We open eyes underwater for the first time... building confidence, inclusivity and fostering ocean stewardship.


Currently, most of our work is in South Africa.

For many children and youth along the South African coastline, the thought of the ocean conjures feelings of fear, doubt or unattainable joy. The communities we work with live walking distance to the ocean but has little to no real experience beyond the beach.

Privilege and access are words we too easily forget when we ask people to buy into conservation. Access to our oceans: to the healing of saltwater, to the limitless potential one finds in oneself in an ocean, to a connection with its creatures and the seeming luxury of conserving them, is often a question of privilege. 

When we ignore this truth, we forget the very idea of community that  underpins how we might live together on this planet. We know that in Nature, everything is connected. How we reconnect to ourselves, to one another and to Nature, is fundamental to any possibility of better ocean stewardship.
— Lauren de Vos - I AM WATER Scientific Director
 

HOW WE DO IT

We work with schools located within 10km from the ocean in underserved communities. Our target group is Grade 7 learners and our groups are a maximum of 24 participants. Our goal is always to work with all the Grade 7 pupils in a particular school each year.

Our School Workshops are two full school days spent at the beach practicing yoga-inspired stretching & breath work & mindfulness, learning about the marine ecosystems and ocean challenges, the human body's unique adaptation to being underwater and exploring the intertidal zones and rock pools with marine experts. The highlight of the workshops is the time spent snorkelling. Learning how to be confident in deeper water, swim safety,  understanding the ocean better and of course seeing the incredible life our ocean holds. From majestic kelp forests, to octopus, small cat sharks, brightly coloured urchins and anemones to an array of fish species. 

Our SEASON is based round the SOUTHERN SUMMER

PRE SUMMER SESSIONS // October - December // Weekly School Workshops

December School Holidays // Pop-Up Snorkel Days

HIGH SUMMER SESSIONS // January - March // Weekly School Workshops

Easter School Holidays // Pop-Up Snorkel Days

Programs that infuse education with direct experience, especially in nature, have the greatest impact. For many, the natural environment has been intellectualized or removed. Young people certainly need to know about threats to the environment, but they also need direct experience in nature just for the joy of it. Unless we achieve that balance, many children will associate nature with fear and destruction for the rest of their lives.

Too many students learn about climate change in windowless schools. While including environmental education in the curriculum, many school districts in the U.S. have banished live animals from classrooms, dropped outdoor playtime and field trips, and overloaded classrooms with computers.

Connecting our children directly to nature is a way to both deal with the impact of loss of nature and to plant the seeds, sometimes literally, of a nature-rich future.
— Richard Louv, Author of 'Last Child in the Woods - Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder'

 

PAST OCEAN WORKSHOP PROJECTS GLOBALLY

From Knysna to Durban, to Bermuda and Ecuador...  to Mozambique and the Maldives we have been involved in sharing ocean experiences with coastal communities with little to no ocean access. See some of our FEATURED PROJECTS.