"In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught." (Baba Dioum, 1968) This couldn't be more true in today's world where for so many young people, the oceans and our beaches are something they have never experienced or had the chance to enjoy, so how can we expect them to conserve it? The Pride Of Our Oceans Project is about giving young people a direct, fun, memorable, educational and enriching experience of nature along our coastline. A chance to create a love for the oceans which otherwise may never get nurtured.
Help Us Share The Magic Of The Oceans With An Underprivileged Child
A surprisingly large number of young people from rural schools around Ballito and Salt Rock have rarely, if ever, been to the beach or had any level of exposure to coastal environmental education. With the Pride Of Our Oceans Program, we intend changing this and bit by bit, get as many young people enthused and passionate about our oceans and coastline. You can help us by supporting an ocean experience and making an impact on a child’s life which may just last a lifetime!
The Pride Of Our Oceans is an extension of the entry level environmental education programme established by the Wilderness Leadership School, one of South Africa’s oldest and most respected environmental NGO’s. The Wilderness Leadership was started by the legendary Dr. Ian Player and Magqubu Ntombela over sixty years ago. Their principle was simple, if people could be given a direct, memorable, powerful experience of wilderness and nature then they would naturally become ambassadors for conservation.
The Pride program was developed to fulfil the need for an environmental education outreach programme among disadvantaged youth from urban and rural areas. The various Pride Projects scattered throughout South Africa introduce over 3000 previously disadvantaged, primary and senior learners to a one-day, entry-level outdoor experience every year. The experience has been proven to help stimulate the learners’ interest in their immediate natural environment and concern for its preservation and conservation.
Pride Of Our Oceans is the first non-terrestrial Pride program in South Africa. Each year Tidal Tao takes hundreds of people snorkelling and on rocky shore exploratory walks. This was our goal from day one, to share our incredible marine life with others in the hope that people would start seeing our oceans and our beaches the same way they do nature reserves. But in many ways, we are preaching to the converted. We have been astounded by how many young people, living within a 50km radius of Ballito and Salt Rock have never been to the beach, let alone explored a rock pool or been exposed to ocean conservation issues. It is very difficult to encourage conservation of our coastline and deal with the myriad of issues when so many people have no connection or experience of the ocean or the problems.
Our Pride Of The Oceans Project aims at changing this, bit by bit and growing a small army of young people from our area who have a passion and healthy respect for the ocean whilst also being exposed to valuable educational opportunities around the natural sciences and career opportunities in ecotourism and conservation. The program is a full morning activity mixed in with curriculum aligned environmental education and marine biology / natural sciences learning through direct experience and exploring. But most importantly, we include a strong element of "free play" to ensure the experience also a fun and memorable experience which can leave a positive impression of our coastline for years to come….and who knows perhaps somewhere in there is the next great marine biologist, researcher, conservationist or even snorkelling guide!
So where do the funds go?
The biggest expense is getting groups of children to the beach…safely. Transport is possibly our biggest overhead on this project. Other expenses include a meal for the children on the beach, learning resources and expenses for our guides / environmental educators. All in all, each group of 12 children costs close to R4 000 in direct overhead expenses. Our goal is to expose 1000 children to the wonders of our coastline each year as well as providing follow up experiences and mentorship of children who show a distinct passion and interest.
How are donations managed?
All donations towards the program are ring-fenced and managed by the Wilderness Leadership School, a registered non-profit organization and public benefit organization with accounts audited annually. For donations, more than R500, we can also issue a section 18A tax certificate, making your donations tax deductible. All contributions will be acknowledged on our website & social media (unless anonymity requested) - individuals and businesses who have contributed will also be invited to join the outings if they wish to participate and see the work on action.
How can you donate?
Individual donations can be made via instant EFT or credit card by simply clicking the donate button below. All payments are 100% secure and processed by Payfast. If you own a business, why not consider adopting a school? Give us a shout to discuss co-branding opportunities for your business.
Alternatively, you can make direct EFT deposits to (NB: Please include your name and “oceans” as a reference)
|Bank:||First National Bank (South Africa)|
|Name of account:||Wilderness Leadership School Trust|
|Account no.:||5088 203 9339|
22 35 26 (Westville Branch)