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Greening And Environment

Floreat Primary learn about Ocean conservation

The Prescient Group – headline sponsor of the Prescient Freedom Paddle taking place on 27 April – is shining a light on environmental and ocean awareness this year, thanks to a sea turtle named Bokkie.

 

Bokkie was rescued the day after the Rugby World Cup semi-final win last year. Affectionately named “Bokkie” in honour of the Springboks, she arrived at the Turtle Conservation Centre in deplorable condition, covered in algae with an amputated left flipper. Following an extensive rehabilitation process, which included the removal of 800 grams of barnacles, Bokkie has almost made a full recovery and is thriving in her new home at the aquarium.

 

The Prescient Foundation recently shared the story of Bokkie with 30 of its beneficiaries from Floreat Primary School in Steenberg in a bid to educate them on ocean protection awareness.

 

Bokkie’s story is just one example of the horrendous impact that plastic waste has on marine life and the pressing need for conservation.

 

With an estimated 11 million tonnes of plastic waste pouring into the sea every year, most people recognise that there is a serious problem. Another danger is when sea life becomes entangled in large pieces of plastic like fishing nets, with smaller fish ingesting microplastics which eventually enter the food chain to be consumed by humans.

 

Accounting for over 2% of the world’s ocean pollution, SA generates an astonishing two million tons of plastic waste every year. Less than 5% of this waste is recycled while the rest pollutes our streets, landfills, water systems, and our natural environment including the ocean.

 

Floreat Primary learners were excited to learn more about Bokkie and understand how certain materials and actions harm the ocean and its inhabitants. Bokkie’s story and her journey symbolises the resilience and the spirit of overcoming challenges, a requirement for those participating in the Prescient Freedom Paddle, a 27km ocean race which takes place on Freedom Day.

 

Another speaker at the ocean protection awareness event hosted by Prescient at the Two Oceans Aquarium, was entrepreneur Mama Yandi, owner of The Masi Creative Hub, who saw an opportunity in recycling waste and now owns a global waste recycling business.

 

Mama Yandi recounted her journey that started with her earning a living by collecting beach litter for R35 per day. Realising the potential in waste management, she transformed discarded plastic into vibrant works of art, leading to the establishment of her business.

 

Like the Masi Creative Hub, Prescient was born of an entrepreneurial spirit.  Founded in old stables at the Alphen Hotel in Constantia by two entrepreneurs, over 25 years ago, Prescient evolved into a formidable business in the SA financial services space.

 

Prescient Group CEO, Willem Venter, says engrained in the business’s DNA is the belief that partnerships, like the one Prescient has with the Freedom Paddle, can drive sustainable change. He underscored the importance of collective engagement in having a meaningful impact through education.

The Freedom Paddle was established in 2018 by passionate surf ski paddlers, Robin Tindall and Richard Kohler. They chose to align the event with Freedom Day to associate it with a significant part of the country’s history and one of its symbols of the struggle for freedom, Robben Island.

The vision is to transform the event from being a flagship paddling event in South Africa into an internationally recognised event, attracting participants from around the world to experience the country’s culture and beauty. In addition to this, the founders hope to leverage the event to support positive initiatives and increase ocean awareness among the paddling community.

“We are proud to continue our title partnership with the Prescient Freedom Paddle for the fifth year running. This year, our focus is firmly on environmental education and sea life protection, so that we can create a better tomorrow for all,” added Venter.

 

As a responsible and active corporate citizen, through the Prescient Foundation, Prescient focuses on driving change through educational programmes aimed at youth in the surrounding communities in which it operates.

 

“As a business that is now home to some of the leading financial services minds in the country, we recognise that success in investing, whether in asset classes, people or our planet, is cultivated through diligence, unwavering consistency, and a steadfast focus on long-term objectives,” concluded Venter.

 

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