Karam is a 23-year-old veterinary student at University of Sydney, Australia. She has wanted to be a vet for as long as she can remember and in 2016 she became the first government sponsored veterinary student in the Maldives. Karam chose to spend part of her university required placement interning at the Rescue Centre.
Worldwide less than 30 percent of researchers are women. And according to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), only around 5 per cent of all female students select the natural science fields in higher education globally. Here at ORP we have 85% female scientists on our team! They come from 6 different countries with varied backgrounds. But they all love sea turtles.
A big part of our mission is marine education and raising awareness about the need for sea turtle conservation. We particularly focus on reaching out to school children. Last November, One & Only Reethi Rah and ORP launched a new Marine Education Programme with students from Immaduddin School.
Designer Waqar J Khan Nasheman established Nasheman, an ethical fashion brand, in 2017. Nasheman works with skillful female artisans, who have learned the ancestral craft of embroidery passed down through generations. ORP and Nasheman collaborate on using ghost gear in fashion.
Dr. Shiva Sawmy spent 3 weeks as a Visiting Vet at the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in September 2019. He called the experience “An otherworldly adventure in the Maldives – veterinary care, rehabilitation and release of injured wild sea turtles”.
Asif Baloch, ORP Field Coordinator in Pakistan, has provided surface support for many scuba diving excursions to remove ghost gear but he had never actually scuba dived before. He recently got PADI certified along with his younger brother, Alam, and ORP Pakistan Project Coordinator, Usman.
Our Visiting Vet Program has been a great success! In our first season, we welcomed five visiting vets who brought new skills, medications and equipment that benefited our turtle patients and resident vets alike. In return, they got hands on experience working with wild sea turtles in a tropical location.
Our new Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at One & Only Reethi Rah in North Male Atoll is open. We can now transfer some of the turtle patients requiring long-term rehabilitation here and free up tank space for critically injured turtle patients at the Rescue Centre.
The whole experience was life changing, so much so that I have come home and resigned from my job of 28 years! It taught me that there is so much more to this life, and I intend to live it. We have a beautiful planet, and we need to fight to keep it, despite the odds! ~Kim Simkins
We understand that no everyone has the time, patience, or money to go plastic free. In the final article in our blog series on how to reduce your plastic waste, we give you the top five easiest, one-time changes you can make. Small but effective changes that may even prove contagious!