Rashid – our new Divemaster in Stone Town
My name is Rashid Kiukara, I come from Zanzibar. I love diving. I became a PADI Divemaster this year.
From Labourer to snorkel guide
I began working for One Ocean as a fundi (labourer) on the boats. Each year the boats come out of the water for a service and I helped to sand, varnish and paint the boats. I did this for two seasons. After the second season Gary, the owner of One Ocean, and his wife Gail asked me to come work personally for them as night security. Immediately, I said ok and took the chance. So I worked for two years and Gary and Gail wanted to give me a chance to work full time in their dive centre in Stone Town. They trained me as a snorkel guide. This made me very happy as I like to swim and got the chance to learn more. I did this for two years.
Next goal: Divemaster
In June 2016, we got a new manager (Dave) in town and a new instructor (Marcela). Dave wanted to give me the chance to learn diving. I had never been diving but wanted to try. Marcela took me to the pool and trained me from PADI Open Water to PADI Advanced Open Water. Even if Marcela only worked with us for 3 months I want to thank her for starting my diving experience. I wish her all the best wherever she is and miss her. Dave then said he would like to train me to become a divemaster and work for One Ocean.
This made me very happy and excited. When our new instructor Barbora arrived, she taught my EFR and PADI Rescue Course. I want to thank my dear Barusha for all her help. With that completed, I dived a lot and practised what I had learned and worked with our instructors and divemasters on the boat. After that, Dave took me for Divemaster training and after a lot of hard work I became a qualified PADI Divemaster. I now work for One Ocean as a Divemaster and love showing our guests the beautiful waters of Zanzibar.
I want to thank Mr. Dave for giving me the chance to become a PADI Divemaster and getting this far and Mr. Gary for his support. After all this time, I can now understand Mr. Dave’s crazy language…. thanks a lot buddy.
Note from Dave, manager One Ocean Stone Town
At One Ocean, we love to train our staff and especially our local staff, giving them the chance to learn and grow. Rashid is the perfect example of how hard work and dedication pays off. He is becoming an outstanding Divemaster and invaluable member of our team. Great work my friend, you have a bright future ahead.
Snorkelling Days for Tamani Foundation Pupils
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.”
Donkey dive – Helping Zanzibar’s animals in need
Everywhere you go, you will find one of these small but strong associations trying to make
a difference. ZAASO is a community-based registered non-profit organisation that rescues,
adopts and provides shelter, foster care, medical treatment and valuable services to
animals in need.
ZAASO is not only fostering stray dogs and mistreated donkeys, they are keeping all our
pets healthy around the island. That’s right! Without them, all our beautiful dogs and cats
would be sick and suffering since finding vets on the island is nearly impossible and when
you do find one, well...
These people start working at 6:00 am and finish around midnight EVERY DAY. Their
passion gives them the energy to keep going forever, and thank god for them, because
they really are making a difference around here. How great are these people!
We cannot all give our time, our job and even our nationality (as the beloved founder did)
to help, but you can donate, you can help them treat our hairy friends.
We know that these days it feels like everyone around you is asking for money, and that
you can never be sure the money goes in the right hands. Well, think again, any small
contribution will go straight to the animals in need and we can guarantee you
that your money will go a long way.
If you still need any convincing you should visit the “donkey sanctuary” to see how magical
and special this organisation is. They welcome volunteers from all over the world who
come to spend their days doing magic all over Zanzibar, going along and assisting the in-
house veterinarians. Unfortunately, there is a real lack of awareness among people in
Zanzibar towards animal rights, and any aid to deal with mistreated and abandoned
animals is really appreciated.
Dive for animals in need
And we, One Ocean, want to do our part. We care, we are animal lovers and we are
happy and proud to organise our famous “Donkey Dives” and help ZAASO however
we can. Donkey dives are special days when all profits from diving and snorkelling
are given to ZAASO. So as well as giving to charity, treat yourself to a great day at sea,
under the sun, visit some fish friends and help our hairy friends in need. It is the perfect
Visit our facebook page to check our album on our last Donkey Dive! It was a lovely
Saturday, July the 2nd in Stone Town and it was grand! A lovely bunch joined us for diving and
snorkelling, it was nice and sunny and legen... wait for it... dary! Oh yes... over TZS
700,000 were raised in one day for this amazing association, we couldn’t be happier and
we cannot wait for the next one.
So if you are a resident living on this great rock, or simply a passing tourist, join us next
time we’re taking the plunge for ZAASO!