Ocean Futures Society Members Give Back

July 1, 2016

In January 2016, the Johnson family spent ten days in paradise, enjoying and appreciating the natural beauty of Fiji while vacationing at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Resort.


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Seb and his Bula buddy Beta at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji in January 2016.
Courtesy The Johnson Family

One of their favorite aspects of their visit was falling in love with the Fijian culture and the kind hearted Fijians themselves. Seb’s bula buddy, Beta, shared many treasures found on the coral reefs, in the rainforest and mangroves, and took Seb to her village, Nukubalavau, to meet the chief and see her community center and home. Seb later told his parents, Fiji is his favorite place in whole world, and one day he hopes to go the university in Fiji. Fiji had a long-lasting impression on Seb, and at the age of 7 years, he knew he wanted to go back.

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Seb's selfie with Jean-Michel at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji in January 2016.
Courtesy The Johnson Family

Then disaster struck Fiji a month later, when Cyclone Winston, a category 5 cyclone, slammed into this island paradise and left many coastal villages completely destroyed. When Seb and his family learned about this disaster, Seb was shocked and saddened and immediately thought of his Fiji friends and knew he had to help. In order to try and return some of the generosity that was so kindly shown to Seb and his family, Seb decided to raise as much money as possible back in his hometown of Taffs Well near Cardiff, UK. He enlisted his best friend Sam and they were set on donating the money to Ocean Futures Society’s ‘Fiji Emergency Fund’ where the funds continue to go directly to the rebuilding of the villages, including Nukubalavu and Nacekoro, where many of the staff from Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Resort reside.

Seb and Sam’s hard earned efforts paid off with a successful crowdfunding campaign and a completion of their first triathlon in early May.

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Seb and Sam with their Triathlon certificates.
Courtesy The Johnson Family

Seb and Sam are great examples of the amazing things that can be accomplished when one sets their mind to it. At just seven and eight years old, when kids are understandably distracted with friends, sports, and school, Seb and Sam have decided to take a little time out of their schedule to show compassion for other people in far off places who need resources to rebuild from a natural disaster. Not only are they learning the power of empathy and enriching their own lives, they are bettering the lives of people who are in need.

Seb and Sam are great role models for all children (and adults for that matter) who upon their inspiring story will hopefully empower the same in others to share their generosity with people and animals whom hold a special place in their hearts.

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Jean-Michel Cousteau skypes with Seb and his mother Emma
Courtesy Holly Lohuis

Seb and Sam were able to personally share their fundraising efforts and successes with Jean-Michel Cousteau via SKYPE. Jean-Michel instantly told them, ‘bravo, bravo; your creative determination to make a difference is much appreciated by us at OFS and especially appreciated by those in Fiji who have been working hard the past few months to rebuild. Every dollar donated has gone right into the hands of the Fijian to restart their lives.”

Vinaka vaka levu Seb and Sam.

Mahatma Gandhi
“Be the change, you want to see the rest of the world.’