Mali District School on Mali island located just off the coast of Vanua Levu, a 10-15 minute ride by 40 horsepower fiberglass punt from the mouth of the Labasa River. Like Kia Islanders, the people of Mali depend heavily on the Great Sea Reef for their livelihood and their catches are sold directly in Labasa due to the island’s close proximity to the mainland. Upon the request of the Head Teacher of Mali District, the C3 outreach team of 5 travelled to Mali Island taking their marine conservation messages to the children of the local school.
Following the traditional kava presentation or sevusevu to the village chief, the team made their way to the school to address a roll of about 42 students from 8 grades run on a composite basis. Our major lesson topic for this outreach was on the importance and the function of mangrove ecosystems in the marine environment as the island of Mali is bordered by thick groves. The team also touched on other subjects such as the endangered species of the Great Sea Reef and proper rubbish management.
The students and teachers alike expressed their interest through the various activities undertaken during our short visit including role-plays, posters, drawings and recitations. Plans were made for the C3 team to return in the future and carry out field activities such as coastal reforestation or beach clean ups. Our team is grateful to the Kate Stokes Memorial Award for making this outreach possible.