Soneva, the award-winning luxury resort operator, recently launched Soneva Academy, offering a series of educational courses for older children and teenagers aged 12+ at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives. The courses cover a range of fascinating topics relevant to the Maldives and, after completing a course, participants receive a certificate in an awards ceremony. Soneva Academy currently offers five courses at Soneva Fushi and two at Soneva Jani.
Marine Life of the Maldives (Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani) lets young Sonevians dive into the underwater world to learn about coral reefs and their importance as an ecosystem. They will find out what goes on in and around reefs, how they are created, which marine animals call them home and the threats that currently face reefs the world over. Part of the course includes learning the basics of conducting a scientific survey, focusing on the house reef, before getting in the water and carrying out a small survey themselves. They will then analyse the survey findings, discuss the results and draw conclusions based on the data.
The Night Sky in the Maldives (Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani) is an out-of-this-world course, where participants discover what lies beyond the earth’s atmosphere. Young learners observe the night sky, guided by the resort’s resident Astronomer, to see how it changes depending on their location. The Astronomer will explain the sorts of celestial bodies they observe, discussing what they’re made of, and where they’re located in relation to the rest of the cosmos. On the final night, all the participants will have a chance to look through the telescope to see these celestial bodies up close, learning about the evolution of astronomy over the ages. The course will also cover well-known constellations, their origins and the incredible stories behind them.
Mosquitoes and Mosquito-Borne Diseases (Soneva Fushi) delves into one of the most dangerous animals on the planet: the mosquito. The first day includes a screening of the Discovery Channel documentary ‘Mosquito’ in which Dr. Bart Knols, Soneva’s Managing Director of Science and Conservation, features prominently alongside Bill Gates and other specialists in the field. The documentary offers insights into mosquitoes and how they affect the world. The course also takes a close look at how Soneva Fushi has been tackling the island’s mosquito population since early 2019 without a single drop of insecticide, as well as Soneva’s plans to roll-out this sustainable pest management practice across other Maldivian islands and resorts.
Zero Waste and Plastic Pollution in the Maldives (Soneva Fushi) teaches young learners all about plastic and its use in our daily life – from what it is, to why we use it. Participants will discover how to recognise various types of plastics and their negative impact, especially for small island nations like the Maldives. They will learn about the collaborative action between government, businesses and the community to tackle plastic pollution and find out about the impact of waste in the Maldives and beyond. They will also learn about practical actions towards a zero-waste lifestyle that they can implement at home, including how to make their own toothpaste and body scrub from waste materials.
The Adventure of the Corbin (Soneva Fushi) combines nautical history with reading the stars to navigate and survival tips for being deserted on a small Maldivian island. Inspired by the Corbin, a French cargo vessel that sank in 1602, this fascinating course starts at Soneva Fushi, where young Sonevians will learn about the marine world and island life in the Maldives. From there, they will be transfered to the uninhabited island of Innafushi, either by speedboat or Soneva in Aqua, where they will camp for two nights, snorkel the site of the wreck and re-live the real-life adventure of 17th century sailors.
Four of the courses (Marine Life of the Maldives; The Night Sky in the Maldives; Mosquitoes and Mosquito-Borne Diseases; Zero Waste, and Plastic Pollution in the Maldives) are split into three, two-hour modules across three days (priced at USD 150++ per day), with a complimentary, 20-minute exam at the end of the third day. The Adventure of the Corbin is for three nights, three-and-a-half days, with a fully inclusive price of USD 1,500 ++ per child when travelling by speedboat, or USD 2,500 ++ per child when travelling on the Soneva in Aqua yacht.
More courses will be added to Soneva Academy’s offering in the future, based on sustainability initiatives, as well as covering the many areas of expertise found at Soneva’s resorts. Dr. Bart Knols, Managing Director of Science & Conservation, is proud of these new experiences that are being added to Soneva’s unique array of guest offerings. “Soneva Academy merges the world of luxury travel with that of scholarship and academic learning,” he says. “It adds meaning to a holiday in the splendid environs of the Maldives and will hopefully contribute to developing a future generation that will harness and protect the beauty of our planet”.
For more information about Soneva, visit www.soneva.com