On Wednesday, the 1st of May, youth projects from the communities of Marselle, Klipfontein and Ekuphumleni came together to learn about the ocean conservation and the importance of ensuring that the ecosystems of our local coastline are protected. The Kariega Project facilitated the coming together of the youth projects, the Sustainable Seas Trust, Quest Africa, Rotary and the Ndlambe Municipality in order to put on an educational and fun day in the sun. The Sustainable Seas Trust team is on their SAMSA Saldanha to Sodwana SEA Pledge Tour and made use of the opportunity to spend the day with the children from these active youth projects.
Not only did the children from these communities have an opportunity to learn about the sustainability of our country’s oceans, but they also partook in a river and beach clean up exercise. The focus of the clean up was education on how litter left on our coastline affects various animals in our marine ecosystems. By participating in the day’s events, the children from these communities each earned Kariega Credits towards the construction of youth centres in each of their communities. Through the vehicle of Kariega Credits, the Kariega Project enables community project teams to ‘earn’ funding by completing community service in their own communities, thereby giving participants ownership of their projects . More information on Kariega Credits can be found on their website at http://kariegaproject.weebly.com/
After a lesson conducted by the Sustainability Seas Trust on the oceans that surround our country and an insight into the different ecosystems that stretch along our coastlines, the individual teams were briefed by William Bode of Ndlambe Municipality on the effects of litter on different animals within our local foodwebs. The teams assisted by young men from Quest Africa then set off on different routes along the Kariega river and the Kariega beach. Along the way, team leaders collected information about the detritus collected to be used by the Municipality. Once the task was completed, the project teams descended on Middle Beach for lunch which was kindly sponsored by Rotary.
Part of the Sustainable Seas Trust SAMSA SEA Pledge Tour mandate is to encourage children and adults alike to make pledges about what they will do in their own lives to ensure the future of our oceans, whether it be as simple as picking up litter or planting a tree, any pledge is valued and recorded. The kids from the Marselle, Klipfontein, Ekuphumleni as well as the men from Quest Africa each recorded their pledges on film and these will be put into the SEA Pledge film that the Sustainable Seas Trust is putting together once their Saldanha to Sodwana tour is complete. The promises caught on film made by the youth of these projects will mark the first of what will hopefully be many future events of community collaboration that bring our local children and conservation education together.
One of the teams setting off on their educational clean up along the beach
Boys from the Klipfontein After School Centre
Kopo Phelelisa making a SEA Pledge on behalf of the Marselle Youth Empowerment Centre