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SCUBA-L  July 2003, Week 4

SCUBA-L July 2003, Week 4

Subject:

Re: Request for comments (looking for int'l aid)

From:

David Strike <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 25 Jul 2003 09:58:07 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (147 lines)

On Wed, 23 Jul 2003 23:22:55 -0400, Catalin Braescu wrote:

> I live in Romania, a 22 million people country located in Eastern Europe
> with average individual monthly salary of about 100 US Dollars.

> The whole country may have about 2,000 scuba divers; no one knows even
> approximate figures.
(snip)
> So I got a plan which I am sharing with you in order to allow you to
comment
> on it and make suggestions.

> 1. Put an umbrella organization in place. Most organizations, be they
> companies or not-for-profit foundations, prefer having relationships with
> fellow organizations, not individuals. Also having an organization helps
> when dealing with authorities. So myself and some fellow divers are
> currently registering Scuba.ro Foundation as a not-for-profit organization
> under Romanian law. 1.1. PLEASE COMMENT.

G'Day, Catalin. That seems like an excellent idea.  (Although there's
nothing wrong with profit.  It's an added incentive to those tasked with
putting everything together.)  It's also the way that many other countries
have put in place recognised training organisations.

> 2. Contact PADI and NAUI for seeking numbers. The Foundation will contact
> both NAUI and PADI seeking how many licenses have they sold in Romania
> during last 10 years. 2.1. PLEASE COMMENT.

If your experiences prove similar to mine, then getting hard and fast
statistical information may prove difficult.  Training organisations are
often loathe to part with such information.

2.2. QUESTION: Will PADI and
NAUI
> provide such statistical information?

See Above.

2.3. QUESTION: Do you know the
person
> in charge the we need to contact?

I'd be inclined to spread the net wider than just with PADI and NAUI.  In
that regard, the appropriate offices for Romania (Europe) can probably be
found by searching the internet.

> 3. Put in place two air compressors. The weakest link in scuba activity in
> Romania is lack of air compression available to normal divers. So we plan
to
> have two fixed (=you can always find them in the same location) and
publicly
> available (=undiscriminatory access to anyone) air compressors. Scuba.ro
> Foundation definitelly doesn't have the resources for such investment and
> going for manufacturers to sponsor us won't work since the market is so
> small (they have no incentive to sponsor). So we plan to contact dive
> associations and clubs internationally (perhaps only in Europe due to
> transport costs) and ask them to donate us an old air compressor (heck,
any
> air compressor is better than no air compressor). 3.1. PLEASE COMMENT.

A compressor that lacks the appropriate spare parts and the services of
somebody suitably qualified to maintain it, is worse than no compressor at
all!  In that sense there's no such thing as an old compressor - they either
work properly or they don't!  If you can find somebody to sponsor the
purchase of a compressor, that's good.  Otherwise pool your resources and
buy one (even re-conditioned) from a manufactuer who's able to offer the
appropriate level of service maintenance and support for your country.

>3.2.
> QUESTION: Do you know organizations which by their nature are more likely
to
> help us obtain obsolete air compressors?

No! :-)

>3.3. QUESTION: Where can be found
a
> list/directory of scuba associations and clubs located in Western Europe?

Many of the Training organisations list the contact details of their member
stores.  Many of these have clubs.  It might well be necessary to contact a
number of these directly for details of any affiliated clubs.

> 4. Provide cheap "getting wet"-alike demos. People which can afford scuba
> does exist in Romania but nobody is going to invest US$ 1,500 just to see
> how does this scuba thing feel. In order to escape this vicious circle
> Scuba.ro Foundation will provide cheap "getting wet"-alike demos in top 5
> public pools in Bucharest. Basically for about US$15 the customer will
> receive basic training, will be equipped and have 30 minutes of diving in
> the pool under 1-on-1 surveillance. At the end the customer will receive
two
> Polaroid pictures for remembering the moment. 4.1. PLEASE COMMENT.

That's something that's probably best done under the "umbrella" of an
internartionally recognised training agency.  In that regard, it might be
advisable to send one person away o/s for the appropriate training.  (That's
something that can be asked of the Training organisations when you contact
them.)

>4.2.
How
> can we tailor this "getting wet"-alike service in order to maximize good
> response from the beginner, without raising the cost (or at least not
> substantially)?

That's not a question that's easily answered without knowing what safety or
qualifying standards you intend to put in place; the level of experience of
those conducting the programmes; the equipment to be used; or even whether
you'll be conducting the sessions to a recognised training agency standard.

> 5. Increase public awareness with a TV documentary. Romanians have broad
> access to cable TV where they can watch Animal Planet and National
> Geographic; people over 30 remember Cousteau's documentaries which were
> regularly aired during communist era (I wonder why, scuba activity was
> almost forbidden back then). Under the umbrella of Scuba.ro Foundation we
> plan to shoot a 5-episode TV documentary series. While the response from
TV
> stations is good, since they are willing to air the documentary, the
funding
> is a big problem. Total cost is about US$7,000 while no station will offer
> more than US$500 (a mere US$100 per episode). They claim (correctly) that
> they can obtain American scuba documentaries for about US$200 per episode
> and advertising won't be too good during the series. 5.1. PLEASE COMMENT.

Funding for things that we'd like to do is a problem everywhere.  The only
comment that I feel qualified to make is: hasten slowly and keep
persevering!  :-)

> 5.2. Since most of the costs come from renting a underwater videocamera
(and
> lightning) from outside the country, do you know somebody (perhaps and
> organization, even a manufacturer) who can rent us for free the filming
> equipment?

No!

>5.3. Can you recommend us any funding scheme (grants /
> sponsorships / co-producing) which can cover costs for this TV documentary
> series?

It's a chicken and egg situation!  In that regard, you might well be advised
to approach a training organisation and begin by getting the basic structure
in place, growing slowly and then developing more elaborate promotional
plans and activities.

Strike

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