- Moosa Wasiu
- Hanee Shakir
Small Island Voice (SIV) forum is an internet - based forum which
focuses on individual discussions about the problems and views
in different small island nations. Some of them are Mauritius,
Maldives, Seychelles, and Palau...etc.
The aim of
the exchange trip between the Seychelles and Maldives was to learn
and understand problems faced by both island nation, especially
about the environment and the educational status in both countries.
(12th December 2004)
Six students from Madharasathul Ahmadhiyya accompanied by Mr.
Hassan Nashid, arrived in Seychelles at around 3.00pm, on 12th
December 2004. No sooner we arrived to Seychelles; they welcomed
us by open arms. Everyone was deeply impressed by the warm welcome
received with flowers.
some of their faces were new, they treated us as if we were very
close to each other. We linked arms with them as we walked to
the bus." Hanee Shakir
are covered in lush green vegetation. And the plants that we found
on Seychelles are entirely different from what we used to find
back in the Maldives. We were thrilled to find those new plants.
we arrived at polytechnic youth hostel where we stayed for 3 days.
After a short while we went on a walk around hostel and finally
reached the beach. There were plenty of different verities of
trees. We had a wonderful dinner which was quite similar to what
we used to eat in our homes. Lights were out for sleep around
(13th December 2004)
We woke up early at 6 am. After a quick shower and breakfast we
were on our way to meet the Minister of Education Mr. Danny Faure.
The weather was a bit rainy. The van took about 30 minutes to
reach the ministry.
by the Minister, we had frank discussions concerning the environment
of both Seychelles and Maldives. In the Minister's speech he pointed
out that the world has now realized the earth is the home for
human beings. He also said that the sustainable development plays
a major role in preserving the nature and the youths of both countries
could take part in preserving the nature. He also emphasized that
huge countries like China, Japan and USA could adversely destroy
our precious environment as well and we also have every right
to the oxygen we breathe in. In conclusion, he strongly pointed
out that "we" the small islands should not only be holiday destinations
but also could take our own decisions regarding the environmental
and other issues as well.
meeting with the Minister, we went to the Youth Centre from where
we gained so much knowledge about the youths of the Seychellois.
While we were discussing certain issues with the counselors in
the centre, we came to know that sex issues were mostly taken
care of in Seychelles because most of the young people are involved
in such cases.
At about 12
in the noon we walked our way up into the Vice president's Palace
where we were given a warm welcome. We met the two advisors for
the Vice President as well. The Vice President Joseph Blant was
a friendly and sociable person. In our discussion, vice President
also addressed about the similar problems the youths of both countries
are facing today and that if we do not take any action beforehand,
it would be too late. Then youths of both countries discussed
about what had been done in response to "Zero tolerance to littering".
drinks 2 youths from each country were interviewed by the SBC
(Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation).
we went to the botanical garden where we had an appetizing lunch.
We observed new species of birds and plants there.
At about 4.30
pm, we started our journey back to the hostel. After a 30 minutes
ride, we reached the hostel. We all were so exhausted so we had
a quick shower and gathered for the follow up of the day. After
dinner at 8 pm, we slept at 11 pm after playing few games.
(14th December 2004)
We left for the tour of Mahe' at 08:15am. The first on the list
was Youth Village. We were welcomed by the director of the place
who was a very friendly person. This was a very interesting place
as the place is ideal for teaching life skills for adolescents.
The place seemed to be more like a youth camp which helps the
youths to employ their holidays effectively. We had the chance
of meeting some of the youths at the village who were 7 to 8 years
old. This gave us a fair idea of how they conducted their youth
program. Following a quick tour of the place, we headed to Victoria.
On the way
we came by the landfill and an Artificial Park. This place is
a long term project that is to be accomplished for the purpose
of conserving endemic plants and animals.
day started with promising views of Mahe the day turned out to
be a bit interfered with weather. But we had an honored invitation
by the Minister of Environment Ronnie at Sams Pizza Restaurant
Here we had
a very open discussion about both countries sustainable development
in response to environment, fishing and tourism which followed
a great lunch.
lunch I had during the short visit' (Mohamed Abdulla)
One of the
prominent things that we found that day was that Seychellois had
an abundance of tuna that can be processed and exported as in
Maldives. Mr. Ronnie found it very interesting that we are earning
a lot of foreign in come form exporting tuna as said that it should
be initiated in Seychelles.
As we departure
for Beau Vallon Beach at noon there was a light shower. Though
we had a breath taking bird view of the capital we were not blessed
to see the beautiful Vallon Beach due to the heavy rain.
At 4.00 pm
we invited by some relatives of Maldivians who welcomed us very
warmly. Here we met the Managing director of Seychelles Broadcasting
Corporation, Mr. Afeef. When we were having evening tea we found
out a superstition of Seychellois which stated "If you eat breadfruit
of Seychelles you are sure to come back". So we ate a lot of breadfruit
chips, hoping to visit the place. Then Mr. Afeef took us to a
tour of SBC and even had the chance of seeing the 6:00pm news
live from studio 1. Finally we came back to youth hostel and discussed
about the day.
(15th December 2004)
We all woke up at 5:30 am and got ready, packing for the voyage
to Praslin. After a delicious breakfast we went in to the town
to go to a mini workshop. We met many students of Seychelles like
Fatim Kante who was the tennis champion of the Seychellois; we
all were very excited, especially when we came to know that the
youths of Seychelles were very concerned about their environment.
