Success getting kids interested in whales
At the recent Whale Festival on Ilha we set out to raise awareness of the whale migration. But first, we had to create awareness of the whales themselves. What are they, how big are they, what do they do? It’s surprising how little knowledge there is of whales here on Ilha.
We focused a lot on senior people within government and community, knowing that these are the ones who make decisions. But we knew that we had to engage with youth, right down to little kids. They are the future after all.
Today when I saw these pictures drawn on the courtyard wall where kids play, I knew we’d made an impact. The festival had made an impression on these young minds and thats a very good start. The festival succeeded getting kids interested in whales.
Interest in whales will lead people into conservation, particularly protection of the marine environment
We know that charismatic animals like pandas, gorillas, polar bears, elephants and of course whales can appeal to people’s emotions. This is because they look like us or have similar characteristics and this creates empathy. Whales have similar life spans, they are social creatures, intelligent and considered kind. Kids love them and want to keep them safe, we need to nurture this instinct.
This reflects the world Cetacean alliance’s (WCA) aim to “encourage a global community of people who care for cetaceans and who learn about and respect them“. https://worldcetaceanalliance.org/who-we-are/our-vision/
Taking care of whales means properly managing the environment they live in
Keeping the whales safe means taking a holistic approach and this is good for other species that share the sea with them.
Its a small start but the writing’s on the wall, Ilha kids are interested in conservation, they just don’t know it yet!