Ocean Stewards

More than 1,160 people taught how to swim

Trained and certified 59 swimming instructors

Taught 234 children how to surf


Despite living in an island nation, many Maldivians grow up without learning to swim. While this poses a clear risk to life, it also means that children grow up with little environmental awareness of the ocean and the coral reefs that surround them.

We believe that if children learn to swim, they can lose their fear of the ocean and learn to love it. If they love it, they are more likely to protect it. Over an intensive two weeks the Soneva Ocean Stewards programme takes children and mothers from the very basics through to their first time snorkelling on the reef edge.

Alongside the swimming programme, we take the children on a journey of ocean awareness including community beach cleans and school sessions on the vulnerability of the ocean.

Soneva Ocean Stewards is led by Soneva hosts who volunteer their time to work in partnership with local communities to deliver the swimming programme to Grade 3 school children. Since its inception in 2014, more than 1,160 adults and children have learnt to swim and 234 children have been taught how to surf. Meanwhile, 59 swimming instructors have been certified from within the local community, including mothers, teachers and police officers. In celebration of their achievements, 70 children participated in an SOS water sports festival.

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