MEERY, the “Maldives: Enhancing Employability and Resilience of Youth” project is a collaboration between the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Economic Development and the World Bank. Funded by the World Bank, the objective of the MEERY project is to empower youth with skill sets and entrepreneurship training relevant to address the job market amid the COVID-19 pandemic to foster livelihoods.



Maldives: Enhancing Employability and Resilience of Youth “MEERY” is a project co-implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Economic Development. 

The project is a 5-year initiative funded by the World Bank aimed at working towards empowering and facilitating opportunities for youth. The main objectives of the project are to address the challenges faced by the job market by addressing the area of skill development and promoting entrepreneurship activities. This is with the broader mission of addressing the high NEET rate and youth resilience issues and encourage youth to become independent and contributing members of the society. It further reiterates the need for gender equality in the job market by giving women more opportunities to do their part in cultivating the economy.  

It is worthy to note that through the initiatives of MEERY project, the Ministry of Higher Education contributes to the achievement of 5 major Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The goals of SDG that would be directly contributed to through MEERY project include Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 4: Quality Education; Goal 5: Gender Equality; Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Grown; and more importantly Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals.  

In addition, the results of this project would indirectly contribute to the achievement of Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities; Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities and Goal 13: Climate Action.  

We are hopeful that the project activities will transform the way we think and shape strong and resilient youth who are prepared to face the challenges and fill the void of specialized locals for the workforce of this country and transform the community in a sustainable manner.  

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Inspiring Success Stories

First Female Dive Course Director

Local diver Zoona Naseem is the first female dive course director and has won the prestigious global Ocean Awards. When Zoona became a PADI course director in 2018, no Maldivian woman had ever qualified to train diving instructors as well as beginners. As president of the Dive Association of the Maldives and co-founder of the Moodhu Bulhaa Dive Centre, she was also the first woman in the Maldives to qualify as a PADI instructor.

Hilal Agil, Founder and President of The Eco Org.

Hilal Agil is the Founder and President of The Eco Org. He previously served as CEO of technology companies in London and Silicon Valley. Hilal is also the guitarist of the Maldivian heavy Metal band Nothnegal and was awarded the National Youth Award by the president of the Maldives for his outstanding contributions to performing arts. Hilal studied Engineering and specialized in Data Science - Artificial Intelligence from the University of Oxford. “Never be scared to tell people about your imagination. Most people won’t understand it, but the few people who do, will be the ones who would help you turn it into reality.”

Hassan Saeed- Resort Manager of Dhigali Maldives

I have been working since I was 14 years old. I have had many wonderful mentors help and guide me through this long journey of learning, discovery and building relationships. Perhaps, the most important lesson that I learnt in life is that our lives and careers are not straight or linear. It is instead regularly punctuated with zigzags, falls and low moments, during which we need a lot of courage, mental strength, spirituality and a strong sense of community and belonging to pick ourselves up and continue. My advice to those starting careers in hospitality is, regardless of their educational qualification at the time of joining, to start with entry level jobs and work their way up. Remember that altruism, prosocial behavior and self-control/resisting impulsive decisions and not looking for instant gratification in every situation, can open many doors.

Mohamed Sathom - Co-Founder of FENN and RESEUM

“As designers and innovators we aren’t focused on the present. We’re always working towards the future. But to secure our future, we need to make more conscious decisions about global issues and the impact on our planet. It’s very much about educating, inspiring and nurturing these ideas. Success comes from being mindful about our surroundings and how our practices impact everything around us.” Illustrator, Concept Designer and 2D Animator. Worked in the industry for over 10 years across southeast asia. Currently working on sustainable design & technology projects.

Mohamed Fahir - Manager Partnerships & Ecosystem

I started off at Dhiraagu in 1991, at the young age of 19 years, as an installation technician. It took a lot of enjoyable dedicated work to climb up the ladder to where I am today. The most important lesson from my journey is to believe in myself to learn what is required and to deliver on my potential. Lots of people and incidents came in my way, some as distractions but most as support. It is how you perceive these opportunities that gets you to success. I had the opportunity to participate in lot of the key telecommunication development projects that took place in Maldives in the last 29 years. I never hesitated to question what I didn't understand and clarify my role in everything I did. Having a vision of the outcome before you start on a project helps a great deal in making the right choices. My advice to the Youth today is to have a personal plan and work on it. If you have a dream only you can make it real. Be honest and true to yourself. Manager Partnerships & Ecosystem 29 years at Dhiraagu PLC

Raidha shafeeg | FASHION DESIGNER

Raidha shafeeg | FASHION DESIGNER

Raidha shafeeg | FASHION DESIGNER Raidha’s Maldives is Maldives based fashion labeled founded in 2015 by Raidha Shafeeg. Making it the trendiest and rising fashion brand in operation today. Message to the Youth in Maldives. Always believe and have faith in yourself and strength and if you can accomplish that then you can succeed in anything. In Maldives, it’s a time where woman need to stick up and speak up for one another wherever there’s in equality, harassment, body shaming any other forms of act because I believe that’s where the gateway of bullying opens. Together we all can work towards building a strengthened and ambitious work ethic environment that empowers women in business and the younger generations.



Working in the technology area is exciting as it gives you new challenges everyday. You will get to learn a lot of new things. Having a mentor or support group will be helpful in your growth. Be part of the technology revolution.



Be a developer and build creative solutions to the challenges of the world. Be resilient and unrelenting in your dreams.



Follow your dream. Don’t let anyone dissuade you. Strive and achieve your passion.

Khathoon Rasheed Owner of Maskula

Khathoon Rasheed, one of the very first certified female diver created 'Maskula' in 2006. Maskula is an authentic Maldivian Beach wear brand inspired by the diversity of colors, patterns and designs of tropical underwater life. Khathoon's products are delicately designed and handcrafted in Batik which represents a story of underwater experience in the Maldives. Maskula products are available at souvenir shops in different resorts and at Maldives Duty-Free in International Departure at Velana International Airport.

MEERY project

by Ministry of Higher Education