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Youth exchange between Seychelles and Maldives

Seychelles youth exchange group: Ms. Farida Camille (left), Marc Lesperance, Alize Ferrari, Jean-Marc Athanase, Anna-Rita Stravens (The fifth student, Lorraine Stravens, is missing from the photo)

Students from Praslin Secondary School have been actively involved in the Small Islands Voice internet-based youth forum. In April 2002 they posted a very interesting article on recycling and the students' article has had an impact on other students in their school. Five students from Secondary four, aged 14-15 years: Jean-Marc Athanase, Lorraine Stravens, Alizee Ferrari, Marc Lesperance and Anna-Rita Stravens, aided by their teacher, Ms. Farida Camille (see photo above), expressed an interest in visiting students in another island country that takes part in the Small Islands Voice youth forum and embarking on a joint project.

As a result of this initiative, contacts were made with schools in the Maldives, and Mr. Ahmed Saeed, Principal of Madhrasathul Ahmadhiyya in Male, Maldives, responded in a very proactive manner with an offer to host the Seychelles students and to provide board and lodging.

Prior to the exchange visit, which took place from 4-12 January 2004, the Seychelles students worked hard to raise funds for their airfares. A packed programme was prepared for the Seychelles students together with seven students from Madharsathul Amadiyya, Male, Maldives. The students met with officials from the Ministry of Education, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources; they participated in an environmental workshop, and had several field visits to places of interest on Villingili, Hulhumale and Thilafushi and Maafushi, including the garbage separation site, a drug rehabilitation centre, a craft centre and a tuna factory. The students also had the honour of meeting with the President of the Maldives, Mr. Abdul Gayoom, during the visit. The photos and movie clips (see 1st clip and 2nd clip) of the visit show that there was also time for sports and relaxation including swimming and night fishing. The visit culminated with a cultural show featuring traditions and culture from both countries. During the visit the students decided to target a zero tolerance for littering at their respective schools as a joint project for the year to sustain a good and healthy environment. Students felt that starting from education at school, the youth could be sensitised on how to discard litter appropriately and even make use of certain components of litter in terms of recycling. It was felt that littering is one of the starting points of pollution and hence needs to be tackled early before it contributes towards other major problems. After the visit the students prepared a report and the Ministry of the Environment in Seychelles prepared an overview.

At the end of 2004, it was the turn of the Maldivian students to visit their counterparts in Seychelles. From 12th to 19th December 2004, a group of six students from Amaddhiya School in Male, Maldives, accompanied by their teacher, Mr. Hassan, visited Mahe and Praslin. Their programme for that week was very packed, and besides discussions on their respective projects relating to 'Zero tolerance for littering', they had lunch with the Minister for the Environment, Mr. Ronny Jumeau, and met with the Vice President of Seychelles. They also had time for cultural evenings, and visits to places of interest in Seychelles. Ruby Goorye has written about their time together in Mahe and Vanessa Lesperance has written about the Praslin experiences. Ruby Goorye has written about their time together in Mahe and Vanessa Lesperance has written about the Praslin experiences, whilst a full report on the visit of the Maldivian students is also available.


To get involved, contact :


National Co-ordinators
Mr Rolph Payet and Mr Alain De Comarmond
Ministry of Environment
PO Box 677, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
Tel: + 248 224 644
Fax: 248 322 945


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