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Reflections on water immersion workshop

By May 16, 2024Education

Reflections on water immersion workshop

South Africa witnesses an average of 1,484 drownings annually, with 29% (450) occurring among children under 14 years old. This stark statistic can instill fear of the ocean, yet advocating for her protection demands not only reverence but also celebration of her tempestuous beauty.
Many young black girls lack the opportunity for proper water confidence training, often only discovering the art of snorkeling and diving later in life when resources permit. Acknowledging this disparity, we orchestrated a workshop designed to equip Black Girls Rising with the skills needed for safe exploration in the water. Held on April 13, 2024, the workshop gathered an enthusiastic cohort from Black Girls Rising (BGR), offering them a glimpse into the mysteries of the underwater realm.

Dr Nelson Miranda of Argonaut Science, Loyiso Dunga a local marine scientist and TBCO’s founder Aaniyah Martin addressing the Black Girls Rising | Image by Amy Maria Jacobs

The day was brimming with excitement as the young participants arrived. This workshop aimed to give participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in the comforting waves at Waters Edge, Simon’s Town, providing the safe space for underwater exploration and, importantly, for self-discovery. Led by a team of experienced instructors from Argonaut Science, Dr Nelson Miranda and Dr Nasreen Peer, and marine biologist Loyiso Dunga, the immersive workshop offered a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience. The workshop is part of The Beach Co-op’s Women and Water programme which is supported by Best Water Technology. This was the last workshop under this programme in this funding cycle.

Black Girls Rising learning to donne their mask and use their snorkels | Image by Amy Maria Jacobs

One of the key objectives of the workshop was to promote water comfortability among the participants. Through a series of engaging activities and interactive sessions, the girls learned basic swimming techniques, snorkeling skills, and safety measures, all under the guidance of certified instructors. As the workshop progressed, it was inspiring to see the girls confidence grow. Many overcame their initial fears of the water, diving headfirst into new experiences and emerging with a newfound sense of achievement. The workshop not only equipped them with valuable swimming and snorkeling skills but also instilled in them a deeper appreciation for the marine world.

The Black Girls Rising learning to snorkel safely and confidently in the ocean | Image by Amy Maria Jacobs

The success of the Water Immersion Workshop would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of Argonaut Science, Loyiso Dunga, KhoiScouts and Seadogs, The FisherChild Projekt and our in-water support and facilitators Joanne Peers and Megan-Rose Francis. Their dedication to marine education and conservation is truly commendable, and their passion has undoubtedly sparked a lasting interest in the participants.

As we reflect on the memorable experiences shared during the Water Immersion Workshop, we are reminded of the importance of marine education and hands-on learning. By nurturing a love for the ocean in young minds, we are paving the way for a more sustainable future—one where our oceans thrive, and our communities are united in their commitment to protect our planet’s greatest treasure.

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