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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charitable Trust Manager
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GVI Charitable Trust Manager