Education in Port Elizabeth
The team at Raggy Charters are dedicated to educating the public about the marine environment and the need to conserve it! It is especially important to target our youth so that they can learn about the beautiful bay that they live in and hopefully encourage them to play a vital role in the future by conserving it. Every year Lloyd Edwards, the owner of Raggy Charters, will visit various schools, universities, organisations and clubs to show them the spectacular wildlife that we have in Algoa Bay, by showing them photographs taken during our marine eco-cruises.
Our education officer, Lindeka Ntlokwana, targets the underprivileged children by visiting different schools in the Port Elizabeth area and showing them the wildlife in the bay, educating them about the problems some of these animals are encountering and asking them what can they do to help. A huge part of this education programme is getting these kids to come out and see the bay for themselves. We run a competition at each school asking the class to draw a marine animal, and we select the best drawings from the group and invite that child to join us on a cruise for free! Show a child a wild animal; a penguin, dolphin, whale etc. and they will remember it forever. Our hope is that these kids grow up remembering about these animals and the problems they face, and then do something to help!
We are also part of Marine Week every year, at SAMREC, where hundreds of school children visit the centre and learn about the different aspects of the marine environment. This initiative allows for disadvantaged schools to get involved as we fund the transportation to SAMREC, which is in the beautiful Cape Recife Nature Reserve. So they also get to go to the beach, which many may have never done before, and learn about the different eco-systems of the ocean.
We ask everyone that listens to our talks to think about what they can do in their life to make a difference to the world. A lot of children do not realise the impact that litter can have on the environment so it is vital to get through to them at a young age 'Don't Litter!' They can spread this awareness at home, to friends and to other members of their family, and if everyone starts making little changes to help, we may start to see a difference :)