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Innovative event in Kribi, Cameroon

June 8 was declared "World Ocean Day" by the United Nations General Assembly on December 25, 2008. The goal is to celebrate the ocean and raise awareness among the citizens around the world about its important role in their sustenance, as well as to the different ways to protect it.

This year, the celebration is under the theme "Innovation for a sustainable ocean". The celebrations, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), were marked by awareness-raising activities and had to be innovative in order to get there despite the exceptional circumstances.

This is why the Ocean Volunteers of Cameroon offered a protection kit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to the school group in the Center of Kribi, a seaside town of Cameroon. The donation comprised 500 face masks for children, 60 pieces of soap, 20 hydroalcoholic gels, 20 visors for teachers and six handwashers on a support of recycled plastic bottles. This activity co-sponsored by the Mayor of KRIBI I was attended by 457 students, 20 teachers, four directors, two partner NGOs, the representative standing in for the Delegate for Basic Education, who had an impediment. The Departmental Delegate for Youth and Civic Education and some parents were also in attendance.

The activities started at 2:15 p.m. with the welcoming by the Mayor of Kribi I and by the president of the Volunteers of the Oceans of Cameroon, Ms. Jeauberte Djamou, followed by the performance of the national anthem by the students of the school group of the Center de Kribi I.

In her speech, the Mayor recognised the generosity of the donation of face masks and handwashers by the Ocean Volunteers who had come from the capital, Yaoundé, to demonstrate solidarity with the school community.

She specifically recognised the innovation of the supports of the hand washers made from recycled plastic bottles. It is all the more interesting as the municipality is making efforts to keep the beaches and the sea clean of any contamination, but this remains a great challenge.

The president of the Ocean Volunteers then presented the association and its activities.

The director of the school, representing the Delegate for Education, continued the event with his speech congratulating the president of the Ocean Volunteers for her loyalty to the students of the Kribi school group and for having traveled so many kilometers to come to Kribi with their donation.

The mayor's demonstration of handwashing techniques lasted several minutes because she wanted to share this gift with the children.

All were wearing donated face masks locally produced in time for World Ocean Day.

The thanks from the children and the school leaders were not long in coming.

Finally the quiz provided by Mundus maris asbl focused on the conditions of the pandemic.

It was distributed in class together with an information sheet with the instruction to bring it home and respond as a family to the quiz, this to reach more people.

It worked well. Out of over 400 quizzes distributed, around 25% of the families found all the right answers.

My thanks go to Mundus maris asbl without the financial support of which this activity would not have taken place.

Text and photos by Jeauberte Djamou.