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Celebrating the Ocean through art, poems and stories

By Abbie Hine, 23rd November 2012

Every year the Seychelles officially celebrates the oceans during their SUBIOS (underwater) festival. The event is organised by the Seychelles Tourist Board, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Environment. For the third year running Save our Seas Foundation has been one of the main sponsors of the event. As Project Leader and coordinator of SOSF’s involvement in this event, it has enabled me to have two very enjoyable tasks: firstly I get to be one of the judges for the SUBIOS art competition and secondly I get to give out the SOSF prizes to the winning, and very talented children. The children from all categories are awarded SOSF books and stickers, which are always received with much enthusiasm. The prize giving ceremony is held in the National Library where all the artwork, poems and stories are displayed. Between the prizes being handed out the children sang marine themed songs, read their poems and there was even a play with a string marine message. The whole event is televised and will feature in next week national newspaper.

The standard of artwork amazes me each year and this year was certainly no exception. The theme the children had to follow was “People and the Ocean – Striving for a Sustainable Partnership”. There are entrants from Primary, Secondary and Post Secondary. As with last year all the Post Secondary entrants were from the School of Visual Arts and the entries were all done in batik!

Fantastic winning Entries from Primary, Secondary and Post Secondary Schools © Abbie Hine

Fantastic winning Entries from Primary, Secondary and Post Secondary Schools © Abbie Hine

Fantastic winning entries from Primary, Secondary and Post-Secondary Schools © Abbie Hine

There are also story and poem competitions run at the same time and under the same theme. Sadly due to my Creole not being quite up to standard I am unable to judge this competition! The winning entry for the Primary section was won by Richiraj with the following piece of work….

“Our beautiful Seychelles Islands,
from the coast to the highlands,
are surrounded by the Indian Ocean,
which is filled with emotion.
From turtles, to fishes and eels,
Are facing great ordeals.

The turtles are killed for their meat and shell,
If this continues there will be no stories to tell.
People throw their trash in the sea,
Affecting the fishes with debris.
We must all come together and find a solution,
So that we can stop pollution.

By putting our trash in the bin,
We are helping to keep the sea clean.
By restricting overfishing,
There would be more reproducing,
Of species that were in threat,
And we would not have any regret.

We could stop being a stranger,
By helping the species in danger.
When protecting the ocean,
With more precaution,
We would have more compassion,
For the marine ecosystem and our future generation.”

With the prize giving done and celebrated we now look forward to a day on the beach: the SUBIOS Children’s Fun Day tomorrow! A day filled with marine related activities and fun for everyone. SOSF will have a stand and will running activities along side other local NGOs like the Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles, plus Global Vision International and the Marine Parks Authority. Read the next blog to hear all about it!

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