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Farukoe Expo inspires 'children of the reef' to raise their voices for the oceans

Ahmed Aiham
10 August 2018, MVT 11:12
Farukoe Expo entrance at the National Art Gallery on August 9, 2018. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/THE EDITION
Ahmed Aiham
10 August 2018, MVT 11:12

Ministry of Education (MoE)'s ‘Farukoe’ programme launched Farukoe Expo at the National Art Gallery on Thursday.

Farukoe Expo was held as a one-day fair featuring seminars from prominent initiatives and stalls from NGOs, schools and research foundations, with a focus on awareness and information dissemination through interactive and fun activities.

The Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer, launched the 'Farukoe' website at the Expo, whilst pledging to never drink from single-use plastic water bottles. The website is accessible via the url: www.farukoe.com.

Island Development and Environmental Awareness Society (IDEAS) stall on Mangroves, the history, the importance and the function of mangroves at Farukoe Expo. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/THE EDITION

Speaking at the event, Minister of Education, Aishath Shiham, announced that State Trading Organization has pledged to donate cloth bags to every school in the nation, along with UNICEF pledging to donate reusable bottles for every 1st grader, nationwide.

The highlight of the event – the vibrant smiles of the students who voluntarily manned the majority of the stalls.

Stalls to stall pollution:

Sync with the Ocean - Iskandhar School

Faru Dholhi - Dharumavantha School

Long Live Plastic? - Aminiya School

Choose To Refuse - Majeedhiya School

Our Reef Our Life - Imaduddin School

Think Smart, Think Green, Recycle - Jamaluddin School

Alhuganduge Vaahaka - Hiriya School

Friends of Nature (Frona) - Muhiddin School

Plastic Noon Gotheh - Maldives Authentic Crafts Cooperative Society (MACCS)

Muhiddin School's ‘Frona’ (Friends of nature) stall with its ‘Guess the Fish’ Quiz, at the Farukoe Expo. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/THE EDITION

Moodhu Bulhaa

Save the Beach

Olive Ridley Project

Dive Desk

Island Bazaar

Manta Trust

IDEAS

Parley

Divers Lodge

Blue Marine Foundation

IUCN

UNICEF

The stalls focused on addressing the dangers of plastic pollution through mind-boggling questionnaires, arts and crafts, information-packed conversations and many more thought-provoking interactions.

Majeedhiyya School's ‘Choose to Refuse’ quiz; flip one over to find an object and come up with an alternative at the Farukoe Expo. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/THE EDITION

'Farukoe's - The children of the reef

Farukoe is a project by MoE to ensure each and every single student experiences the reef at least once in their lives, all the while combatting the detrimental effects of plastic pollution and plastic use.

The initiative aims to develop a ‘marine community’ through snorkelling, waste management activities and the ultimate banning of single-use plastics. This community focuses on empowering students, educators and children to become a ‘Voice for the Ocean’ by attempting to raise awareness on the fragile nature of the Maldives’ reef ecosystems, and invoke their love for the environment and its conservation.

Students from Jamaaluddin School at their ‘Think Smart, Think Green, Recycle’ stall, explaining the process of recycling paper and creating objects through reusing a common resource as paper, at the Farukoe Expo. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/THE EDITION

Students are recognized for their efforts and contribution to shaping the future of their vulnerable nation.

As such, Farukoe is a conscious effort to educate and enlighten youth, helping them foresee their future and prepare them to live in harmony with the ocean.

Slowly growing as a coral

Bowls, light holders, bookmarks and more! Creativity galore! at the Farukoe Expo. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/THE EDITION

Farukoe looks ahead to the year with great anticipation of achieving the goal of every child enrolled in public education to experience the wonders of the reef and the sea in 2018.

To date, 40 percent of the total student population has gone on snorkelling excursions through the programme. Now, over 30,000 students have witnessed a living, vibrant reef.

There are 212 schools across the Maldivian archipelago, out of which 182 schools have already banned single-use plastics.

Plastic destroys more than it helps!

Long live plastic? Aminiya School takes on plastic decomposition in the food chain, at the Farukoe Expo. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/THE EDITION

- Half a million straws are used around the world every day.

- Approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide annually, with more than one million bags used every minute.

- 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.

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