Blog post by PADI Regional Manager, Neil Richards
Introduced in November of 2016, PADI’s Four Pillar of Change corporate social responsibility program, is in full swing throughout Thailand. With some big goals in mind, we want to use this program as a platform to protect our ocean planet and introduce more people to it – we need your help! Get involved now and “Be a Force for Good”!
PADI members in Bangkok, Koh Tao and Krabi recently hosted Jack Fishman, Project AWARE’s Community Conservation Officer (yes that’s his real name and it’s quite fitting). We hope you were able to attend one of his multiple lectures on Marine Debris or jumped on a boat to conduct a Dive Against Debris together.
Conduct the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris® specialty with your students and remember to credit the dive towards the Advanced Open Water course. The materials are free to download for both Instructor and student as well, and the Instructor fees (if you haven’t applied already) are donated directly to Project AWARE. The data received from this dive is collated and used by Project AWARE to encourage policy change.
People & Community
PADI is actively reaching out to schools across Asia Pacific in an effort to create the next generation of ocean enthusiasts. We have designed presentations to be delivered in the local schools, which focus on marine life and conservation. Where possible, we will even offer a PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience to pique their interest and introduce them to breathing underwater.
Conduct similar activities with schools, clubs and activity centres. Remember the youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. Encourage further education focusing on buoyancy skills and Project AWARE specialties.
Other opportunities to build a sense of community are participating in PADI Women’s Dive Day or getting involved with local causes.
Healing & Wellness
PADI’s approach to diver education has always been inclusive, but the new Adaptive Techniques and Adaptive Support Diver courses build upon PADI’s long history of working with divers with disabilities. PADI field service staff in will soon be hosting experts across different regions who can help increase awareness of differing abilities and how to apply adaptive techniques that cater to them.
Once you have the Instructor level consider offering workshops to your own staff and Instructor colleagues. If you do know of any divers with disabilities ask them for tips about how they were able to overcome challenges. Think about how you can make changes to your store to accommodate a wider audience.
Similar to the “Ocean Health” pillar with respect to our actions, PADI and Project AWARE have been offering workshops about Shark and Ray Tourism. If you were unable to attend a live version, please watch this space for webinars with similar discussion topics.
Conduct the AWARE Shark Conservation specialty with your students and remember to credit the dive towards the Advanced Open Water course. This is a great opportunity to engage with divers, creating awareness of the plight of some of nature’s most majestic creatures. Remember the student and Instructor materials are free of charge and the Instructor application fees go straight to Project AWARE.
Also, keep an eye on the Project AWARE Social Channels and participate in petitions and surveys that they share. These go a long way towards informing worldwide policy change.
If we all join forces we can and will make a difference. If we don’t do something, who will?