Marine Education: The First Step for Conservation
Two weeks ago my long dreamt-of adventure to the Seychelles finally started. As soon as the airplane touched down on the Seychelles’ only runway suited for international flights everything went really fast. After a quick welcome and a chat with the other volunteers we were immediately put to work. An average day in the first week consisted of studying fish and coral for surveys, attending lectures concerning the importance of marine conservation, getting to know how things worked around base, socializing with the other volunteers, following classes for the PADI Advanced course and of course at least one actual dive a day. The days were interesting and fun but could also be very tiring.
The project mainly focuses on the conservation of marine parks in the Seychelles. GVI, however, also recognizes the importance of educating primary school children about marine environments. Since these children will be running the country in the future, it is of vital importance that they learn to respect the marine environment by which they are surrounded, in particular for the Seychellois children. That is why I, together with a small group of other volunteers, was asked to prepare a lesson for a group of students from the International School of Seychelles on adaptations in a marine environment.
The lesson turned out to be great! The enthusiasm of the children completely swept away all of our tiredness from the demanding first week, along with any nervousness by those volunteers not used to interacting with children might have had. The lesson took place on the beach and by the use of some ‘self-made’ educational games, together with two presentations about adaptations in a marine environment, we managed to teach the children a lot (which was proven at the end when each of them had to tell the group something interesting they had learned). Not only had the children enjoyed the morning lesson, so had we! It was very nice to do something completely different than the usual duties on base and excite a group of young children in a playful way about a serious topic. Marine conservation is clearly very needed, and it can only be maintained by educating future leaders about its importance.
Philip Wolters (18)
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