The AfriOceans Conservation Alliance (AOCA), a non-profit organisation at the forefront of marine education and shark conservation in South Africa, was delighted to announce that they have been allocated a total grant of R 5, 691 000 (five million six hundred and ninety one thousand rand) from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF). The funding has been granted for their exciting and innovative AfriOceans Warriors Environmental Education Programme.
The AfriOceans Warriors has emerged as a unique African tribe, which aims to assist the youth of South Africa to take ownership of their natural heritage and become leaders of awareness campaigns for Africa’s oceans. This three-year, high profile, curriculum linked, national environmental educational programme, promotes skills development and sustainability from the local level upwards.
It seeks to empower South Africa’s youth to take action for our oceans and aims to reach a total of 170 000 learners at 170 schools along the South African coast, making it the largest marine focused environmental education initiative in the country.
The Programme consists of a number of exciting components such as a Blue Schools Network, which includes AfriOceans Warriors tribes formed at each school, and the teaching of a unique Big Blue Life Sciences curriculum.
life no longer supported
The oceans are our life support system but they, and our planet’s environment in general, are in peril: global warming combined with environmental degradation, fast-dwindling natural resources, and imminent shortages of food is forcing us into a future filled with many uncertainties for our own survival. The youth will suffer the most.
Founder and Executive Director of AfriOceans, Lesley Rochat explains: ‘An army of conservation warriors is urgently needed to help us win the battle against human greed, ignorance and destructive ways. Our children can be these warriors who, with the right leadership and guidance, can influence massive, positive changes in institutional, governmental and business policies.’
The Programme encourages a reflection of African tribal roots and culture where profound values and empathy for the natural environment and animals is reflected. In so doing it encourages the conservation and sustainability of South Africa’s marine environment for the sake of our children’s future.
fighting for our oceans
‘We are delighted to be given this wonderful opportunity by the NLDTF to make a difference in the lives of so many young South Africans. While the parents of many of these young citizens fought against apartheid and for freedom and equality, the AfriOceans Warriors are fighting for their constitutional right to inherit healthy oceans. It is our responsibility as the their parents, teachers, and leaders, and as the generation partly responsible for the current environmental crisis facing the world and its oceans, to give them the means to achieve this,” says Rochat.
The NLDTF relies on funds from the proceeds of the National Lottery. The Lotteries Act and regulations guides the way in which NLDTF funding may be allocated. The NLDTF wants the grants to make a difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially those more vulnerable, and to improve the sustainability of the beneficiary organisations. Available funds are distributed to registered and qualifying non-profit organisations in the fields of charities; arts, culture and national heritage; and sport and recreation. By placing its emphasis on areas of greatest need and potential, the NLDTF contributes to South Africa’s development.