For the first time in Eco-School history, a group of eight young eco-warriors were rewarded with a five-day trip to Desroches funded by IDC. The trip comes after their respective schools ‒ Plaisance secondary, English River secondary, La Retraite primary, Praslin secondary, Independent School, Takamaka primary, Belonie secondary and Anse Boileau secondary ‒ excelled in their eco-school programmes for 2017. Although not among the top six, Eco School, the national environmental programme managed by the Environment Education Unit of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, felt that these eco-friendly schools were equally deserving of an educational trip.
“The top six most outstanding schools are automatically guaranteed an educational trip to Aldabra every year. This is facilitated by the SIF (Seychelles Islands Foundation) and that trip is due for early 2018,” Shane Emilie, the Sustainable Development Coordinator at the unit, explained. These top six schools are: Anse Royale primary, Beau Vallon secondary, Anse Etoile primary, Baie Lazare primary, English River secondary and Plaisance secondary. “In order to complement SIF’s programme, Eco School negotiated with IDC to reward the top eight schools following these top six outstanding.”
During their trip, the eight students were able to see first-hand the different types of work in demand on the outer islands managed by IDC.
Mr. Emilie clarified that the jobs available on outer islands are not necessarily directly concerned with the environment but also includes jobs related to the social and economic sustainable development of these islands.
Hence the students were attached with staff in various fields of work during their sojourn. Ethelle Aglaé, a student from Belonie secondary, said that the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity wherein she experienced a lot of things she would otherwise not have on the main islands. The same sentiment was expressed by fellow eco-warrior from Independent school, Sebastien Contoret, who added that the trip made him seriously consider taking on a career as a conservationist on Desroches ‒ provided that his first career option as a pilot does not pan out.
Michael Payet, the Public Relations and Communications Manager at IDC, stated the company’s greatest challenge is finding enough workers who are willing to work on the islands they manage. “IDC finds that this is a great initiative to support because it builds an interest in the outer islands at a very young age.”
Twelve more students from other registered eco-schools will also be able to visit Silhouette in January 2018, a trip fully funded by IDC.
See link below for a full account of the Eco School trip to Desroches.