The community on the small island of Malapascua in the Philippines is as unique as the place they call home. This is the only place in the world where thresher sharks can be found on a nearly daily basis and the community has built itself around them to support a thriving ecotourism dive industry. However, that relationship goes both ways, as the sharks that help build the community also depend upon their sustainable practices and conservation efforts.
Education about the ecology and conservation of these vital animals is incredibly important for both their future and the livelihoods of the community. Locally based organizations like Project Sharklink and the Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project have worked with the community for years to provide research, education, and outreach on both local and international scales. Now, they are partnering again to restart their outreach and education program to Malapascua's local schools. However, they need a little help from you to get started!
The plan is to provide 3 educational workshops to the students of Malapascua Elementary School focusing on fundamental shark ecology and conservation. The project will culminate in a student-led mural painting that will be featured at the school. Project Sharklink and the Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project will also be inviting volunteers with experience in education and the local language to assist with planning and running the workshops. The workshops will run from February until April, when the local semester finishes. Updates on the progress of the workshops will follow soon!
Workshop costs (x3):
2 nights accommodation for 2 volunteers- 1,600 PHP
Volunteer transport costs- 1,400 PHP
Materials for workshop- 1,000 PHP
Snacks for students (45x)- 1,575 PHP
Total: 5,575 PHP each workshop
Mural Painting Event:
2 nights accommodation for 3 volunteers- 2,400 PHP
Volunteer transport costs- 2,100 PHP
Food for volunteers- 1,800 PHP
Mural painting supplies (paints and brushes)- 7,230
Total: 13,530 PHP
Grand Total: 28,255 PHP ($558)
Project Sharklink and the Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project want to make this an ongoing effort, one that extends beyond these workshops to make shark awareness an integral part of the local curriculum and to include all schools on Malapascua. However, this project is the seed, and your help goes a long way in making these and future workshops more impactful. Thank you for helping us share our love and knowledge about these incredible animals!
For more information about Project Sharklink or the Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project, please visit https://web.facebook.com/projectsharklink/ or http://www.threshersharkproject.org/TSRCP/Home.html
Photo credit- Kammonat Oat