Melati and Isabel Wijsen had one simple thought: what can we do as children living in Bali, what can we do now. They now run a non-profit inspiring people across the world to say goodbye to plastic bags. Melati and Isabel will be attending the World Ocean Festival with their organization, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, marching with other youth during the Sea The Youth Rise Up march at the festival and have begun to organize a local Ocean March in Bali that their community can participate in on June 4th. Their work and dedication is an inspiration. We asked them to share some tips with the community looking to organize their own local Ocean March in their communities on June 4th.
Submit your local Ocean March here.
What inspired you to organize a local event for the Ocean March?
Marches are fun. They allow communities to come together and stand for the same message. I think Marches really prove that people want change and it’s a way for them to demand it. It’s a great way to show the power to the people!
What are the core messages your Ocean March will focus on?
In Bali, we’re going to focus on Marine Debris. Did you know that, in our life time, multiple studies conclude that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. So in Bali, our march is going to focus on plastic: what we can do as individuals (saying no to plastic bags...straws, bottles, etc.) Being youth on the front lines of the movement, we’re going to bring the message home about YOUTH empowerment and why the youth voice matters.
Who will be participating in your Ocean March?
Marches are for everyone. When you organize a march, plan and expect everyone to come! Send invitations out to all levels of society, that way you can create more waves :)
How will you rally your community to participate in your Ocean March?
We have a really great team with networks in many of the schools around the island. We put a strong focus on getting the youth involved. We’ve also shared our message with local organizations working in the same field, industries, government and other change-makers on the island.
In what ways are you promoting your Ocean March?
Make sure your message is heard. Have a date, a time and a place. Create a simple poster, start posting on social media (it’s the most amazing tool to spread awareness) and good old word of mouth. Marches start revolutions and people coming together create change.
Why did you select the route or activity that you did for the Ocean March?
We wanted to make sure it was a hotspot for the majority of people in Bali. We decided it was best to host it in our capital city, Denpasar, around the public park.
Why do you think it’s important that people from all over the world participate in an Ocean March on June 4th?
This is your chance, everybody's chance, to ride the wave of momentum change is creating. Be a part of history! Make sure you’re doing your best to contribute to the world and the future you want to live in. June 4th is your moment to show gratitude to the Ocean.
Why is the health of the Ocean important to your community in Bali?
Bali is surrounded by ocean and as a small island we are a part of it. The ocean is our home, our responsibility. It is time we start taking care of it just like how it takes care of us.
Submit your local Ocean March here or join the march in New York City on June 4th.