Google the term 'Maldives' and what you find is a brief history of this small chain of geographically isolated islands a few meters above sea level which is under the constant threat of global climate change.
Husen Iyad, Haveeru Online
Jun 29, 2012 - 12:03
Most websites and links related to Maldives guide you to a ‘paradise on earth’ for tourists in search of holiday destinations and for those seeking information on us.
However, the Maldives is not just strictly ‘pristine white sandy beaches and beautiful coral reefs’, it also has its issues like every other nation in the world. It is home to over 320,000 citizens with atolls spreading over 90,000 square kilometer area.
Male, the capital of Maldives, is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The political turmoil within the nation has paved way for the authorities assigned to ‘protect and serve’ to unintentionally lose their focus on the pressing concerns and ‘cut some slack’ on their duties toward keeping the nation a safer place for its residents.
It is a shame that our so called ‘educated’ society keeps pointing fingers, rather than working toward solving the issues within our society. Numerous awareness campaigns are being held at a nationwide scale within the Maldives by several government bodies as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to instill a positive thinking in our minds in an attempt to help fight the soaring crime rates within the nation and to resolve the social issues at hand. It is high time that the society ‘woke up’ from this deep slumber and quit pressing the ‘snooze’ on its alarm.
Empowering youth groups had long been a challenge to authorities, as well as NGOs trying to help communities achieve sustainable development goals. This had partly been due to the lack of funding and resources at their disposal as well as the difference in the quality of education in the islands compared to its capital city.
Crime rates are increasing by the day, while authorities are busy at ‘what they do best’. There have been a couple of tragic incidents that has sparked nationwide controversy and has led some among us to overcome our fear and to resist these inhumane aggressions. One of the most controversial issues was the brutal stabbing and murder of an innocent teen Abdul ‘Bobby’ Muheeth.
Muheeth’s family organized a moment of silence on June 7, 2012, to mourn in his remembrance and to raise awareness among the community that the time has come for the society to stand up against these violent attacks and for the community to play its role. Some media channels also assisted in the coverage of this event as the role of the media is partly to encourage the community in beneficial and positive change.
NGOs do a lot of work in assisting communities to deal with many social issues. Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC) is to promote its cause, through the this year’s annual Dhiraagu Broad Band Road Race on Friday, June 29, 2012, with participants carrying the slogan “I stand against domestic violence and child abuse”.
Some of the youth groups within our society are also engaged in commendable projects to raise awareness in our society, one of which is from a recently formed group of young people, Dhi Youth Movement (DYM) who prepared a video and uploaded it to YouTube to create awareness among the society about the negative impact of drugs. The video is being shared through the social networks, twitter and Facebook.
“DYM is about giving the youth a mean of expressing themselves. The video was created by a group of youth who have interest in both the social cause and in video production. With assistance from experts in the field, the video was made in less than a week. The focus group of the video is the younger generation who are most vulnerable to go in to drugs, it gives a preventive message. No matter how ‘Salhi’ (awesome) it is, one should always say no, right from the beginning,” Co-founder of DYM, Ibrahim Nawaf said.
Although the video wasn’t released on the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, the group believes that the video would have a huge impact. DYM also believes that small efforts can also have huge impacts and that it would continuously work together with the youth in tackling the biggest issues facing the society.
It is a good sign that our youth are engaged in useful and beneficial activities to our society. Authorities need to facilitate more activities and make future plans in order to help our youth disperse their youthful exuberance in a positive manner.
DYM campaign to combat drugs