Friday, 7 November 2014

GIF hosts shark education workshop at CARE club day

GIF, SNPA and Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles discussing
 sharks with a group of primary school kids
Last Friday during the CARE Club day at Anse Royale, the Green Islands Foundation (GIF) hosted a workshop to educate kids on sharks as part of the GEF SGP UNDP funded shark education and awareness project. This whole day workshop was conducted with assistance from the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) and the Wildlife Club of Seychelles. The activities for the shark workshop were initially scheduled to take place at the Anse Royale beach park. However, heavy rain made sandcastle building, snorkelling and other outside activities impossible. Wildlife clubs of Seychelles managed to arrange a classroom at the University of Seychelles which we could use for adapted indoor activities.

SNPA showing the shark tagging process
This workshop formed part of a GIF run Shark project which is comprised of two main components. Aligning with the Seychelles National Plan of Action for Sharks, one of these components consists of educating the community about the importance of sharks in the ecosystem. GIF, together with Seychelles Fishing Authority, the Ministry of Education, Save our Seas Foundation, Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles and Wise Oceans as main project partners for this objective, proposes to develop two educational packages, one targeting primary school students, the other targeting secondary school students. These packages aim to make children understand the way sharks work, why they behave as they do, why sharks may not be the monsters they might believe them to be, etc. It also aims to incorporate the educational packages in ongoing and future national education programmes to ensure kids  learn about sharks years after the project has finished. 

The CARE Club day was a great opportunity for GIF to test out some of the activities and materials we plan to use in the activity handbooks, but also to get feedback on what information students want to learn about, regarding sharks. The workshop was attended by around 80 kids, mainly primary students from different schools on Mahe. GIF, along with SNPA and Wildlife Club of Seychelles moved to a classroom at Unisey, and conducted three activities with 4 groups of around 20 students at a time.

SNPA teaching kids about turtle tagging
The first activity was based on shark teeth. Students were shown pictures of different shark teeth and were taught about their shape, their action, the associated diet and the shark it belongs to. In the second activity, students were taught about the different shark species, and given a demonstration of the shark tagging methodology used by SNPA. Lastly, the kids were also thought about turtle tagging and nesting behaviour. A group of students also got the opportunity to do a drawing activity, and write up what they’ve learnt as well as what more they want to learn about sharks. After taking a picture with some endangered species, all the kids left the workshop with a little message “To know me is to love me” in the form of a shark sticker designed by Peter Lalande.

Children drawing their favorite sharks
Despite the bad weather conditions, we managed to promote shark awareness and also interacted with the kids, which will surely guide us in the development of the educational packages. A big thank you goes out to GEF SGP UNDP, the SNPA team, the Wildlife Club of Seychelles, and the CARE club organizers who allowed us to take part in a partly wet, but fun-filled and educational event! 

1 comment:

  1. Lyndy Bastienne7 Nov 2014, 11:51:00

    Brilliant, and thanks to the partners putting up an educational front to sustainable coastal ecosystem conservation and management. Keep up the good work. MFF Seychelles.