AFO-NEWF partnership equipped 11 Ocean conservationists with Advanced Open

In addressing its long-term project as per Sustainable Development Goal 14 of conserving life below the water in Tanzania targeting coral reefs and seagrasses, Aqua-Farms Organization realized that In Tanzania there is an existing barrier of underwater creatures’ distinction that has been a challenge to marine-related professionals together with filmmakers and storytellers over a year now which led to difficulties in conducting research and findings reporting. Thus, on 17th – 26th August 2022, Aqua-Farms Organization – AFO in partnership with Nature Environment & Wildlife Filmmaking partnership (NEWF) facilitated the training to 8 Tanzanians and 3 South Africans from the fields of Science, Storytelling, Journalism, and Community range.

Photo 1: The Underwater photo showing Diving trainees carefully taking sign Instructions from their Instructor

Application to attend the Dive Lab Tanzania cohort was announced to the public via social media and after the time of applying for the training to pass, 8 Tanzania selected applicants out of 134 were virtually interviewed and then tested for swimming and floating skills at the pool at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) followed by the medical and migration protocols observance. Furthermore, 3 South Africans from the field of Science Communication, and Filmmaking participated in the training.

This is a second time for the partnership to empower the training and make a total of 11 Tanzanians who are training beneficiaries after the first one which involved two Tanzanians trained for open water diving skills and was done in Zanzibar in September 2022. The training for advanced open water diving skills was conducted at Sodwana Bay which is located on the east coast of South Africa, it’s one of the most unique and unspoiled parts of the world.

Photo 2: Two Tanzania trainees together with their Instructor in Open water dive Training in Zanzibar

Marine-related career is a fast-growing profession in Tanzania whereby Underwater capturing is still done largely by people from Europe and the American continents, thus, Aqua-Farms Organization is committed also to pushing forward the intention to rise life below water Tanzanian conservationists through visuals.

“The provided training will bridge the live visual gap of understanding concerning Marine biodiversity and elevate the number of scientific Marine ecosystem publications” ~ Jerry Mang’ena (Executive Director – AFO)

On the other side, The South African-based Non-profit organization Nature Environment & Wildlife Filmmaking (NEWF) runs its race to increase the number of African Diving professionals across the whole of Africa who will advocate Nature conservation by sharing the stories of their ocean by themselves and not foreigners anymore.

“Africa’s stories are supposed to be shared by Africans themselves, it is unpleasant for Europeans journalist to write about Marine species in Tanzania while there is plenty of journalists in Tanzania, we want to remove the deterrents that cause Africa’s work to be done by Europeans” ~ Noel Kok (Director – NEWF)

Photo 2: Two Tanzania trainees together with their Instructor in Open water dive Training in Zanzibar

Since this Dive Lab project started, Nature Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers (NEWF) has trained 120 Africans in the field of Videography, Community range, Photography, Producers, Storytellers, Journalism, Science, and Science Communicators with Open water diving to Divemaster skills while women are highly prioritized. Also, by 2030, Its target is to reach 100 Africans with Divemaster skills focusing on advocacy for the protection and conservation of their country’s home Ocean.

You can view the Underwater session video clip HERE

Author: Yusufu Kasato

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