As the end of the expedition was approaching for twelve of the volunteers, an air of melancholy was descending upon the camp. And yet we had to turn any frowns upside down as Creole Day at the President’s Village was upon us. On a quarterly basis the volunteers join their forces to organise a very special day for the local children’s home.
This week on Cap Ternay has seen a lot of adventure and excitement. Three of our group embarked on a challenging trek from Bel Ombre to our base on Cap Ternay, resulting in 9 hours of ‘Macheteing’ their way through the jungle on a reasonably unused track, which along with amazing scenery and views, left them stranded on “secret beach” resulting in a 40 minute swim round the corner back to base then back again with surfboards and dry bags to pick up their gear. Seybrews were well earned that Saturday night.
On 22nd May 2012 the world celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity. This yearly event focuses on one area of biodiversity in the hopes of raising awareness and increasing practical action in local communities. This year’s focus was ‘Marine Biodiversity’ which created a perfect opportunity for GVI Seychelles to join forces with local projects and organisations. Together they created a community event to help educate local children and celebrate the abundance of marine biodiversity, which can be found around the many islands of the Seychelles.
During the day the local students were given the opportunity to have a one on one guided snorkel with a GVI volunteer around the marine park, where they were taught to identify different fish and corals found in the shallow waters on the coral reef. Other activities involved mangrove safaris and a chance to try out scuba diving equipment.
In a community where many livelihoods rely on the ocean, this day brought an important message to the future generations and highlighted GVI’s efforts to support conservation through research.
We have been working with the President’s Village Children’s home for eighteen months. Initially the focus was on taking the children for snorkel/swim sessions every few weeks. The children at the home are orphaned, neglected or abused and rarely get a chance to go into the ocean as many of their carers cannot swim. Through the snorkel/swim sessions we hope to foster a love of the ocean in these children so that they may learn to protect the marine environment as they get older.
As part of the continuing partnership we also hold quarterly fundraising activities. The funds raised are put directly towards items that have been requested by the home. Past purchases have included bicycles, ferry tickets for a camping trip, and much needed shoes and clothes.
On 22nd March 2012 thirty volunteers took part in a day of challenges around the island of Mahe. They included hiking up a tea plantation, becoming a sand mermaid, visiting as many beaches as possible and dancing at the Children’s home. It was a day of trials and tribulations that culminated in a sunset cruise around the St Anne Marine Park to thank everyone for their hard work. The day was a great success with over £1000 raised by friends and families for the Children’s home.
We would like to share the most recent trustee report from the GVI Charitable Trust. This report covers the six month period from July to December 2011.
This has been by far the most successful period. In six months we have raised nearly as much as we did the whole previous year. This increase in funding has brought a corresponding increase in the impact we have been able to create on our programs around the world.
During this period we have invested in sustainable education across Latin America. This includes support for the elderly in Guatemala and income generation schemes to support education in Honduras and Ecuador. In Mexico we have worked with a community to establish a recycling centre and in Kenya our partners in Mombasa will now see impoverished students complete primary education to earn qualifications for the first time.
These are just a few highlights of an amazing, productive and rewarding six months. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and played a crucial role in these achievements.
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GVI Charitable Trust Manager