Through the charity’s participation in CJ Eklund Fine Art Photography’s Empathy Between Species Project, the vulnerable kids in House of Blue Hope’s care have become more aware of the vulnerability of nature and the animals with which we share the planet.
After trips to the Every Living Thing animal sanctuary, as well as a visit from the Tanzania based conservation NGO Sea Sense teaching them about the ocean’s vulnerable inhabitants followed by witnessing vulnerable Sea Turtles hatching, it is fair to say the kids in the charity’s care have found a new passion for the ocean and nature.
It was with this passion that a few of the kids voiced a wish to be able to be more active in helping protect nature, and especially Tanzania’s marine environment. The suggestion of joining in with the local regular beach cleaning event organised by Nipe Fagio (which is Swahili for ‘give me the broom’) was made and, with little delay, a small group of the older kids and the caregivers made their way one early morning to Coco beach in Oyster Bay, Dar es Salaam. Armed with large garbage bags and protective gloves, the HBH contingency joined volunteers, including two Sea Sense Ocean Ambassadors who had taught the HBH kids at the community center, and filled the sacks with plastic waste that had accumulated on the beach.
As many will know, the scale and impact of plastic waste choking the ocean and its marine life, has reached crisis point. The UN’s oceans chief Lisa Svensson describes it as a “planetary crisis,”. “In a few short decades since we discovered the convenience of plastics, we are ruining the ecosystem of the ocean.”
As the sun rose and the day got hotter, the kids took a welcome rest after their hard work, enjoying the now cleaner beach, before making their way back to Mabibo in time for tea, safe in the knowledge they had made a meaningful impact towards SDG #14 ( Sustainable Development Goal #14 – Life Below Water) by making the ocean that much cleaner and safer for the Sea Turtles and other precious marine wildlife Sea Sense had taught them about.
The House of Blue Hope charity is always looking for opportunities to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and hope to facilitate more occasions like this, so that the kids in its care learn about them, and how they can be a part of the global effort to achieve a more sustainable and healthy way of life for all, empowering them and imbuing them with a sense of ownership of their natural heritage. Of course, it also serves as another opportunity for the kids to enjoy a trip to the beach and enjoy the natural splendour of Tanzania’s coastline!
This opportunity was brought about by the excellent example being set by the conservation NGO Sea Sense, and the tireless work of the Nipe Fagio group do to engage the public to take action, diminishing the damage caused by plastic waste in the Indian Ocean.