For two weeks in May, our One Ocean Media Foundation helped organize, and film, a unique learn-to-swim project on the remote Maldivian island of Eydafushi. Despite living just a couple feet above sea level, many of the locals here never learn to swim. With the support of the SLOW LIFE Foundation and the Soneva Fushi Resort, our goal was to get moms and kids more confident in the water, in part as a means to impress upon them the importance of taking better care of the beautiful ocean that surrounds them. At the end of the two weeks, the forty-eight third-graders and eighteen burka-clad mothers who had come each day for lessons put on masks, fins and snorkels and, for many of them, were for a first time able to see the water world below the surface. Like many corners of Planet Ocean the Maldives suffer from a variety of ills, mostly man made: Overfishing. Plastic pollution. Rising sea levels due to a warming ocean. And acidification. Teaching these incredible families to swim was hopefully a first step towards encouraging them to be even better guardians.
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