This programme is being piloted by the Oceans Research Foundation with the purpose of promoting skills development and creating environmental awareness. Sea the Change has been in pilot phase since 2019 and to date 2 400 learners have benefitted from the programme.
This year the 60 young women from Mossel Bay, between the ages of 16 and 18 years, will be trained in the core areas of marine mammal stranding response, first aid, lifeguard training, pre-sea introduction, and skippers licence.
Andrea Bradfield, Oceans Research Fundraiser, explained that the selected participants will follow a general marine education and practical skills programme and then throughout the year will also be involved with environmental ambassador outreach activity in the community.
“All 60 candidates will undertake the marine stranded response course and a first aid course. From the 60 participants, we select eight for lifeguard training. As the year progresses, six of those eight will be selected to do the pre-sea course, and out of those six, two will be selected to undertake the boat skipper license,” said Andrea.
Isuzu ChildLife granted funding of R88 000 through CP Nel Motors towards the project. Kenneth Cupido, Dealer Principal at C P Nel Motors, said that, as a dealership located on the coast, it is important to teach youth about nature conservation and preservation through development programmes. “We are aware of the societal ills and challenges within our communities. We trust that young females will learn skills which will stand them in good stead to pursue science and marine-related careers,” said Cupido.
Cupido and the team at C P Nel Motors are delighted that this local project has received support from Isuzu. “The support from Isuzu ChildLife gives our dealership the opportunity to uplift our community and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our youth. Skills programmes of this nature will instil confidence, improve self-esteem and assist in youth marketability,” he said.
Pictured: It was all smiles (under mask) for Chulumanco Gqiza, left, student at the Oceans Outreach Foundation and Sophumelela Qowa, Oceans Outreach Officer.