News

Water Smart Fun Day Success

It has been a busy November and December for the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) team as we have been gearing up and initiating activities for the Christmas season in Kenton while also strategically planning new programs, including our Water Smart Fun Day. This new education initiative was recently launched on Monday, December 14th in Kenton-on-Sea and on Friday, December 18th in Port Alfred. Both were large successes and full of learning and fun.

To give you a bit of background, over the past couple months we have partnered with Helen Averbuch and Van West to teach six local Kenton and Port Alfred trainees about our estuaries and also swimming and water safety to prepare them to be beach guides for SST. Using the NSRI Water Wise program as the basis, we developed a plan for two Water Smart Fun Day events to teach local children about the dangers at our estuaries and beaches and how to be safe in and around the water. This initiative became increasingly important with the number of drownings that have taken place in the Kenton area. The goal for this program is to encourage children to think and act safely around water through the use of simple and memorable education taught in the actual environments, therefore applying real world, practical knowledge of water safety.

The first event took place at Kariega Lagoon in Kenton-on-Sea while the Port Alfred event was at Kiddies Beach. Both events were incredible fun with smiles across the faces of kids, volunteers, and SST staff members alike. In addition to all the fun, the children walked away with knowledge of water safety from the educational and swim lessons. Some lessons included: PLAN (Pack, Look, Ask, and Never); HHH (Help, Hazards, Hello); and the number to call if they were ever in trouble (10177). As a separate project, SST also introduced children to some swimming basics such as put their face in the water, do a back float, and do the doggy paddle.

The events were also a success in introducing our new local guides who showed us that with the determination to learn and share that knowledge, one could really help people. The guides took on leadership roles to teach the NSRI Water Wise program and had children dancing and singing as they learned the meanings of PLAN and HHH. With such positive engagement, response and feedback, SST is looking forward to running more Water Smart programs in the New Year. Please keep your eyes open for SST’s upcoming events and feel free to contact shauna@sst.org.za for any additional questions on our past or future activities.

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