Free Training programme
About the Implementing organization
Name: Coral Cay Conservation Scholarship Programme
Year of establishment: 2009
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization, Other
This question is a challenge to answer as the strength of this program lies in the fact the solution is unique as it provides scholars with the experience as international volunteers for free – business-as-usual. Scholars, volunteers and staff work and live together as a team, a process which builds strong bonds between all members. Our goal is always to have everything appear the same from the outside even though there are many differences behind the scenes at Head Office (HO). Once scholars arrive on site their only necessary expenditure is for insurance. HO usually does not get involved in insurance but makes an exception for scholars as some are not able to gain access to this. We are very aware that we do not want the cost of this insurance to hinder a scholar’s ability to join us, and therefore we have negotiated a heavily discounted insurance which they can purchase via us if they wish.
We train all our scholars up to Advanced Open Water as standard but occasionally will offer further dive training to individuals who show enthusiasm and adeptness. This further enhances their skills and gives them more credibility when applying for marine based roles. We usually have minimum stay durations for these additional PADI courses but reduce these to the bare minimum for scholars so that they can fit it in around their other commitments.
Oceans / Coasts
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Pollution prevention / clean up / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security
Environmental conservation and natural resource management are key focus areas for the Scholarship Programme. By increasing accessibility to conservation-focused education, opportunities are provided to stakeholders that are often confined by social and cultural values to enact upon environmental and economic changes; directly impacting their mode of life. Free training allows stakeholders to build the necessary tools and skills to remediate, protect and promote the conservation of their natural resources; developing environmental stewardship. Key impacts include the establishment of two, provincially recognised NGOs by CCC ex-scholars; Ocean Action Resource Centre (ORC) and GREEN. ORC are increasing accessibility to education throughout the Philippines by providing resources to ensure standardised conservation-focused education and altering attitudes whilst GREEN are establishing small-scale MPAs and generating coral rehabilitation programmes.
Sustainable Development Impacts
The impacts that this solution targets, under the Sustainable Development goals 4 and 14, are evident. Addressing goal 4, the initiative provides free, equitable and quality education, ensures equal access to both males and females, substantially increases the number of youths and adults with technical and vocational skills for future employment and removes gender disparities. Furthermore, it provides knowledge and skills to promote sustainable development whilst notably supporting goal 4.B by increasing enrolment in higher education. The initiative supports goal 14 by ensuring sustainable management and protection of marine ecosystems through capacity building, facilitates sustainable harvesting and reduces overfishing, increases the area of coastline protection, drastically increases scientific knowledge and develops capacity whilst enhancing conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, 14.C.
Due to the simplistic nature of the Scholarship Programme, it is apparent that the solution of free training holds scalability on a national level. Although concentrating on local communities, as Filipino scholars are accepted throughout the Philippines, on a national level, it can be argued that this solution has already been scaled. However, due to the restrictions currently experienced by CCC, only enabling 2 scholars per month, the next step is for this solution to be scaled in regards to scholar numbers. What makes this solution unique is that it can be scaled and incorporated into any organisation focusing on a range of spectrums. It must, however, be ensured that effective and efficient teach modes are maintained with a high level of quality. As this solution is accompanied by CCC’s SDP, such resources must be made available and are available through NGO’s such as ORC in the Philippines.
The programme is highly adaptable to different locations as the content need only be changed to the region’s SDP. On arrival into a country we undertake community perception surveys to gain an understanding of the level of education on coral reefs and environmental impacts, and gauge the level of interest in the Scholarship Programme. Once we have an idea of the number of people that would be interested we engage in discussions to consider any changes that need to be made to the program to allow it to function successfully. I.e. in the Philippines we have found that our scholars do not have difficulty joining us for 4 weeks, as employers and universities are very keen for them to receive the additional training. However, on other active sites, difficulties have been highlighted due to full time commitments preventing scholars from joining CCC. Thus, a modulated scholarship programme was established that still provides free training but over a longer time frame e.g. 2 days per week.
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