Some of us live in Matemwe, a very small place, a nice village, relatively few people, you would think you know what is going on at all times: who lives here, what are people doing, how long they’ve been living here... But it turns out, we really don’t know much about it but when you start digging, you'll find small magnificent worlds inside the one you are living in.
It is great, you just have to remember to look.
Information came to us. They came on our boat one day, to dive. They are interested in the ocean and enjoyed spending time in it. Conversation started, with the common basic questions of who they are and what they do, and their answer left us forever amazed:
- “Tamani is a Foundation committed to helping students meet the challenges of secondary education through an English bilingual Nursery and Primary educational program.”
- “What?!” O_O
- “Yes, we are a school, from nursery to adult teaching, helping the community. We have enrolled students for the day to day school studies and everything is for free. In the afternoon, we organise lessons for adults (English, Maths, Computer lessons...), everyone is welcome to come.”
- “Okaaaaaaaay.” O_O
We loved these people right then, right there, and the whole foundation, the whole idea, the whole thing, because really, how can’t you?
I tell you, people on this island continue to amaze me.
How come we didn’t know what was going on there and how great it was?
Yes ok, we work, we mind our own things, we mind our own problems, but man! Wow.
I saw this school before, or part of it, from the beach. It looks like everybody's dream school. An open elevated classroom makuti roof, very zanzibarian, with a magnificent ocean view. Yes, you would have wanted to study there, like every single soul on the planet. The kind of place that a private school would charge a lovely eye of yours, and they offer it, to the local kids, for free!!!!
After carefully listening to how they work and what is going on, the only next question was:
- “How can we help?” - and here is the important information.
- “You can volunteer if you like, one day is enough, we ALWAYS need the help, we’ll have something for you to do.”
So the big one right here. You don’t have money to give away? Give your time.
I’ve been here for a while and I heard countless times: We are bored, what else can we do? Ohhhh well... now we have a good answer for you: trade a slow day at the beach for some well spent time helping the community and feeling great about yourself.
I of course then did my research and if you are reading this, maybe you want to make yours too. They have beautiful Villas (with private pools I believe), where you can stay, enjoy your holiday and help. The money you pay for your stay goes to the school and they also of course receive donations.
FYI you can now leave your donations at One Ocean too! We have official beautiful Tamani envelopes to provide you and you can visit them, marvel at the school, and give them your donation, or we’ll do it for you cause we love to visit them anyways.
One Ocean's beautiful minds then came together to figure out, what else could we do to help and the answer was so simple. What does One Ocean offer? Beautiful, amazing trips to discover the magic of Mnemba atoll, that people from all over the world come to enjoy.
Obvious, we’ll take the students to visit their atoll, their reef, on their backyard, to know it, to enjoy it, to learn from it.
And we did! Over two days 32 students, teachers and volunteers joined us for some snorkelling at Mnemba atoll.
We cannot describe how keen One Ocean's staff was to help and to be involved in the trips with the students. Everyone was helpful, everyone was there to make it happen, and for this, we are very grateful to our local staff.
Most of the kids had never been to Mnemba, they had never seen the reef and the creatures living in it, and they of course loved it! That is most the important part, because you’ll only protect something you love.
It was fun, it was interesting and it was rewarding. We are are glad it happened, thanks in large part to the help of Tamani's managers, Manyam and Maytham, that organised their students and were ready to go in no time, amazing! Great efficient people! Students are lucky to have them, they truly are.
One Ocean will continue to support Tamani in whatever way possible. Some more trips will be planned for these kids, so they continue to fall in love with our ocean, with its treasures, with their heritage.
We’ll act as an ocean ambassador and we’ll try to teach these kids that this is their ocean, it is not only for visitors, it is their backyard, in the hope that they’ll be able to protect it.
If they get in the ocean, put a mask on and see what’s there, they’ll want to conserve it.
“In the end we’ll conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we understand only what we are taught.”