- UK trainer shows staff how to make interactive
them to use Botanical Gardens as an open classroom
- Victoria 4th August-The head of education in United Kingdom's (UK) Royal Botanical
Gardens at Kew, Mrs Gail Bromley, has said that Botanical Gardens and similar
environmental conservation sites could be used as open classrooms where visitors could
learn about the place of man in his environment.
- The sites could be used as interactive environment centres to increase people's
awareness of their important relationship with the environment and to awaken a desire to
contribute to environmental conservation.
- Mrs Bromley was speaking at the Botanical Gardens recently where she conducted a
five-day seminar organised by the Parks and Gardens Division of the Ministry of
Environment and Transport.
- Addressing 15 participants who were park rangers, Botanical Gardens staff, the
environment coordinator of environment education in the Ministry of Education and staff of
the Natural History Museum and Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles leaders, she said that games
could be incorporated in various centres. This, she went on to say, could encourage
visitors to the centres to explore scientific concepts and thereby gain a better
understanding of the environment and biodiversity.
- She introduced them to 20 different games which could be introduced to make visits to
places like the botanical gardens fun and more educational.
- According to the director of the Botanical Gardens at Mont Fleuri, Mr Didier Dogley, the
workshop, which was funded by the Southern African Development Corporation (SADC) Wildlife
and Kew Gardens, had been organised because there was a need for people, particularly
children to make better use of the Botanical Gardens. This, she said, would make it an
educational centre where visitors could learn about, and appreciate the natural
- During the workshop, which was conducted at the Gardens between July 25 and July 28, the
participants learned about good guidance techniques and how to use plants as a focus for
children's topics. They were also introduced to some of the skills necessary to create
specific educational trails and games and explored ways to encourage use of the botanical
gardens as an interactive learning centre.
- The participants also learned about the important role of environmental education for
sustainable development and familiarised themselves with various conventions, for example
the one on biological diversity, particularly Agenda 21 of the Global Plan of Action for
- In addition, they also learned how to produce packs, educational boxes and other
educational materials based on different environmental topics for different groups of
- During the five days, the participants took part in a variety of group work and
practical activities within the gardens, which they said have enabled them to understand
biological interdependence and the effects of various actions and decisions on the local
and global environment.
- Similar group work and activities could be devised, they said, and could used with
visitors to the gardens in order to develop people's awareness, attitudes and values so
that they could be involved in conservation actions.
- One of the participants, Miss Nada Francourt expressed great satisfaction saying:
"I am now better prepared to assist different groups of visitors especially school
children in more interactive learning activities when they come to the gardens."
- Others said that the workshop had proved to them that the gardens could provide a lot of
cross-curricular opportunities for teachers in schools.
- Another workshop is expected to be held for teachers and wildlife club leaders in the
future. Some of the participants of this previous workshop are expected to act as
facilitators in the future seminar.
Workshop on child
protection issues opens Friday at SIM
- Victoria 4th August-A two-day workshop with the aim of equipping social workers and
probation officers with information on provisions within the law dealing with issues such
as family violence and child protection, opens Friday at the Seychelles Institute of
Management (SIM), Victoria.
- The workshop, which is being organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Manpower
Development, will bring together over 30 probation officers and social workers who deal on
a day-to-day basis with matters relating to the workshops themes.
- The Secretary to the Family Tribunal Mr Brassel Adeline and State Counsel Mr Wilby Lucas
will conduct the workshop.
- According to Mr Adeline, besides covering provisions within the law relating to family
violence and child protection, the workshop will also provide the opportunity for the
participants to learn more about the functioning of the Family Tribunal, the procedures
for registering cases at the Tribunal and the difference between the Family Tribunal and
the Secretariat of the Family Tribunal.
- The knowledge to be gained from the workshop, according to Mr Adeline, would put the
participants in a better position to deal with any queries and/or to offer advice to their
- Mr Adeline said there were many provisions within the law dealing with such matters, for
example, the Childrens Act, the Penal and Civil Code, the Matrimonial Code, the
Education Act and the ILO and Hagues Conventions.
