At the end of March, 37 young adults between the ages of 16 and 20 from different parts of Maldives came together for Soneva’s Eco-Camp in partnership with UNDP. The 5 day camp focused on inspiring the participants to be responsible citizens as well as custodians of the environment. (cit. Ahmed Moomin _ Soneva Fushi’s Community Engagement Manager)
As part of this experience, on the 27th all of the students came to Soneva Fushi for a Marine Morning. We started the session with a small presentation on Citizen Science and the involvement of guests in data collection and marine stewardship.
The presentation then continued with a special guest from the Olive Ridley Project, Shameel, who gave an introduction about Turtle Biology and then about The Olive Ridley Project itself, the involvement of people in collecting data on ghost nets and rescuing sea turtles from the ocean. Shameel also had a practical experience on turtle rescuing procedures explaining the best ways to approach and help turtles entangled in nets. All of the students had a lot of questions and engaged in all the activities, some of them inquiring about possible internship with the organisation.
We then continued going in the water for a snorkelling experience. Some of the students, all aged between 16-21 and all Maldivian, were very experienced snorkellers and some even divers, but some others were in the water for their first time. We had the luck to encounter Mobula Rays with a group of youths and a turtle with another group. You can imagine what a great experience it has been for all of us to guide people in a new world and we hope it was as exciting to be guided in the water too.
These are some of my favorite moments because you never know, some of the students may become the Ocean ambassadors of the future.