H2OO’s SEAL – Summit for Empowerment Action & Leadership – inspired more Heirs to become aware and engaged in protecting their ocean and waterways. Our 2-week intensive camp was held in Melekeok, Palau, in June 2018. Forty youth from Saipan, Guam, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Palau and the US attended SEAL and enlarged our ocean-protecting family. Five more Heir-made documentaries were made at SEAL by international teams and this year a virtual reality film was made as well! The land-sea pollution focused team’s film is a finalist at the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival competition in March 2019!
One of the new Palauan Heirs, Uldekel Adora, shares here about her experience at SEAL 2018:
“Hi, my name is Uldekel Adora Ililau. I am a proud Palauan member of Heirs to Our Oceans. I was given the opportunity to join a camp that impacted my life forever. I made new lifelong friends and learned from others about what they have done in their communities to try to solve our ocean’s challenges. During our studies at camp, I learned so much about the ocean, how humans are impacting our fragile ecosystems, and how we youth can solve this problem. I saw, experienced and then understood the many different reasons why and how our ocean was deeply impacted by all of us. The camp was held at Melekeok State, one of the many beautiful states in Palau. Joining Heirs To Our Oceans got me to look at our ocean and our planet with a much, much clearer perspective. It has taught me that I myself and all Heirs To Our Oceans members here in Palau must work together. We need to make our mark so we can reach our goal to save our oceans, not only for us but for our future. During camp I came to understand that I was partly responsible for the poor health of our ocean. I realize that stubbornness and poor decisions must stop and we have to act now and save the ocean before it’s too late. I learned there are many different alternatives that could benefit both us and the environment. The ocean is depending on us to keep it from dying. As an islander, I definitely don’t want any harm to our oceans, the ocean is our life and without it our culture, customs, and our way of life will surely die. If we take hands together and make a difference it will benefit generations to come.”
We are currently raising funds to fully sponsor underserved youth to attend our Advanced Leadership SEAL in San Francisco Bay Area in June 2019. The majority of our SEAL participants is indigenous and underserved youth, so covering the cost of all, including travel, is essential. We believe that the best investment that can be made to turn us off the precipice upon which we stand is an investment in educating and empowering the next generation – all youth. Support the next generation by supporting SEAL.