- All these provisions, Mr Adeline noted, deal with the rights and protection of children.
- He added that it was to the advantage of both the social workers and probation officers
to know about these provisions.
- British parliamentarians on
- Victoria 3rd August-Six parliamentarians from the United Kingdom branch of the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) today start a week-long official visit to
- Announcing the visit National Assembly Speaker Francis MacGregor, the delegation's host,
told Seychelles Nation yesterday that it formed part of an exchange programme
between the local CPA branch and that of the UK.
- "We enjoy very good relations with the UK branch of the CPA and the visit is
testimony of that relationship," Speaker MacGregor explained.
- Five of the six Members of Parliament (MPs) are from the House of Commons and the other
from the House of Lords. Both the ruling Labour Party and opposition Conservative Party
are represented in the delegation.
- The delegation is led by Labour MP Thomas McAvoy who arrived in Seychelles on Monday. Mr
McAvoy has been Member of Parliament for Glasgow Rutherglen since 1987.
- Two other members of the delegation, Brian Donohoe (Labour) and Denis Murphy (Labour),
also arrived on Monday. Mr Donohoe is the MP for Cunninghame South while Mr Murphy
represents Wansbeck in the House of Commons.
- The rest of the delegation arrive today. They are Peter Atkinson, the Conservative MP
for Hexham; Baroness Whitaker (Janet Alison) representing Labour in the House of Lords and
Conservative MP Keith Simpson.
- The National Assembly secretariat has organised a busy programme of activities for the
British MPs including calls on Speaker MacGregor, Deputy Speaker Shelton Jolicoeur, Leader
of Government Business Dr Patrick Herminie and Leader of the Opposition Mr Wavel
- They will also call on several government ministers, officials and representatives of
non-governmental organisations including the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).
- A tour of Mahe and a reef safari also feature on the programme.
- After the official visit, which ends on August 8, most of the MPs will stay on for a
- This is the second visit to Seychelles by parliamentarians from the UK branch of the
CPA. The first delegation visited the country in 1997.
- Speaker MacGregor said the visit was also testimony of the good health of parliamentary
democracy in Seychelles.
- He added that the sharing of experience between the
two sides would enable Seychelles to bolster its democratic institution even further.
- Historical telecom cables surface
- Victoria 3rd August-While the dredgers have been digging up the seabed in Victoria
harbour to create new land, the machines have also been scooping up bits of our history
from the shallow waters.
- Two weeks ago, when the Jerommeke was on its last assignment in the yacht basin,
its huge mechanical hoe brought to the surface part of the submarine telecommunications
cables that linked Seychelles to the outside world before the advent of high frequency
radio and satellites.
- Like spaghetti on a fork, lengths of the cables kept getting entangled around the hoe as
the dredger went about its operations.
- Parts of the cables can now be clearly seen resting on the enlarged Hodoul island.
- With the development of telegraphic communication in the second half of the 19th
century, Seychelles gained its place on the world telecommunications map.
- On the 29th March 1893, the Eastern and South African Telegraphic Company was granted a
contract to establish a telegraph cable connecting Zanzibar with Seychelles, thence to
Mauritius. On 11th November a cable ship named Scotia successfully completed the
laying of that first cable, linking for the very first time Seychelles to Zanzibar and
thereby to the outside world.
- Before the laying of the cable, Seychelles only means of communications with the
outside world was by ships plying between India and Europe, calling in Victoria
- By 1902 the Victoria telegraph station, now Cable & Wireless, had become an
important Indian Ocean cable relay station.
- In 1922 another cable passed through the Seychelles to link Aden to Colombo.
- In the late 1960s HF radio links were gradually replacing the submarine telegraph cables
as a communication medium around the world.
- The Seychelles to Aden cable was abandoned on 31st October 1968, after 46 years of
- Following the opening of a receiving station at Bon Espoir and a transmission station at
St Louis Hill, the last submarine cable linking Seychelles to Zanzibar was abandoned on
the 22nd May 1971, after 78 years of service.
