Atoll Volunteers - Volunteer in Maldives

Deadline: As soon as possible


NGO & Institutes


  • Maldives
Naifaru island


Looking for the chance to make a real difference, whilst experiencing life in the real Maldives? Looking for a travel experience like no other? Starting a gap year or need a sabbatical? Become a part of our vibrant and welcoming community, explore our uninhabited islands, crystal clear waters, and leave with friends and memories to last a life time. Atoll Volunteers is a young and vibrant organisation run by local and international volunteers on Naifaru island in the Maldives. We are run through our parent NGO Naifaru Juvenile, which was founded in 2000 by three local Maldivians, and has grown over the years to include a number of volunteer programmes, including Marine Conservation, teaching and medical placements.



  • Marine Conservation Programme - Operating from Atoll Marine Centre, we rescue turtles from the illegal pet trade and those who have been injured from ghost nets, rehabilitate, and reintroduce them back to the wild. As a volunteer, you will be an integral part of our team, working with our Marine Biologists on the day to day running of the Marine Centre and turtle husbandry activities, from cleaning and feeding, to assisting with administrating medical treatment. Volunteers also have the opportunity to gain experience in coral gardening, data collection and community outreach.
  • Teaching Programme - We offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to teach children off all ages, and experience the Maldivian education system. You will work with both local and international staff and be right at the center throughout the process of planning and teaching classes, across a variety of subjects. Through working at our schools you will immerse yourself into our community, working with other organizations and volunteers to organize community events, with the children as your focus. By volunteering with our children, you will be making a real difference to their future. 
  • Medical Placements Programme - This is a unique opportunity for medical students or experienced professionals to work alongside trained medical staff at the busiest hospital in the Lhaviyani Atoll. Through shadowing hospital staff across a range of departments, volunteers gain vital international experience working at the Lhaviyani Atoll Hospital on Naifaru treating patients from all over the atoll, experiencing the challenges and rewards of working in medicine in a developing country. 

About us

Atoll Volunteers is a young and vibrant organisation run by local and international volunteers on Naifaru island in the Maldives. We are run through our parent NGO Naifaru Juvenile, which was founded in 2000 by three local Maldivians, and has grown over the years to include a number of volunteer programmes, including Marine Conservation, teaching and medical placements.

We are dedicated to securing the most exciting and beneficial projects for our volunteers while still making sure that as much attention and funding as possible is funneled directly into our community. Most importantly, we believe that volunteering does not need to be all work and no play, and that the most rewarding of volunteer programmes allow you to enjoy your placement, at the same time as giving back to our community.

Our community is desperate for your help in so many ways, but in return, we promise to welcome you into our lives as a friend, show you the best that the “real” Maldives has to offer, and be on hand to support you in any way we can. We may not be able to offer you the luxuries of the 5 star hotels, but the natural beauty of the Maldives is not limited to resorts – idyllic beaches, uninhabited islands and some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs teeming with marine life of every colour are yours to explore. We provide accommodation in our volunteer house, Aqua Inn, which is simple, but modern and clean, similar to what you would expect to find in a European beach resort.

Our mission is to ensure that you leave the Maldives having experienced the warmth and friendliness of our people, explored our islands, been amazed at the beauty of our marine life, made a real difference to our community, and hopefully come to love the little island that we call home.

We endeavour to provide the best volunteering experience that the Maldives has to offer, and have a range of customised placements which have been planned in cooperation with our Marine Centre, schools, hospitals, sporting teams and local community of over 6000 people.

So come and join us for the chance to live the ultimate experience in island volunteering, knowing that you will help make a real difference in our community!

Opportunity is About


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate


Deadline: As soon as possible

Cost/funding for participants

Where does my money go?

One of the most frequently asked questions by potential volunteers is “Where does my money go?” and we wanted to ensure that it really was reaching the community it was intended for. Unlike many volunteer organisations, Atoll Volunteers is run by a local NGO, meaning that 100% of your programme fees goes to benefit the local island community. One of the main reasons we broke away from other partnerships was that volunteers money was not going to where it should do; the community. Therefore we began independently hosting our own international volunteers in 2012. In this way, you as a volunteer, can see exactly where your programme fee is going.

Programme Fee

Your programme fee includes food and accommodation, 24-hour volunteer support, local transportation, weekly  island excursions and all materials required for your selected placement. We make a point out of using local providers to further benefit our community. For instance, the food you receive as a volunteer is prepared by local restaurants.

The diagram above illustrates the average expenses we have for a volunteer based on a three week placement of US$1868.

  • Domestic Transport covers transport between Male’ and Naifaru. Visa fee includes the visa itself and administration charges.
  • Accommodation covers your accommodation in our Volunteer House.
  • Food is based on three meals from a local restaurant where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served.
  • Utilities covers electricity, water, other expenses and Internet.
  • We have three local staff we employ for maintenance work and completing our accounts.  The few paid employees of Atoll Volunteers are local Maldivians, creating jobs for the local community and providing them with valuable skills for their future. All our international staff (Volunteer Coordinator and Marine Biologists) are here on a voluntary basis.
  • Recreational activities are based on an average cost, but we seek to vary these as much as possible. One trip may be snorkelling at neighboring island Veyvah, while another would be visiting the small community of Olhuvelifushi across the atoll, and thus costs differ for each trip.
  • The remainder is the donation, which is pooled into our savings and used on our important community outreach and conservation projects, as well as critical improvements to our Marine Centre.
  • Some programmes have higher running costs, like our marine conservation programmes, which is the reason why they are more expensive.

Atoll Volunteers is a non-profit organisation, and we have a policy of transparency which means that you are always welcome to look into our books and see what your money is spent on.

Administration Fee

Additional to the programme fee is the administration fee. This US$200 fee helps to cover the administrative costs involved for the time and work between your application review and your arrival in the Maldives as well as on office overheads, marketing costs and utilities for our office building.

Whether you join our marine conservation, medical, sports or teaching programme, your fee will play a big part in helping our community and assisting in an area that you are passionate about – you will get to see your time and money put to good use!


We offer a number of various disounts for volunteers. If you are unsure if you qualify, please ask our Volunteer Coordinator.

  • Group Discount – If 8 people book as a group, you will get one placement free of charge.
  • Returning Volunteers – If you are returning to Atoll Volunteers we offer a 20% discount.
  • Early bird special – We offer a 10% discount on the programme fee to anyone who confirms their placement three months in advance.  A booking is confirmed once we have received the required documents and the programme fee in full.
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