sometimes be a challenge, particularly for younger volunteers who have never been away on their own before or travelled much, to get used to a completely unique environment. The vast majority of volunteers adapt to island life quickly, and by the end of their program they’re reluctant to leave! Past volunteers have left with a lasting impression and a lifetime experience. Should volunteers feel it difficult to adapt, we’ll do everything possible to help with any issues the volunteer is having, but of course, if they want to go home, we’ll assist where we can and arrange appropriate necessary transfers etc. Please be aware, refunds will not be issued where volunteers choose to curtail their stay.
Q: FLIGHTS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM PLACE, WILL YOU HELP ME FIND AN APPROPRIATE ONE ?
A: Yes, if you need assistance just ask! There are so many options from all corners of the globe to fly into the Maldives now, and at competitive rates too!
Q: IS IT NECESSARY FOR ME TO HAVE TRAVEL/MEDICAL INSURANCE ?
A:Absolutely – travel and medical insurance is mandatory and we’ll need to have your policy number and company contact details before you arrive.
Q: WHERE WILL I STAY ON THE ISLAND ?
A: For most of our programs, volunteers have a home stay, living with a local family. This way, volunteers quickly integrate into their new surrounds, and there is an instant support system. Island hosts are always very happy to have volunteer’s stay with them – don’t be surprised if you’re helping their children out with English Homework!
Q: HOW MANY HOURS WILL I WORK ?
A: Normally a daily school session is 7am to 1 pm – dependent on the size of the school and what you’re teaching. There may be afternoon classes as well. For Pre-school helpers – normally there may be 3 sessions throughout the day, between 8 am and 3 pm. Evenings will be utilised for the cooler temperatures for some classes, and also sports/ football coaching.
Q: HOW CAN I SPEND MY SPARE TIME ?
A: Wonderfully! All the islands we work with either have their own beach or nearby beaches where you can swim, snorkel, and explore uninhabited islands. The islanders will take you night fishing, on picnics and barbeques, and welcome you into their homes for afternoon teas and dinners! The Maldivians are very sociable and hospitable, there is always something going on and volunteers usually have far too many invitations to handle!