- Churning of the seabed by bigger dredger Marco
Polo also brought to the surface sections of the cables during its operations further
out at sea at the entrance to Port Victoria. The cables, after passing through the yacht
basin, reached the shore at the Esplanade - which bordered the sea then - to be connected
to Cable & Wireless equipment in Mercury House.
musicians benefit from Jazz maestros expertise
- Victoria 3rd August-Jazz virtuoso George Lee who mesmerised audiences with his dazzling
musical skills during last weeks Jazz Festival, had the chance to impart some of his
expertise to local musicians during a half-day workshop Wednesday.
- Held at the School of Music, Mont Fleuri, the workshop was attended by a number of
musicians, including music instructors and students from the School of Music.
- According to Mr Lee, the workshop, which consisted mainly of practical sessions, offered
him the opportunity to get better acquainted with local jazz artistes.
- It was important, he said, for the local musicians to practice jazz on a daily basis so
that it becomes part of their lives.
- The Jazz maestro noted that local jazzmen had good talents, but lack practice.
- During the workshop the artistes got the opportunity to analyse different jazz and blues
rhythms and practice chord changes, in addition to learning different techniques.
- According to participant Golbert Nourrice, who plays the saxophone, he has benefited a
lot from the workshop which, he said, had given him the chance to review his scales.
- He said the course had also made him realise that even if one specialises in a specific
instrument, a knowledge of other musical instruments was also important.
- George Lee is a multi-instrumentalist with a list of credentials and experience
un-matched in any previous Jazz festival held locally. He plays the saxophone, piano,
flute, African drums, and is also a singer, songwriter, producer, arranger and music
- A native of Ghana, resident in South Africa, George Lee, also known as Big G
began his musical career at 18 when he created the band Ghana Messengers, setting
in motion a new trend in Ghanaian High-Life music with the introduction of the bebop Jazz
sound. Later he was commissioned by President Kwame Nkrumah to study the musical rhythms
of native Ghanaian music before being sent as a musical ambassador to the 1962 Berlin
- From then on, George Lees musical career
developed extensively, leading him into the world of theatre, film, working alongside
major celebrities, such as Bob Marley, Johnny Nash, Cat Stevens, among others.
- The local jazz festival formally ended Monday evening
with a live concert.
- Scouts leave for 4th All Africa
- Victoria 3rd August-SOME sixty-five Seychellois scouts, including thirteen leaders, will
be participating in the 4th All Africa Jamboree to be held at Rowallan Scout Camp and
Jamhuri Park in Nairobi, Kenya from August 9 to 19, 2000.
- The first group of twenty-seven scouts and leaders leave Seychelles today on Kenya
- A second group of eighteen scouts and leaders will depart on Monday August 7 while the
remaining ones will leave on Thursday August 10.
- Among the sixty-five scouts are eleven less fortunate scouts whose participation has
been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Seychelles Children's Fund and
other sponsors such as Beau Vallon Petrol Station.
- The first two groups of scouts will be joined by a group of Kenyan scouts for a
pre-Jamboree hospitality camp at the St Patrick Hill School from August 3 to 8, 2000.
- The Seychelles Scouts delegation is being led by Seychelles Scouts Commissioner for
International Relations, Mr John Marie, who will be assisted by a team of thirteen Area
- Some 6000 scouts from all over Africa including some from Europe, America and Asia are
expected to participate in the Jamboree which has as theme "Peace and
- The scouts participation at the Jamboree has been financed by the parents of the
scouts, local benefactors and the sponsorship of the Seychelles Marketing Board (SMB),
Source d'Or, Indian Ocean Tuna Ltd (IOT), Sodepak and Kenya Airways, as well as with
proceeds from fundraising activities by the scouts themselves.
- The delegation will return to Seychelles on August 21 and 24, 2000.
