- sarah weldon
Teacher of English and Geography, British Connection International School
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To use the BBC Oceans Television series as a medium for teaching English as a second language and about the environment in Georgia.
I plan to run a 31 week course in the Georgian Capital of Tbilisi, for children and adults aged 12 upwards. I want to use the BBC Oceans television series as a catalyst for bringing about interest in and conservation of the Black Sea along the Georgian coast. During the course, I plan to help students to fundraise to take part in an Earthwatch scientific research expedition to take place in summer 2012. The concept of raising funds is fairly new in Georgia, and the average salary is less than £100 per month for the whole family, so to raise £3000 each is a mammoth task. Most Georgians had never even met a foreigner when I arrived in Georgia last year, let alone travelled or been on an aeroplane. I pan to send them on really life changing expeditions, to learn new skills and to hopefully bring back that new understanding, to Georgia. The best way to educate people here is from the bottom upwards, get the children involved, they are so hungry to learn about the world, and their parents wil then be able to start making small changes at home. Just the decrease in use of plastic bags in the home would be a massive step here. The country is beautiful and diverse, and Georgians believe that this was a part of Eden given to them by God. Yet, with decades of no waste disposal services, people threw their rubbish in streams and rivers, and its just a habit. But it could be changed and it needs to be changed. Could using one BBC Oceans series help to bring about this change? Its cheap and easily administered, and doesn't need to go through the government's slow mechanisms for change. Or does it?