NEWF dive &
The aim of the NEWF Dive & Story Labs is to provide dive training and film workshops for filmmakers, storytellers and scientists in order to broaden the scope of these talented individuals by providing them with accredited diving certifications as well as and insight into the development and production of underwater films. These Labs are run in partnership with Nature Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers (NEWF), who have hosted a number of Underwater Dive Labs based in South Africa and more recently one in Tanzania, with participants from across the continent. All participants of this Lab will also become an Ocean Ambassadors with us as well as NEWF fellows.
We hope to hold several Labs annually. In 2022 we will focus on participants from all of East Africa, culminating in one with a team of outstanding individuals from each Lab. The goal of the final Lab of 2022 is produce a short film. We will bring the training to the next level, with dive certification under their belt it is now time to introduce practical underwater film training, as well as more dive certifications. Through out the programme we will have ocean film screenings, as well as mentorships and guidance from experts in the field will be held through workshops or zoom meetings. We will also arrange trips to conservation projects in the area to
get an understanding of what it take to protect and sustain our marine environment.
Although the team for the first Lab will be selected participants of future Labs will go through an application process.
The first lab
3rd-13th Dec 2021
The NEWF Dive & Story Lab | Kenya is a partnership between NEWF and East African Ocean Explorers made possible with support from the National Geographic Society.
We selected 4 individuals to be involved in a 10 day Underwater Lab held in the Watamu Marine National Park & Reserve with Aqua Venture Diving. During this Lab the participants will undergo both Open Water and Advance Dive certification.
This lab plans to give these individuals the skills and dive training to start thinking about telling ocean stories to help conserve and protect our coastline alongside highlighting issues it faces. As our team members have a wealth of experience in their respective fields this creates a great opportunity for shared discussions, skill sharing and debate about current issues facing the oceans. During the evenings we will reflect on the Lab, arrange conversations with mentors in the field of ocean story telling, have ocean film screenings, and hold film workshops with a strong focus on story development and pre-production.
MEET THE fellows
Norah is a photographer and conservation storyteller based in Nairobi, Kenya with a background in film and communication. She is a Nature Environment and Wildlife Filmmakers (Wild Women Media Lab) fellow, African Conservation Voices fellow. She is currently collaborating with other storytellers to create conservation content that will inspire conservation action across all ages and races.
She always had a keen interest in wildlife and environment conservation and is using her storytelling skills to create an impact by creating awareness on those issues. She hopes to inspire people from her community, especially the younger generation and continent at large to take an active role in telling conservation stories and play a part in protecting and preserving our wildlife and its habitat.
JOSHUA OGINDA ABEL
Joshua graduated from the University of Eldoret in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management. His undergraduate courses primarily focused on biodiversity, wildlife, water resources and project management among other related subjects. In February 2020, he joined the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) for a research internship. He also participated in projects managed by KMFRI partners such as The Nature Conservancy and the Northern Rangelands Trust on projects aimed at environmental conservation and marine life restoration. For the past two years, he has gained important skills, knowledge and experience in the conservation and restoration of marine resources including coral reefs and mangroves. Currently, he is seeking work opportunities to continue with the work of protecting and managing natural resources.
SUE KIHIA WACHIA
Sue is a marine environmentalist, photographer, and upcoming filmmaker who is a research intern at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute working with ecosystem and community focused research. She is passionate about advancing ocean conservation through showcasing inspiring stories from and about Kenya’s marine realm.
HASSAN MBALE MACHAFU
Committed to conservation and Kenya, Hassan has been employed at the Kenya Wildlife Service since 2014. He is a currently working as a Marine Ranger at Watamu Marine National Park and is determined to learn to dive in order protect Africa’s oceans and marine life.