Who actually thought it would be some much work? Definitely not me!
It was a little over two weeks ago that the idea was mentioned. ‘Saturday the 19th is International Coastal Clean-Up Day. Why don’t we organise something?’ Yes, of course, why not?
At that time in my head, I imagined sending out some emails and trying to gather some people and some sacks on a beach and doing our best to make it tidy. A relatively small scale event, but one that made a difference nonetheless.
What has actually taken shape goes far beyond that! While we have plenty of work to be getting on with anyway, its seems that the last ten days have been devoted to making this event come to life – and it has grown to be exactly that – AN EVENT!!
We have spoken to :
- Project Aware
- Ocean Conservancy
- The local councillor on the island
- All the local dive shops (there are 18!)
- Various local people associations (there are at least 6!)
- Other NGO’s that work here on Malapascua.
- The school! (more on that to follow…)
- The Department of Tourism
Any I think even others that I can’t remember right now! On top of all that, we have:
- written a budget
- written, translated, printed and distributed flyers
- Organised music for the event
- Organised boats to remove all the garbage to the mainland
- Organised drinks and snacks for all that come along
- Sourced as many sacks as we could (not as easy as it sounds!)
- Organised gloves in case they are needed.
- Organised first aid kits (hopefully won’t be needing…)
And as if that wasn’t enough, we organised an event at the local school to get the word out to all the local children and to hopefully spread the word. That’s in itself took some organisation! We were faced with 120 Grade 6 kids, with beaming smiles and plenty of enthusiasm (maybe just because our visit meant they weren’t in class?!?!).
With the help of the children we managed to paint a 6 metre long banner with the words
INTERNATIONAL BEACH CLEAN-UP 2015”
‘Limpyo’ is ‘clean’. At the same time, teams of the kids went out collecting litter on the school grounds, with a prize for those who collected the heaviest bag! Amazing what they managed to achieve with the prospect of some chocolate as a prize!! ….. 112KG!! In the space of little more than 45 minutes. It was a truly great effort….
Now lets just see what happens on the beach. It really feels like we have done a great job of letting people know, and I am convinced the turnout will be overwhelming.
Whatever happens, with all the work we put in, we can rest easy knowing that we did all we could. For certain, it is definitely going to be more than just the small group of keen individuals that I had imagined way back at the start of all this!
Will let you know what happens….