Founder of the Fish ‘n Fins programme, Veta Wade has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise almost 72,000 pounds to continue offering local children a safe and educational way to enjoy the ocean.
Wade, who runs Aqua Montserrat, said she is very proud that 150 children have already benefited from Fish ‘n Fins since its inception in July 2015.
“It is available to children between the ages of 7 – 14 years old. Local children get swimming and sea safety lessons, go snorkelling, learn to identify fish, coral and invertebrates, and patrol our reef for marine debris and invasive species such as lion fish. Our programme is creating the next generation of Caribbean ocean leaders, in an island where very few of us have ever experienced life under the sea.”
The programme has made it so far with support from Wade’s family and friends, volunteers and small grants from the Government of Montserrat and the Waitt Institute’s Blue Halo Montserrat.
However, to continue the current building needs to be refurbished and the floor and walls reinforced. Other needs for the programme include swim and snorkel gear, and training for staff.
Currently Fish ‘n Fins runs every Sunday at the Little Bay clubhouse. During extended school breaks and holidays, they offer full day camps and excursions for members.
The funds raised will be allocated as follows:
Sponsorship of 25 Fish ‘N Fins Kids (1 year) £2,056
Building Refurbishment £ 10,285
Swim & Snorkel Gear £1,244
Safety & Support £16,174
Project Management & Support £20,722
Fish ‘n Fins Wear £2,777
Children’s Entertainment £1,386
Staff Training £6,630
Total = £71,750
To learn more about Fish ‘n Fins and the campaign visit their website at www.aquafishnfins.com .