You can spend anywhere between 3 weeks to 6 months volunteering at Reef Doctor. Become a qualified PADI diver (up to Divemaster level), gain valuable life and work experiences, or study for your dissertation abroad. The Reef Doctor project site is located next to the fishing village of Ifaty so you will have direct daily contact with the local Vezo people, experiencing the culture and customs of these unique communities.
Your days will be eventful; the work will be challenging, rewarding, and fun. Your efforts will be of huge benefit to the continuation of our work and you will gain immense satisfaction knowing that you have assisted us in helping the local communities protect and manage their valuable marine resources for future generations. Enjoy a life changing experience, make lifelong friends, and return with incredible stories and memories.
All of the Volunteer Reef Doctor programmes are open to anyone aged 18 and over, from gap-year, graduate/post-graduates students, to generally enthusiastic people looking to undertake hands-on marine conservation and management. You do not need any prior experience or qualifications in this field to volunteer, all we ask is that you are reasonably fit and healthy and are eager to get involved in our work. Ultimately, our goal is to involve all volunteers in as much of our research and conservation projects as possible, however the longer you stay with us the more varied experience you will acquire.
Reef Doctor offers four different volunteer programmes, depending on the time you can give and type of experience you want to gain:
Reef Doctor EcoDiver (3-5 weeks) – Scuba dive training, basic marine species identification courses, and experience marine research and conservation in action.
Reef Doctor Research Assistant (6-12 weeks) – Scuba dive training, basic to advanced marine species identification courses, training in marine research methodologies, undertake marine research and surveys, and assist in other Reef Doctor projects.
Reef Doctor Research Assistant and Divemaster Intern (6 months) – Following the Research Assistant training as above (duration ~3 months), interns help the core project staff with the training of other volunteers, train to PADI Divemaster level, lead survey dives, and assist in other Reef Doctor projects.
Reef Doctor Aquaculture Intern (2, 3 & 6 months) – For those looking to gain fieldwork experience in community-based aquaculture and socio-economic development. You will be supporting our Darwin Initiative-funded Alternative Livelihoods Project. While this is a land based internship that does not require diving, dive courses (up to PADI Divemaster) are on offer for an additional fee.
You can download all of our programme guides on the volunteer downloads page