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Sponsorships encourage Solomon Islands youth to dive

Posted on August 27, 2020 at 03:00 PM in Solomon Islands Tourism

Do you know a young person between 10 and 21 years old who might truly benefit from learning to dive? Dive Munda has announced an amazing, heavily sponsored initiative to encourage the youth of Solomon Islands to learn to dive during the Covid-19 downtime.

“We are super excited and our team is ready to start, as this not only gives Dive Munda a positive and creative project to work on during this time of crisis over the next several months, but we are also doing an amazing thing for our youth,” said Belinda Botha Operations Director at Dive Munda.

“As well as providing Solomon Islands youth with certified training in new skills, by educating the young we are also helping share knowledge about protecting and preserving our natural resources - preserving our ocean, reefs, sharks and fish,” she said.

The newly developed sponsorship opportunities for youth are available through Dive Munda, and available to individuals or families, businesses and organisations to sponsor future divers.

“During lockdown our COVID super special for the 3-day open water course is SBD$2,200. Through to 30 November in partnership with Solomon Airlines, Dive Munda will fund SBD$800 plus the certification and course fees towards this course’” she said.

“Scuba Schools International (SSI) is also partnering with us and we have already received sponsorships from all over the globe, including from corporations and individuals.

“We aim to train 50 youth by the end of 2020, and we are gaining great momentum to ultimately reaching that goal” she added.

“The remaining SBD$1,400-course fee can be purchased by anyone wanting to support a young Solomon Islands person to become a certified open water diver!”

Limited openings are available for the training packages, which are also supported by Agnes Gateway Hotel and Solomon Airlines in creating affordable packages for youth (and their families) to come to Munda.

“We know that diving is not historically high on the activity list of our local youth, partly as dive training is relatively expensive, and the sport remains largely unknown. However, Dive Munda wants to change that, and during this time of closed borders presents the ideal opportunity,” Ms. Botha added.

“It also seems fitting given the support of our government and the Iumi Tugeda campaign, as those sponsoring can nominate a specific student or gift a course to any local youth.

Dive Munda will facilitate this process and a panel including representatives from the industry will assess and select the successful candidates.

“We strongly encourage girls to be nominated and to participate,” Ms Botha said.

“The age for all will be between 10 and 21 years old and medical clearance and parental agreement will be required. The candidates will also need to be able to read English.

“Our local SSI scuba dive instructors Brian Daga and Euna Zio will conduct the courses over three full days across weekends and our students will need to make their way to Munda.

Agnes Gateway Hotel and Solomon Airlines are also partnering in the campaign offering special airfares, and accommodation at 30% of the usual rates. The airfares are available from Honiara and Gizo to Munda, exclusively for those participating in the sponsorship and those accompanying them.

Solo diver packages for those aged 16-21 years, start from just SBD$2300 ex Munda, SBD$3786 ex Gizo or SBD$4714 ex Honiara, including accommodation and the open water dive course. Special packages are also available for accompanying adults of younger divers.

Solomon Airlines praised the initiative as ‘a great opportunity for youth and the future of tourism’.

“This is a very unique opportunity for our young people to gain new skills and become certified under the expert tuition of Dive Munda,” said Solomon Airlines Manager Commercial Colin Sigimanu.

“Diving in the Solomon Islands is an ambition or many people around the world, we are often referred to as one of the world’s most desirable dive destinations and that is very important for future tourism development,” he said.

“Engaging our youth in this way and making it possible for them to learn to dive, will provide new skills, confidence and will share important knowledge about our reefs, oceans and our dive sector in general.  

“We are proud to partner in this initiative, as it is our youth who will lead Solomon Islands in future.  As well as producing a generation of new divers we will also be encouraging youth ambassadors to continue to care for our country’s unique natural resources,” he said.

For further information download our flyer or to nominate a youth for the course, contact Dive Munda on [email protected] including the candidate’s name, age, location, and some background information on ‘why they wish to learn to scuba dive’.

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