Every Christmas, the GVI Seychelles team and volunteers use donations, from people like you, to create a Christmas party along with presents for the children of the Presidents Village home.
As chaotic as it was to purchase individual gifts for nearly 60 children aged 0-16, we maneuvered our way through Victoria making purchase after purchase and tried to think back to what we would have liked seeing on Christmas morning at different ages. We only knew we’d succeeded on the last day of our term as we visited the kids and watched them tear open the wrapping paper with huge smiles and quickly abandoned us to play with their toys. The smiles on their faces was infectious as we spent much of the afternoon joining in on their fun.
Making our day even more special for kids and volunteers alike was the dance presentation by a select group of eager kids, led by two Divemaster Interns who had spent weeks practicing a choreographed routine to two songs. Despite visibly rising nerves at the prospect of dancing in front of all of their peers, every one of them stood strong and performed the routine to a clapping and excited crowd. These kids are provided food, a home, and education by the Home but it is one of our goals to provide more one-on-one and extracurricular support to the kids, many of whom spend much of their lives being brought up by a rotating staff of carers instead of parents. Each week we take a group of the kids snorkeling and swimming at a nearby beach, where they learn to swim and enjoy the ocean.
Thank you for making this possible.
All the best
It has been another busy quarter for the GVI Seychelles Chritable Trust. At Cap Ternay, volunteers completed an Underwater scavenger hunt. Hidden underwater were (ocean-friendly) clues for the teams to find; some buddy teams planned routes based on their knowledge and familiarity of our home reefs while others plunged in with fingers crossed and eyes wide open.
All teams came up victorious, though of course some more than others! Each clue provided the team with a task valued between 10 and 100 points, giving them another day and a half to pull together to complete the challenge and make it to the finish line by 5:00 pm on Thursday. Tasks ranged from a handstand on L'Islette to a marathon snorkel from Cap Ternay beach to Anse Souillac, while others sent the group down to the very south of the island to Police Bay or required a dancing rendition of the Thriller on another beach (on film). Not all tasks were completed, but the following evening we all gathered at Anse Royale for a meal and point tally along with a laugh at the various videos and photos that had been accumulated during the day. A prize for the individual who had raised the most and for the team with the most points was a little bonus, but the real perk of the day had been an excuse to celebrate raising over £300 for the President's Village.
The challenges continue to be a source of fun, a great opportunity for team building and help us improve community awareness regarding the work of the President’s Village Children’s Home. The donations from family and friends of volunteers and staff, have been amazing and we would like to thank you all for your continued support. Please keep an eye out for our next Charitable Trust event in a few months as we aim to continue supporting the great work of our chosen organisations and fundraise even more than before!
On Thursday June 12th 2014, the 3rd annual ‘Raft Race Four Rupees’ took place in the Baie Ternay Marine Park on Mahé Island. The raft race organized by GVI Seychelles has taken place every year since 2012 with the goal of raising money for the President’s Village Children’s Home.
This year four teams from GVI, two from the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), and a single team from the University of Seychelles and Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) lined up in a bid to take the 2014 crown. Conditions were less favourable than in previous years, with a strong southeasterly wind creating a choppy sea surface, not ideal for paddling.
Once again there was variety of raft designs ranging from the simple to the extremely elaborate. Last year’s champions the SNPA were aiming for a hat trick of wins and had once again chosen a sturdy design with the plan of using their strength to take them to the finish line before their opponents.
MCSS who remained upset following the controversy that surrounded last year’s event, were determined to make no mistake this time and took an early lead. It was a position they refused to relinquish and by the time they had circumnavigated the mooring buoy to commence the return leg, they had built up a commanding advantage. In the end it was too much for anyone to catch them and the MCSS team completed the course for a deserved win in a time of 57 minutes. Second place was taken by the University of Seychelles with the GVI ‘Fire Urchins’ team securing third.
