Hospitality brand JOALI has assured its continued support for impactful projects in the Maldives with its Festive Donation, funds raised at its annual fundraiser event held during the Christmas-New Year period.
According to JOALI, over the past year and a half, multiple institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in Raa Atoll have received vital funding from the hospitality group.
JOALI Maldives, the brand’s art-immersive luxury resort in Raa Atoll, carries out an annual festive fundraiser with guests and hosts donating funds for worthy causes. Over the 2021-22 festive period, funds were raised as part of a collaborative art project, with guests joining the resort’s resident artist to glaze ceramic fish, each with a unique personal flair. The final artwork was a striking composition of all the individual fishes, swimming joyfully in unison, a powerful symbol of collaboration.
“This initiative is part of JOALI’s broader efforts around the ‘joy of caring’. Each aspect of our culture and strategy is designed to reflect responsible luxury,” said Enver Arslan, General Manager of JOALI Maldives.
“We cherish the positive impact we have been able to create during our time in the Maldives.”
The funds raised over the 2021-22 festive period by JOALI were donated to three NGOs working in the Maldives, with the aim of supporting several crucial initiatives:
- The Olive Ridley Project: focused on protecting sea turtles and their habitats in Raa Atoll through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, education and outreach.
- Women in Tech Maldives: aimed at promoting, empowering and celebrating women in science and technology.
- Zero Waste Maldives: working to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact across the archipelago.
The projects are collectively managed by JOALI Maldives and its sister property JOALI BEING.
With support from the JOALI Festive Donation, the Olive Ridley Project is set to begin a two-week community tour around Raa Atoll, focused on raising awareness around sea turtle conservation. A team of marine biologists from JOALI and the Olive Ridley Project, as well as educational officers from the Olive Ridley Project, will conduct multi-stakeholder awareness sessions at six islands in Raa Atoll, namely Madduvari, Meedhoo, Kinolhas, Fainu, Inguraidhoo and Vandhoo.
The expert team will visit local schools, councils, women’s development committees, fishermen, and other community groups with the aim of increasing environmental literacy and providing residents with the knowledge and skills they need to actively participate in the protection and improvement of their local habitats.
“Our team views knowledge-sharing and local empowerment as critical avenues to preserving the incomparable natural legacy of the Maldives,” said Özgür Cengiz, General Manager of JOALI BEING.
JOALI BEING is set to open the doors of its new Olive Ridley Turtle Rehabilitation Centre soon. At the purpose-built venue, rescued sea turtles will be nursed back to health by the island’s resident sea turtle biologist. The centre will also function as a hub for turtle-focused research efforts in the area.
Utilising the JOALI Festive Donation, Women in Tech Maldives conducted the #CodeforClimateMV project at the Raa Atoll School in Raa Dhuvaafaru. The programme trained 18 girls in coding skills, including Python and Machine Learning. The project concluded in September 2022.
In October 2022, Zero Waste Maldives used the funds to launch the ongoing #FehiFathi project in Raa Ungoofaaru. The organisation is working with the Ungoofaaru Women’s Development Committee to reduce the amount of fabric waste that ends up in landfills by rescuing clothes that can be used second-hand or upcycled. This initiative also empowers local seamstresses by providing them with an entrepreneurial opportunity. Over 15 local seamstresses are involved in the project.
According to JOALI, its funding will continue to support its community outreach programme, with multiple tours scheduled across the rest of the islands in Raa Atoll later this year.
“Sustainability in Raa Atoll is a key focus area for JOALI, with a focus on safeguarding the planet, fostering wellbeing, creating platforms for women, and nurturing ethical consumption,” JOALI said.
The brand launched the JOALI Sustainability Fund to provide funding for 10 local projects that align with its focus areas. The grant will award funds to the first five projects in June 2023.
According to JOALI, the team has partnered with local organisations to aid the training of girls in local schools; provide hospitality internships for aspiring candidates; and conduct virtual educational sessions for university students.
“Both JOALI BEING and JOALI Maldives also host regular school visits, enabling local students to see luxury hospitality in action and learn first-hand about job opportunities in the industry. The goal is to ensure that every school in Raa Atoll receives this opportunity at least once a year.”