Educational workshops: The SeaCleaners volunteers are committed to the youth.
Marie-Anne and Flavie are both volunteers with The SeaCleaners and lead educational workshops for young people, in classrooms or during after-school events. They share their vision on the challenges of raising awareness among the youngest.
Marie-Anne has been following the association since 2018, and took the plunge in 2019 by joining The SeaCleaners delegation in Loire-Atlantique. Her motivation?
“I thought it was important to raise awareness among everyone, not just the people living on the coasts, next to the beaches. We need to show everyone that no matter what happens, no matter where you are, a piece of litter ends up in the ocean.”
She runs awareness-raising workshops for children and young people: “The missions consist of 2 parts: there are pick-ups around the school so that the children can physically realize the impact of pollution” and “awareness-raising actions in class with games and conversational talks” adds Flavie.
Flavie has been part of the association for 1 year “I joined the Lille branch after a conference held by Yvan Bourgnon in my university. Today, I manage TSC’s awareness actions in my city.” These workshops aim to give young people the keys to understanding marine plastic pollution and to enlighten them on the means available to them to fight against this scourge.
“The action is successful when the children say they want to change their habits, that they want to clean up the beaches, when they express their desire for a change in mentality or when they come to see the volunteers to thank them for their input" ”
And, by raising awareness among children, Marie-Anne and Flavie know that it is entire families that they reach: “Children set a great example for their parents, e.g with cigarette butts , they know that small gestures can have an impact on the planet. ”
So, disillusioned as we say, the youth? Not at all, replies Flavie: “The younger generation is very sensitive to environmental issues. They are often surprised to know that the ocean is polluted and do not understand why. They are interested in the subject and ask questions. ”
The challenge of these educational and fun workshops is therefore crucial to guide children in becoming aware. These animations carry optimistic awareness messages around ocean biodiversity, the importance of protecting the oceans and the means to concretely fight against ocean plastic pollution. “And it is through field experience that the young public best integrates each of these messages. Above all, we need to intensify cleanup actions because that’s how children really realize the impacts of pollution.”
“The actions at sea are essential but they are not everything. What happens in the territory is also important, the most important thing is to change mentalities to change the substance. It is also important and necessary to raise awareness among business leaders”, “We already have many resources available. We need to push the process further and go to companies and schools because they are more and more in demand. Outreach is key to getting a message out.”
For the 1500 volunteers involved in the defense of the oceans with The Sea Cleaners, there are many solutions to implement against plastic pollution at sea. In addition to raising awareness, the organization of events, collections, scientific documentation of polluted areas, the link with local communities … are all concrete actions that make a difference in everyday life, and for the future of our children.
As Flavie points out, every action counts. “I thank all the volunteers who commit to TSC, we must never think that an action is small, they are all very important and we must continue to carry them out together.”