A barbecue and prize giving ceremony for the winners followed the event. Although a lot of fun there is a more serious goal behind the organization of the annual raft race event. Since 2010 GVI Seychelles has been raising money for the President’s village Children’s Home. In the past money raised from the raft race, similar events and your donations has contributed towards purchasing clothes and shoes for the children, buying bicycles for the home and facilitating camping trips to Praslin through the purchase of ferry tickets.
The 2014 Raft Race raised over SR16, 000 and we would like to thank all the participants and everyone who donated to the cause.
GVI Seychelles is now looking to install a Photovoltaic renewable energy system at the President’s Village Children’s Home. The system will reduce the cost of monthly electricity bills allowing the home to make savings that can be better spent directly on the children.
Recently GVI Seychelles placed an order for a 5.4kw PV System for installation at the President’s Village. The system will be purchased and installed in phases, allowing for it to be built up over time. It is hoped that installation of the system will commence towards the end of the year.
Thank you for continuing to support this project.
GVI Seychelles Marine Expedition at Cap Ternay hosted their quarterly Creole Day event at the President’s Village Children’s Home, Cap Ternay’s Charitable Trust. Staff and volunteers set up different tables with activities, such as bubble making, colouring, nail painting and the always popular face painting. Before the day had barely begun, most volunteers were already covered in face paint – from tiger stripes to butterflies. Some of the older kids played football with the volunteers, kicking the ball around in the rain while the younger set played with hula hoops and blew bubbles everywhere. After a morning of fun and games, the staff at the President’s Village cooked a delicious Creole lunch of traditional items including Creole chicken curry, lentils, potato and egg salad, grilled meats and other local dishes. After lunch, volunteers took the kids across the road for a swim in the ocean to cool off (and rinse off all that face paint). It is a fun day for the kids, and a great way for GVI volunteers to give some of their time and attention to local children in need.
In addition to the Creole Days that GVI hosts every three months. GVI staff and volunteers also participate in various fund raising events to raise money for the President’s Village Children’s Home. In 2013, GVI and the President’s Village decided on a new focus of the fund raising, to purchase and install solar panel equipment on the individual houses to help reduce their overhead cost and help conserve resources on the island. The project aims to provide a renewable energy source for the children’s home which will help to reduce their carbon footprint and help to sustain our environment little by little. The solar panels will also help in reducing the overall utility bills of the village allowing more funds to be available to be spent on the children for things such as weekend activities and day trips.
GVI will be starting the project on a step by step process. At the moment we are planning on setting up solar panels on one of the six houses allowing this house to run solely on solar power. Over time GVI Cap Ternay hope to raise more funds to assist in expanding the solar panel project to eventually encompass the entire Children’s home which will mean that the home will run on clean eco-friendly power. As well as your support and donations, in February, volunteers and staff participated in the nationwide Seychelles EcoMarathon, running distances from 5K to the Half Marathon to raise money and bring the current total funds raised to £6,000.00 which is now enough to actually begin moving forward with the project!
Thank you for supporting this project, we look forward to sharing with you how the solar panel project progresses!
On Sunday February 23 2014, the GVI Seychelles Cap Ternay Expedition Base competed in the 7 annual Seychelles Eco-friendly Marathon Challenge. The marathon took place for the first time in 2008, with a modest count of 330 participants, this year they are expecting 500 oversea participants along with several hundred local participants.
The race covers a wide range of fitness levels from a 5km course up to marathon which will cover 42.2km. The philosophy of the Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon is to spread the focus beyond mere competition, putting equal emphasis on appreciating exercise and being surrounded by the natural beauty of Seychelles. The course set off from Beau Vallon covering the Northern and North Eastern area of the main land as well as its capital Victoria. GVI raised money for the Presidents Village Children's Home and so far, have raised over £1000 dollars!
This year, we are starting a new a renewable energy project for the President’s village. In addition to funding extra-curricular activities for the children, the money raised by GVI will be used to purchase, install and maintain a solar energy system. The project will have multiple phases and the ultimate goal would be to have the President’s Village running on solar power energy, which would reduce the cost of their utilities and also help conserve valuable resources.
Thank you to our donors and fundraisers for this challenge!
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GVI Charitable Trust Manager