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Awareness with a celebration of Maldivian culture

As Thulhadhoo, Baa Atoll celebrates 'International Mother Language Day', the Stand Up For Our Seas team gets treated to a colourful celebration of Maldivian culture as they immerse the island in their message for preserving the environment.

Rae Munavvar
21 February 2019, MVT 20:52
Stand Up For Our Seas team members Shaziya and Dhafeena lead the presentation on environmental awareness for students from Thulhadhoo School. PHOTO: JAMES APPLETON PHOTOGRAPHY / STAND UP FOR OUR SEAS.
Rae Munavvar
21 February 2019, MVT 20:52

The Stand Up For The Seas team paddled out at 0800 hours from Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, the starting point for their week-long journey throughout Baa Atoll, on Thursday.

The morning wind was already strong and continued to build throughout the day. Fortunately, the first leg of the journey was downwind, which meant the team sailed on through to Thulhaadhoo despite the choppy seas.

Arriving just in time for cultural festivities at Thulhadhoo, Baa Atoll, the team was welcomed by the Headmaster of Thulhadhoo School and were treated to displays of lacquer work, traditional dances and more, even partaking in the celebrations.

Traditional dance being performed by female students from Thulhadhoo School. PHOTO: STAND UP FOR OUR SEAS

The afternoon also included an awareness session with the school’s Green Club of fifty older students aged between 15 to 16-year-old. They engaged in a discussion of topics ranging from plastic pollution, climate change, ocean connection, and turtle conservation. The students responded enthusiastically to the information, keen to learn and share what they knew.

Shaziya and Dhafeena introduce the team to Thulhadhoo islanders. PHOTO: JAMES APPLETON PHOTOGRAPHY / STAND UP FOR OUR SEAS.

This was followed by a beach clean up, which hailed over 13kg of litter in about 15 minutes. Joined by local boys, the mention of a prize added a competitive spin on the activity, and participants were gifted with recycled ghost net bracelets.

Shameel from Stand Up For Our Seas team cleans up Thuladhoo with local little ones. PHOTO: JAMES APPLETON PHOTOGRAPHY / STAND UP FOR OUR SEAS.

After a paddle-by exploration of the vibrant house reef, reportedly feeling slightly exhausted but mostly exhilarated, the four women set off in the evening to brave stronger winds than earlier in the day as they departed from Thulhadhoo and headed to the uninhabited island of Emboodhoo.

In anticipation for their take off, Dr. Cal Major, who flew in from the United Kingdom for the event, posted online detailing the team's' excitement to begin what she describes as a "Call to action" late Wednesday.

(From Left) Dr. Cal Major, Dhafeena Hassan, Dr. Claire Petros and Shaziya Saeed take off from Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu to Thulhadhoo Island. PHOTO: STAND UP FOR OUR SEAS

"The Maldives and so many countries full of incredible wildlife, are vulnerable to rising sea levels, coral bleaching, climate change, plastic pollution and ghost gear," writes Cal.

"Yet, as in the Maldives, often the problems and thus the solutions, are global. We’re highlighting what’s happening here to tackle it, and asking the global community to take action too".

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