- 24 new
buses arrive from India
- Victoria 2nd August-Twenty-four new buses arrived from Bombay on board MV Ebony
- The buses, which comprised 20 TATA 1512s and four TATA 1612s will be deployed in the
Seychelles Public Transport Corporations (SPTC) normal and contract services fleets
- SPTCs assistant traffic manager, Mr Desire Payet, said that the 20 forty-seater
buses would be shared out between Mahe and Praslin where they were expected to improve on
the efficiency of the bus companys bus operations.
- The organisations managing director and the workshop superintendent Messrs Daniel
Gappy and David Jolicoeur visited India recently and verified that the vehicles had been
built according to specifications stipulated by the company.
- Speaking upon their return, Mr Gappy told the press that being equipped with
environmentally friendly turbo-charged Cummins engines, which conform with Euro-1 standard
for environmental protection, was among the criteria that the buses needed to meet.
- The buses which arrived yesterday are the first consignment of a fleet that will
eventually cost US$2 million.
- Another 10 larger buses will follow later after special devices, which will be shipped
into India from France, have been fitted.
- On board the same vessel were spares worth US$300,000, being the first batch of a
consignment worth US$750,000 that will be completed when the other buses come.
- University of the Indian Ocean (UIO)
seminar attracts wide participation
- Victoria 2nd August-Some 50 officials and other representatives from different
ministries and private organisations and associations attended a half-day sensitisation
seminar on the training opportunities offered by the University of the Indian Ocean (UIO).
- The seminar, aimed at making the UIO better known to the public, was held yesterday in
the conference room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Victoria.
- The formation of UIO, its structure and functions, the courses it offers, how to qualify
for a scholarship and the procedures to enrol, as well as the benefits it can bring to
Seychelles, were some of the issues dealt with during the seminar.
- It also offered an opportunity for participants to get to know the university's contact
persons at national level.
- Conducted by the universitys local coordinator Mrs Marina Confait, the seminar
also saw the participation of the institutions two former Seychellois students and a
lecturer who talked about their experiences.
- Mrs Confait was assisted by Mrs Marie-Therese Choppy, UIO's council member and Mrs
Jeanette D'Offay, the Indian Ocean Commissions permanent liaison officer.
- Speaking at the opening of the seminar, Mrs Confait revealed that since the launching of
the UIO in 1998, Seychelles had been awarded several scholarships from the institution,
but had dropped most of them since no candidates had come forward to enrol on the courses
- She said that the poor response was due to what candidates claimed to be difficulties to
express themselves in French, which is the main medium of instruction, while others had
had reservations about certain venues proposed for some of the courses.
- Mrs Confait however noted that the UIO also offered courses with English as the medium
- Seychelles Nation later learnt that local candidates had shown keen interest to
attend a number of short environment-related courses run in English which were conducted
last year and repeated this year.
- Mrs Confait went on to explain that the courses offered by the UIO were in response to
regional needs, and Seychelles could at the moment benefit from courses in three areas,
namely environment, management of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and new
- UIO also offers the opportunity for capacity building for member states without
universities, assistance in research activities, and exchange of teachers in the region.
- Mrs Confait appealed to those in top management level in the ministries and companies to
promote among their staff the training opportunities offered by the UIO and encourage them
to consider the university when applying for further training, since it was at a cheaper
rate compared with training in other similar establishments elsewhere.
- With regards to the function of UIO, Mrs Confait explained that it was not an ordinary
"university with walls", but a network regrouping universities in the region,
excluding Seychelles and the Comoros which have no universities. UIO's headquarters is
based at the University of Reunion under the direction of a Comorian.
- She pointed out that for Seychelles to be able to offer courses at the UIO level it must
first upgrade its three main learning institutions, namely the Seychelles Polytechnic, the
Seychelles Institute of Management (SIM) and the National Institute of Education (NIE).
The countries of the region that can offer UIO courses at the moment are Madagascar,
Reunion and Mauritius.
- The level and types of courses offered are MBAs, Diplomas in Environment, in Training of
Trainers in SMEs, and in Development of energy, and Certificate in management of SMEs.
- Currently, one local entrepreneur is attending a
six-month course in Training of Trainers at the University of Reunion.
