Christmas 2015: time to implement Watertrek’s missions on the field: educating, raising awareness, putting people on the water, make them think, feel, look and observe, reconnect with their nature to better understand the environmental issues.
The Cambodia Kids Care Center is a children’s shelter hosting Cambodian, Malay and Vietnamese kids located on the island of Koh Chang. Forty children from 4 to 13 years are being taken care of by Uan. The children live frugally, they always have something to eat as many tourists come to support them in this period. The situation is a little different during the monsoons… The aim is to first teach them some English so we can actually exchange a bit. We set us a list of everything found in the water: bottles, cans, cigarette butts, cotton swabs, bags etc … Good, not good? dangerous for fish or delicious to eat? children understand everything quickly, the answers are obvious for them.
Second step: let’s go clean, collect, count and sort waste on the public beack of Klong Prao. Hardly are the bags out that they come back full of trasj. Smiles are big and joy is reel. The location is true paradise, with wooden huts, fine sand, turquoise blue water…it is so gorgeous any waste becomes intolerable. How can man possibly damage such an amazing beauty ? The complexity of the subject will reveal itself: lack of management in garbage collection, lack of communal cohesion, inexperience of some local structures. Substantive work needs to be undertaken. The most shocking are those mountains of small plastic bottles that you can see at the entrance of most supermarkets, a disaster waiting to happen, a truly irresponsabible behaviour from western indutries who are not accountable with recycling in those areas.
Last step: children are offered SUP test sessions, and it is a total success: the girls on one side & the boys on the other, this joyous world bullheads for hours. The smiles & the laughter say it all!
Watertrek will continue to develop new educational programs both in Europe and in Southeast Asia, where six countries alone account for 60% of ocean plastic pollution.
Thanks a million to Svein Rasmussen for logistical support during this pilot trip in Asia.