Above: Forty-eight third graders came to after-school swim lessons in the Maldives.
This project and those like it are the epitome of Blue Mind: Opening access to wild, healthy water to engender love and protection.
For two weeks in May One Ocean Media Foundation helped organize – and filmed – a unique learn-to-swim program on the remote Maldivian island of Eydafushi.
Despite living just a couple feet above sea level, many of the locals here never learn to swim. With the support of the Slow Life Foundation and Soneva Fushi Resort, the goal was to get moms and kids more confident in the water, in part as a way to impress upon them the importance of taking better care of the ocean that surrounds.
At the end of the two weeks the 48 third graders and 18 moms who had come for lessons each day put on masks, fins and snorkels and finally had a close-up look at the world below the surface.
Like many corners of our ocean world the Maldives suffer from a variety of ills, mostly manmade: Overfishing. Plastic pollution. Rising sea levels due to a warming ocean. And acidification.
Teaching these incredible families to swim was a first step towards encouraging them to become even better guardians.
Swim lessons will continue; the film will be finished Fall 2014.
Photos by Cat Vinton.
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