Sherehe ya Bahari Yetu: Celebrating Our Ocean
On Saturday 22nd October we held the first Bahari Yetu Festival in Shela. We are so pleased to say that the turn out of the event really exceeded expectations, with over 250 people in attendance and over half of them were kids!
The aim was to spread awareness about ocean conservation in the Lamu Archipelago. This was done through sharing knowledge, fun educational activities and by providing a platform for local conservation and community run organisations to showcase the work they are doing.
Entry was free for all so anyone could come get involved and learn about our ocean. The running of the festival relied on donors who sponsored different aspects; such as the attendances of schools, an activity on the day, a stall for a conservation organisation or become an ocean ambassador and donate to the festival as a whole.
The day was based around fun activities for the kids, focusing on games played by most children who have grown up in Lamu, such a Magari ya Miti (the tire and stick race), Zidau za Mwau (model dhow race). Educational games like our scavenger hunt and activities that encouraged kids to learn about the importance of our ocean and environment were also included at each individual stall. Being an archipelago who's culture is born of the ocean, it is a vital part of the community way of life, however our ocean is changing and we need to do everything we can to try reduce that change. This is why the Bahari Yetu Festival was focused around the next generation of ocean ambassadors and the people trying to make a difference.
We are grateful to the many wonderful organisations in Lamu that are working towards protecting and improving our environment. By inviting these organisations to have a stall at the festival it provided an opportunity for them to showcase the work they are doing. This is was not only very informative for the kids but allowed the organisations to learn about the other work being done in Lamu. When we come together we can have a far greater impact!
There is so much that happened on festival day so we are going to go into more detail over the next few posts, stay tuned!
This festival was organised in conjunction with East African Ocean Explorers and it could not have been made possible with out the support we received from all those who made donations. Asanteni Sana!