I am very happy to share with another great story from the field this month. May saw four Seychellois students join the ranks of the GVI volunteers to learn, dive and explore the Seychelles waters, coastline and forests alongside international volunteers.
One of GVI Seychelles aims is to provide in country training and allow local people to become involved with the education and research that GVI conduct. The National Scholarship Programme invites local people over the age of 18 with an interest in marine or terrestrial conservation to join the GVI volunteer team for a four or eight week period.
This month we were lucky enough to have four National Scholars from the University of Seychelles, Danielle, Annabelle, Vicky and Uvicka. All the students are currently studying Environmental Science at the University of Seychelles and joined the GVI Cap Ternay and Curieuse Island expeditions as part of their undergraduate degree ‘Work Based Experience’ scheme.
The National Scholarship programme allowed GVI staff to share their knowledge and training with local students, giving the students first hand field experience and an opportunity to take part in surveys and data collection. In return our Scholars taught us amazing local recipes, Creole phrase of the day and introduced us to more local fruits around base camp than we ever knew existed!
Annabelle who will be specialising in climate change at university, joined the GVI Marine Conservation Expedition at Cap Ternay having never dived before and left as an advanced diver with Coral reef research diver certifications. She said “the dive training was amazing, I have learnt skills I will be able to use in my future career, more Seychellois people should be involved in this!”
Vicky Barbe and Uvicka Bristol joined ten international volunteers on the Curieuse Island terrestrial expedition. Over a four week period the volunteers helped collect vital data on the islands Mangroves and Coco de Mer trees as well as information on the endangered hawksbill turtle nesting population.
All four students excelled in the field passing their exams with top marks and displaying an in depth knowledge of the fauna and flora of the Seychelles. The work based experience was a great success and the students certainly seemed to enjoy the experience.
According to Kelly Bucas, Lecturer and Coordinator at the Faculty of Science in the University “The staff and GVI have been so accommodating and helpful and I can already see a real change in the students”
Capacity building is an important part of GVI’s long term goals enabling local people to gain the relevant training and experience that might not otherwise be available. GVI Seychelles is committed to training more Seychellois in marine and terrestrial monitoring and looks forward to developing a long term partnership with the University of Seychelles.
Another great story from the field on the success of the program. I look forward to sharing another story with you next month from another location!
Thank you for your support as always. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or ideas at email@example.com.
Charitable Trust Manager
Lluvia is from Veracruz, Mexico; she has a degree in Biology from the Autonomous University of Veracruz (UV) and is a PADI qualified Dive Master and EFR provider. Before GVI, Lluvia worked in the north of Mexico with dolphin craneometry, in the south of Mexico with coral growth, and in her home town took part in various environmental education programmes. Lluvia came to GVI Pez Maya as a participant in the National Scholarship Programme in October 2007. After falling in love with the charm of the place and the work GVI does here, she stayed on working with what passionate her most, marine ecosystems.
How did you get selected for the GVI National Scholarship Program?
A friend of mine participated in a GVI programme and she gave the details of where and how to apply. I thought it was a great opportunity as my passion was reef ecosystems. I emailed GVI with my CV and cover letter. After a selection process that GVI does, where they look for people that would be benefit from this programme, I was chosen to participate.
Did the National Scholarship Program offer you opportunities for personal and career development? Please explain.
Yes, I did a degree in Biology and had some working experience while I was at University. Doing the scholarship gave me even more experience and allowed me to put in practice all the theory I had learnt at school. Also I acquired new skills on areas that I never thought I would work with.
What other opportunities or benefits has the National Scholarship Program offered you?
It gave me the opportunity of developing other areas of knowledge, like getting involved with local communities and knowing how to work with them; also to pursue a job within GVI staff.
How have these opportunities shaped your career or improved your future prospects?
After doing the scholarship programme I stayed over as a staff member. That gave me even more knowledge and experience on the field. As well as created new relationship with people alike around the area. My life changed completely, after being an NSP and then staff member I was promoted to base manager. Sometime after this, my experience on field got me the Country Director position, so now I am in charge of the two expeditions we have in Mexico.
Since 2006, GVI Shimoni & the GVI Charitable Trust has been hosting young KWS graduates through it’s projects through the National Scholarship Programme. The idea of the programme is to provide graduates with training and field experience.
The GVI Mombasa Project has recently accepted their first national scholar - Josephine Sawleri – through it’s doors. Josephine comes from Taveta district near the Tanzania border, where GVI’s Shimoni hub has run satellite campus since 2006. A qualified teacher who wanted to opportunity to enhance and expand her teaching experience in an urban environment, Josephine is also assisting GVI to better support our international volunteers in the classroom.
Josephine has been based in both of GVI’s partner schools in low income areas of Mombasa and has gained a great deal from both schools given their very different environments. Josephine has proven to be a valued member of the teaching staff for GVI personnel and teachers at the schools have also commented that it has been beneficial to have a Kenyan national on the team to encourage and improve communication between the teams. This has not only been beneficial to Josephine’s career and personal development, but to GVI staff and volunteers who have learnt a great deal from her through her Kenyan perspective of Kenyan culture.
The first Mombasa NCPCE internship has proven to be a great success. Not only does it enable the participant to develop their teaching skills and their own personal development, but gives them the opportunity to experience another lifestyle, living an working with an international team.
We are now looking forward to continuing the programme throughout 2013.
The Global Vision International National Scholarship program helps assist young people with disadvantaged backgrounds to access further training and opportunities to help and develop the skills necessary to help not only themselves but their communities and environments. The program has grown in reputation and we have been fortunate enough to be able to expand this program, through the hard work of our staff team, fundraisers and donors. Thank you all so much.
We have seen students sponsored through higher education in Guatemala returning to the communities as teachers, started a new scholarship program in Nepal, and expanded our programs in South Africa, Kenya, Seychelles, Fiji and India. As examples, in India alone we were able to fund 71 scholarships for schoolchildren to attend school and access primary education, 50 of which were young girls, and all of which could otherwise not attended school. This year we have seen donations and our ability to assist young people in the UK, US and Australia also increase and we have plans to announce new partnerships in 2013 to help us access additional funds for these countries and expand the work at a time when we feel training and experience for young people is vital given the high rates of unemployment for young people.
We need funds more than ever to keep expanding this project and any and all help you are able to offer will be very welcomed. Thank you so much for your support in the past, from the GVI CT and all of the scholars who have benefitted from the training and experience.
For more information about our work, please see our website www.gvi.org
All the very best
We have been delighted by recent successes and wish to thank our donors for their past and continued support. Our programs is going strong with scholarships being awarded around the world, most recently to 50 students in Kerala, India, for whom the funding allows them to attend primary education, a basic human right. Further similar educational scholarships have also been awarded in Laos, South Africa, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. We have also been delighted to have been invited to discuss a potential partnership with an Indian Ocean based University, to sponsor the best students from their new Environmental B.Sc course each year to attend a placement for further practical training and work experience. Standby for more details and thank you all so much for your assistance this year, without you we could not have done it!
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GVI Charitable Trust Manager