Meet Finny the Funny Shark. He works with Tova and has a pretty exciting life travelling around the islands of Palau, Yap and Pohnpei teaching school children about other sharks that live in the region.
By getting children to understand the importance of sharks, we can harness them as ambassadors to help make sure that their grandparents, parents and future children protect sharks and the environment.
The heart of Micronesian children is the future of conservation in the region.
The Micronesian Shark Foundation’s education programme has been very successful in Palau for the past five years and has expanded to other islands of the Micronesian region.
The first island chosen was Yap, which is part of Federated States of Micronesia. Even though Yap is less than 480 kilometres away from Palau, there are vast differences between the two islands – economically, traditionally and with regards to education. The children of Yap do not get many visiting school programmes. The next island we visited was Pohnpei, and as an island that depends on commercial fishing, it was quite a challenge to explain to the children there the importance of protecting sharks. The books were received with a lot of enthusiasm and the programme is continuing. The outcomes of our project serve as a baseline for management strategies for many Indo-Pacific nations where conflicting priorities hamper the protection of sharks.
The aims and objectives of this project are to:
Building a generation of critical thinkers and fostering a sense of connection are what Candice’s work at the Cape Eleuthera Island School in The Bahamas is all about. By challenging children to seek out the answers to their questions themselves and enabling them to visit important marine ecosystems, Candice is encouraging new advocates for the environment and empowering them to make changes in their world.
Terence has been running the Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles and working with the Unisey Centre for Environment and Education (UCEE) for many years. He is a long-standing grant recipient from the Foundation. His work has been to make the wonders of the natural world, and the incredible heritage of Seychelles, available to children and young adults. By learning and immersing themselves in nature, Terence hopes to guide children to the best environmental solutions and help older youth on a path to study the natural world at university.
Jonas works in one of the world’s marine wonders, Raja Ampat in West Papua, Indonesia – but his heart knows that social justice and environmental conservation go hand-in-hand. His project therefore aims to build a safe learning centre to provide free education to children and teens, through his Child Aid Papua Foundation. Here, Jonas believes that local communities – many of whom have not benefitted from tourism and rapid development – will have a chance to learn about and understand their changing world. He wants to empower young people with skills to help implement their own change and direction.