Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."


Project #
Skidmore College
  • Hulwa Khaleel


“The Maldives is usually known for its high-end luxury resorts — untouched white sandy beaches stretching on and on,” writes Hulwa Khaleel of her island nation. But “the reality of local life,” she notes, “is extremely different from the postcard views. Local islands rarely have a proper waste management system, which results in garbage piling by the beach and in open spaces on land.”

To promote community waste management in ways that could have long-term impacts, Hulwa’s project — whose name comes from a Maldivian term for a trash container — sought to place trash receptacles in public locations in Addu City, at the southern end of the archipelago. That effort ran into local political conflicts. But, she reports, the City Council agreed to cover the costs of collecting trash and maintaining the bins, once permissions come through to place them in areas of need.

Hulwa had quicker success in working with a youth NGO, JCI Addu, to organize trash cleanups at two popular local beach and swimming areas. One spot tends to collect household trash along with beach users’ garbage; the other the only safe and accessible swimming area on an island district of Addu City. Over two days, 50 volunteers filled 10 jumbo trash bags with one ton of garbage, including metals and plastics. In a further effort to promote composting and household waste reduction, Hulwa also led the building of a compost site and community garden at Addu High School.