Cape Town-based environmental non-profit organization, I AM WATER, has partnered with renowned sports foundation, Beyond Sport, and five other international sporting organisations, in a global, “Sport for Climate Action Collective Impact Campaign”, using sport to raise awareness about key environmental issues and sustainability. Each of the organisations involved will run a campaign that contributes to the greater goals in terms of their sporting code in their respective countries.
I AM WATER will drive an awareness and fundraising campaign from South Africa, that includes a call to members of the public to sponsor children from low-resourced coastal communities, to participate in I AM WATER’s conservation and snorkel workshops.
I AM WATER’s contribution to the campaign will be focused on getting more under-resourced children connected to the ocean and aware of marine conservation, by letting them experience the sea firsthand.
“We take sponsored learners on our two-day Ocean Guardians snorkelling workshops to spark a connection and love for the sea and its creatures, inspiring participants to be more conservation-minded and to want to take care of the oceans,” says Hanli Prinsloo, freediver and founder of I AM WATER.
“We feel especially passionate about working with low-resourced, low-income, coastal communities where, despite living walking distance to the shoreline, we often find young people who have never seen the world just beneath the waves,” says Prinsloo.
“Sport is a powerful tool for positive social change in communities around the world. Sports are also impacted by climate change and in turn can galvanise action to counter the associated negative environmental impacts of human behaviour in their fans and participants.”
I AM WATER, the only South African organisation chosen to participate in the global campaign, is specifically focused on using ocean experiences and education linked to creating awareness about marine conservation in relation to issues such as pollution, poaching, and climate change.
How it works
“We work with schools located within 10 km from the ocean in under-served communities. Our primary target group is Grade 7 learners and our groups are a maximum of 24 participants, with the goal to work with all the Grade 7 pupils in a particular school each year. Right now our work has been focused in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, but we plan to do more on the Atlantic side and up the West Coast going forward.”
“Seeing children experience the underwater life of the ocean for the first time is wonderful, especially if they come from underserved communities, and have had little access to the sea before.”
“Our Ocean Guardians School Workshops involve two days spent at the beach practicing yoga-inspired stretching & breathwork & mindfulness, learning about the marine ecosystems and ocean challenges, the human body’s unique adaptation to being underwater, and exploring the intertidal zones and rock pools with marine experts.
The highlight of the workshops is the time spent snorkeling. Learning how to be confident in deeper water, swim safety, understanding the ocean better, and of course seeing the incredible life our ocean holds. From majestic kelp forests to octopus, small shy sharks, brightly colored urchins, and anemones, to an array of fish species.”
Help I AM WATER to inspire more young Ocean Guardians!
Join I AM WATER’s global initiative to inspire youth from low-resourced coastal communities to connect with the ocean and to understand marine conservation.
Your support empowers I AM WATER with the resources needed to reach the youth and give them the experience. Your gift provides masks, snorkels, wetsuits, transport, coaching support, and all the behind-the-scenes work our team does to connect with our network of Primary Schools and community leaders.
For more information visit the website: www.iamwaterfoundation.org