Villijoali, September 16, 2016
On the fifth Friday rounds of Villijoali, we had two group conversations around the barbeque area of Villimale. These conversations conversations gave us new insights into the real challenges in bringing together and engaging with and for the community — elderly, women and youth.
It was obvious that an air of mistrust and anxiety was a key challenge; and trust building measures that lead to public confidence in the ability of organizations and agencies to serve without prejudice was a crucial factor in community building.
Today’s participants of our conversations were mostly those who have moved to Villimale in the early years of settlement — 1993/1994. They are generally happy with their life in the community.
We also learnt that there are exercise classes that are organized by an individual in which several women and the elderly participate. In addition, we were told that there are many activities during the Bodu Eid though this year it has been dull, as the key people behind organizing them are on pilgrimage to Mecca.
One of the key concerns that came up during the conversations today was the mosquitoes that were abundant on the island of Villimale. It was pointed that the dire situation of waste and lack of a proper waste management system resulting abundant mosquito breeding in the island was a concern that was left unaddressed. This was pointed out as an area where Maldivian Red Crescent could come in to create awareness and make an intervention.
There was a stark comparison of the parents who have to brave the seas to take children to school and back in the main island of Male’ daily — for school, tuition, and extra curricula activities; to refugees. The sea-ferry journey is 8 minutes and some days it can be really rough. There is a school on Villimale island, but many parents prefer to take their children to schools in Male’.