Learning Equals Empowerment

The remote island of Lembata, Flores, in Indonesia has traditionally been a whaling community. Despite dolphins being a protected species, one village, Lamalera, is allowed to hunt the mammals under the International Whaling Commission. Traditionally, fishermen would use bamboo harpoons to kill the dolphins, but now, the practice has become modernized. Motorized boats are used to catch dolphins and other toothed whales, sea turtles, sharks and manta rays during a hunting season which extends from May to October of each year.

Dolphin Project’s team, led by Indonesia Campaign Director Femke Den Haas, just completed another successful puppet show road tour, visiting fifteen schools on the island. The first took place a year ago, but the mission remains the same: to create a positive educational program in the area.

Lembata, Indonesia Puppet Show. Education equals empowerment and kids really do get it!

Lembata, Indonesia Puppet Show. Education equals empowerment and kids really do get it!
Credit: DolphinProject.com

Lembata, Indonesia Puppet Show. Photo credit: Dolphin Project

Lembata, Indonesia Puppet Show.
Photo credit: Dolphin Project.com

Through entertainment, children in the village learn about their amazing marine ecosystem. They are inspired how – and why – they should protect their natural world and are encouraged to become dolphin warriors. Themes of conservation are reinforced, not just for dolphins, but for all species affected by the hunts. Next month, we’ll bring the puppet show road tour to north Bali, as we continue to inform intelligent and inquiring minds!

Education equals empowerment and kids really do get it!

Lembata, Indonesia Puppet Show, illustrating the importance of marine conservation. Photo credit: Dolphin Project

Lembata, Indonesia Puppet Show, illustrating the importance of marine conservation. Photo credit: DolphinProject.com

Lembata, Indonesia Puppet Show. Kids get it!

Lembata, Indonesia Puppet Show. Kids get it!
Photo credit: DolphinProject.com

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About Cara Sands

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It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.

A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.

It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.

Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!

"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands

Author: Cara Sands
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