Save the Beach started in 2008 as a youth movement in Vilingili to conserve the beaches in Vilingili. The main activity of Save the Beach at the time was hosting a cleaning event once a year. Save the Beach also planted trees in and around Vilingili, and participated in community activities throughout this time. Save the Beach in Vilingili has inspired many cleaning events across Maldives, including in Hulhumale’.
Many supporters of Save the Beach participated in the cleaning events which focused not only on cleaning the beaches but the reef around Vilingili. The Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), the Maldives Police Services, many government and private offices, environment and other NGOs, schools, dive centers and public officials participated in the cleaning events.
Tonnes of garbage were removed from the beach and reef, among which were plastic, metal scraps, bottles, diapers and a wide range of garbage items. Volunteers and activists of Save the Beach have keenly observed the ongoing changes to the island due to reclamation, and how the work on jetty and harbor have completely destroyed the reef and habitats of many living creatures. Save the Beach has constantly lobbied for the protection of the beaches and reefs.
Hassan Ahmed led the initiatives and co-founded the movement along with the youth of Villingili. Hassan Ahmed has been a resident of Villingili from the very beginning and has been a conservationist from the time the first harbour was made when he noticed the reefs dying. Hassan Ahmed orchestrated all of the activities of Save the Beach as a movement without registering it. Since registration eases the path to sustainable activities Save the Beach is now registered as a Non-Government Organisation and has carried out various successful projects and programmes.
Save the Beach Maldives, as it is now called, aims to conserve and maintain the beaches and reefs of Villingili and Maldives. Since natural processes of environmental growth take time, the Conservation and Beautification Project is proposed for a period of ten years. The Goal is to lay the proper foundations in the first three years including collecting the primary and secondary research needed to back the project. .