Picture it - Mkwiro beach - the sun is setting, the fishermen are tending to their well-worn boats, the tide is slowly going out revealing the beautiful coral shelf, and the beach is teaming with excited young children. Why? Because it’s Earth Day! And what better place to celebrate than this beautiful island paradise?
|Volunteer Sarah makes some initial sketches with local children.|
|Interns Stacey and Amy start drawing the outline of the world.|
On Monday 22nd April, along with many other school children around the world, the children of Mkwiro Primary School got to do their very own project for Earth Day. The theme for this year was ‘The Faces of Climate Change’. Now for many on this island, ‘climate change’ is quite an abstract concept, but the people of Mkwiro rely on the sea for their livelihood, from fishing to seaweed farming, and being aware of the environment is essential. And while they may feel isolated, the children deserve to know that they are important and have their own place in the world.
|Making Australia out of a beautiful Kanga.|
So, in a true GVI team effort, Community staff joined forces with Marine Conservation staff and volunteers to help the children create a huge world map on the beach. We drew an outline in the sand with sticks then in true ‘art attack’ style used kangas to fill in the continents! Kangas are a traditional coastal fabric made from cotton, worn by women and girls in a variety of ways. They also have various uses in the home and their bright bold prints are a symbol of rural Kenya. While we arranged the landmasses as best we could, the children also gathered natural materials such as shells and rocks, to fill in the gaps and complete the collage. They then had a whale of a time running in and around the map, guessing the countries and pointing to where Kenya was. Some boys even began their own sand drawings of dolphins, which were amazing! The volunteers had a wonderful time interacting with the children, (which is not something you get to do often on a marine research program!), and as the sun was setting behind us, we captured the moment by taking pictures from the coral cliff above. What an amazing day!
Kathryn Hodskinson – Community field staff
|Putting everything in place......|
|The final result!|