After the work-shop we all went for a walk around the town and
had quick snack at the independence cafeteria and back to the
place where the work shop was held.
At 2:00 pm
we all went to the rehabilitation center where we got much information
about the drugs and alcohol abusers.
After we got
a tour of Mont Royale Center we left for the jetty. At 4:00 we
left for Praslin. When we arrived on Praslin we were given a warm
welcome by the SIV Youth participants' parents and their school
we all had a delicious dinner where everyone gathered together
and had fun.
(16th December 2004)
As usual we
started the day with a wonderful breakfast but this time at Jean
Mark's place. Unlike other days we had fetch a bus, so we had
to commence early at 7:30 a.m., it took around five minutes to
arrive at the bus stop and ten minutes to reach the Vallee De
Mai, The Nature Reserve.
There we were
guided by a well experienced woman; we learnt a lot about the
Coco de mer and other organisms which are under extinction in
Seychelles. We were taken by surprise to know that black parrots
are even found in that area but we were not so fortunate enough
to observe one. The scientific name of coco de mer was related
to Maldives but we were told it has no relation with us. Instead
we have to agree since there is no proof that verifies its origin
is from Maldives. The tour was so interesting that we did not
realize the fatigue, but at the end of the session in a sudden
burst we were packed down to the bench.
soft drinks we visited Praslin Secondary School. There we got
few minutes to explore but we saw many interesting banners which
would be cool to put them up in our school. Then after taking
few snaps with their principal we had to walk to the pearl farm.
After around fifteen minutes we arrived pearl farm. At the Pearl
Farm, we discovered that they rear young ones in semi intensive
system. Later they transfer them into the sea. We also sighted
some species of fish in the tanks in the tanks such as sharks,
surgeon fish and lobsters as well.
lunch we walked to the Anse Lazio Beach via Mont Plaisir. We swam
and played some games on the beach. Later we went back to Alize's
place where we had our dinner and then the boys went back to Jean
Marc's place where they drifted into a peaceful sleep.
(17th December 2004)
The day was
dominated for island hopping by a catamaran. We had the chance
to see many attractive snorkeling sites. We stopped by one such
site and landed our feet on Curieuse Island off Praslin Northern
coast. It was known that this island is a part of Marine life
and only few people live there. The first attraction of the island
was a pen for rearing giant tortoise in an exciting conservation
project. Then everyone walked through a trail which ran through
extensive swamps which had the touch of wild life.
of the mangroves upright like nails coming out of ground. It was
a quite scary but at the same time magnificent." (Mohamed Abdullah)
Then we enjoyed
through the ruins of the ancient leper colony. It was know that
this island was a sanctuary for leper. In Maldives also, lepers
were being sent to nearby islands or remote areas in large islands.
Fortunately there are no lepers in both countries. It was known
that in 1870s, a house for the doctor to stay on the island was
raised. Today this 'Doctor's house' is a charming museum which
holds the island history.
lunch the catamaran, we cruised to the famous Cousin Island. This
is a natural reserve for a wide range of fauna, including Terns,
Skinks, doves and Giant tortoise. The one our tour guide seemed
to last for few minutes as they occupied "rich views and information'
of the picturesque island. It was known that around 250 000 birds
nest on cousin each year. Here we discovered many new birds.
We came back
to Praslin late in the evening and the excitement of the culture
show began at 8.00pm. This show was organized to enhance the knowledge
of both countries tradition and culture. The show followed a display
of some Maldivian foods. The youths of Maldives explained how
the foods were prepared and what occasions they were used. Everyone
enjoyed a home made grand dinner that night.
(18th December 2004)
On 18th December Saturday, We woke up early in the morning. Prepared
for the day and had a delicious breakfast. We set off at 8.00am
on a bus to the jetty. We sailed to la-Digue on a ship. It was
a pleasant trip which lasted for 30min. From the ship we enjoyed
the scenes passing by.
On the island
there were very few vehicles and no traffic or congestion at all.
In la Digue the most usual form of transport was by bicycle or
an ox cart. We rode an ox-cart to L'union Estate.
a new experience. I enjoyed it very much". (Aiminath Sanooha)
we saw the ways of old plantation life. Near the Estate through
a line of trees was an old cemetery which holds the graves of
the Islands first settlers. On our way we saw an oil press which
extracted rich coconut oil using an ox. After passing by the Vanilla
plantation we went to the Estate tortoise pen followed by a place
to ride horses. We had the opportunity to feed them grass.
We were fortunate
that we had the luck to see one of the world rarest birds in the
world; the black Paradise Flycatcher. A unique bird found nowhere
in the world except in La Digue. Lunch was served on an extraordinary
beach which had huge granite rocks near by. At about 03.00pm we
left for Praslin.
After we reached
Praslin the most difficult time we had to go through the whole
trip came. We said our goodbyes and left with a lot of memories
and even more knowledge which we will cherish forever in our hearts
(19th December 2004)
Woke up early
in the morning and got ready to say farewell to Seychelles. Ms.
Farida and Mr. De Comarmond bade us farewell at the airport.
Through this exchange trip, we gained so much knowledge about
the culture, tradition and environment of Seychelles. We also
came to know that youths of both countries need to raise their
voice so that the whole world could hear about the problems concerning
small islands. It is also important that all the countries of
the world should consider them as a whole and negotiate for a
sustainable development. The governments of the countries should
focus on youth based activities to allow them to understand as
them as part of development.