- Shoals of Capricorn projects
- Marine discovery centre opens
- Victoria 1st August-A new marine discovery centre for the promotion of marine science
and environmental awareness is due to open next week at the Natural History Museum.
- A project of the Shoals of Capricorn, which has received the support of Barclays Bank
Plc and Darwin Initiative, the centre is also intended to highlight the need for the
continued protection of the marine environment.
- Designed to attract both tourists and local visitors to the museum, the centre will have
educational interactive exhibits in a variety of displays that have been developed to
facilitate learning. They are also meant to encourage visitors to enter marine parks and
thereby support the important work of marine environment conservation.
- According to members of the Shoals of Capricorn, the centre will feature information
panels wherever possible, with written information in English and Creole, in an effort
aimed at highlighting the importance of protected marine areas. The exhibits will also
provide a firm example of museums being proactive in the conservation of marine diversity.
- Among the exhibits to be set up will be a three dimensional (3D) topographic model
depicting specific habitats to be found within Ste Anne Marine Park.
- Three other panels will show visitors how living things in the sea, from microscopic
plankton to sharks and whales, are interdependent. This will include a "What am
I" board showing three plankton stages, a "Who eats who? " poster and a
"Reef fish state," illustration, identifying fish by their local names.
- To complement the artificial reefs, a free-standing artificial graphic station
"lift and look", featuring 8 pull-up cards, will provide an interactive aspect
in the display. In addition to that, there will be "the coral animal" , a
diagram "having Reef Builders" which will depict a cross-sectional diagram of
the structure of a coral polyp informing visitors of how they feed and reproduce.
- Another area of the centre will house the "Mini dig" which will provide the
visitors with an opportunity to actively participate in a small-scale marine artefact dig.
Sifters will be used to find various "burrowers and nibblers" in a small sand
mixture. When a species is found, visitors can follow a "branching-tree" diagram
to determine the identity of the species.
- An identification board with common sea-weeds found on Mahe will also be on display. A
bulletin board will be hoisted to encourage visitors to contribute observations and
opinions on how people can keep the ocean healthy. Scientific results of various ongoing
researches will be posted on this board.
- Recently, a marine science project competition was launched for school children. The
winners work will also be displayed at the centre.
- Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace Assembly 2000
joins world leaders in forging a peaceful, brighter future
- Victoria 1st August-Former President James R. Mancham has announced that he will be
leaving Seychelles Friday to attend the Interreligious International Federation for World
Peace (IIFWP) Assembly 2000 which is to take place from August 17 to 20, 2000, at the
Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
- Mr Mancham has also agreed to be part of the conference International Advisory Council.
- The former President will be among the 300 world leaders who will explore the theme
"Renewing the United Nations and Building a Culture of Peace: Toward a New Model of
Global Cooperation in Addressing Critical Issues."
- The IIFWP Assembly 2000 will feature sessions addressing critical issues such as
sustainable development, conflict resolution, the environment, family breakdown and the
role of NGOs.
- The proceedings from this gathering will be published and made available to the United
Nations Secretary General Kofi A. Annan and the various Permanent Representatives at the
U.N. when this world organisation convenes the Millennium Summit in September, prior to
its Millennium General Assembly.
- At the Summit, the many Heads of State and Government in attendance will deliberate on
the state of our world, both its problems and its possibilities, and consider ways in
which, together, we might forge a brighter and more peaceful future for all.
- This gathering has been described as a significant moment in our world's history
" a time to review the past. A time to form a vision for the future."
- In a statement issued Monday, Mr Mancham said that he would like to quote from the
message which the U.N. Secretary General issued in Paris last year on the occasion of the
launching of the International Year of the Culture of Peace: "For there to be peace
among Nations, there must also be peace within them, among groups and individuals. The
Charter of UNESCO says it best: Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the
minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed. This is no small
project. In fact it is a comprehensive enterprise, a global mission that requires a
transformation in our thinking, massive amounts of political will and resources, and the
solidarity of all humankind."