The Oceanic Ventures Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded to promote an understanding between divers and the communities and people in places where we dive and travel.
Over twenty years ago, Ann started the Oceanic Ventures school project to help schools and students in the areas we dive. At least that was the stated reason. The truth is Ann loves children and the has fun interacting with them and introducing them to new things (ask the little boys she taught to snorkel in the Solomon Islands). One way of doing this is to bring school supplies to local schools. She found that teachers are very appreciative and the students love meeting people from other places. Over the years, our divers have contributed paper, pencils, calculators, maps, construction paper, office supplies, books and other useful items to schools in Borneo, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, Fiji, Kosrai, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, Thailand, Truk Lagoon, and other diving destinations that we visit. Each one of the school visits is a special event for both the teachers and students as well as the visitors.
During these school visits, we found that the schools and the communities we visit needed more assistance. The Oceanic Ventures Foundation was born out of this vision. Since then, we have helped schools, villages and even a home for Boys in Grand Cayman. Who would have ever thought of a little dive shop in Houston Texas having their name on a wall at a local school in the Philippines? Ann’s mother certainly could not have imagined it and yet that is precisely what happened in Puerto Galera where our diving friends helped us bring water and restrooms into a school, hire additional teachers, electrify the classrooms, introduce computers and computerized educational software, and beautify the grounds to make the entire school experience better for the students.
The school in the Philippines has been a true miracle in giving and Anne the administrator of the school has done wondrous things with the money and supplies donated. Adding water and restroom to the school did more than improve hygiene; it provided a method to improve the appearance of the school and introduced school pride by allowing the students to add flower gardens to the school grounds. If you visit the school, you will see students watering the plants with cans filled with the water that one of our clients paid to have brought in. Clients through the Foundation have paid for special reward activities for Bonaventure Boys school in Cayman and replaced needed bicycles. In Tavani Fiji, the Foundation has provided scholarships for books and uniforms for three members of each class from grades Kindergarten to Senior High School and started the Wani Annual Scholarship Fund to help with these expenses. But the Foundation is more than donations, it is really a way for people to experience the local cultures and helping children and local people know more about the world outside of their village.
In a way, the Foundation brings people together and brings things full circle by encouraging giving, carrying school supplies and bringing home handicrafts; the sale of which supports these local communities.
The First School Project Auction in 2006
Some of the recipients of our charitable activities were:
- The Fancudo Lopez School, Puerto Galera, Philippines
- The Village School Viti Levu, Fiji
- The Community School, Solomon Islands
- Bangkok Primary School, Bangkok, Thailand
- Dumaguete Community School, Dumaguete Philippines
- The Wairiki Catholic Church & School, Taveuni Fiji
- The Bonaventure Home for Boys in Grand Cayman