Around Seychelles in 18 Bays |03 June 2023
Spotlight on five more participants as the big day nears
The list of women embarking on this historic journey around the country’s 18 bays is incredible. Meet five more amazing Seychelloise, each from different background – a priest, a mother caring for her chronically ill children and three young Diguoise.
This unprecedented sailing event is scheduled for June 10, 2023 on World Oceans Day.
Revd Christine Beatrice Benoit, Anglican priest
“I accepted to join the sail ‘Around Seychelles in 18 Bays’ because it is for a good cause, an act of charity, especially considering the weather at sea during this time of year, it is also a sacrificial act. As I reflect on Mrs Rangasamy’s story of Liam’s last wish and his amazing painting and the organisers’ approach to Liam’s Foundation for such an event, this is the Lord’s dealing, how can one say NO. The Lord predestined this to happen and Liam was just a messenger to us, his painting says it all. The organisers, Isabelle Ravinia and her team, shedding awareness on the ocean’s diversity, are just part of that puzzle, to help us be good stewards of God’s creation.
“Furthermore, considering our mission in the world, the Anglican Communion has the Five (5) Marks for Mission, and considering especially the 5th one, which states:
“To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”
I believe it is a privilege that through this sailing together, we will learn more and bring awareness of the sacred beauty of the marine environment, get insight and be inspired to be good stewards of God’s creation especially amid the issues of climate change. We are part of God’s creation (Genesis 1-2); God created everything beautiful including you and me, but when we do not know and understand our mission, we abuse and destroy that beauty. So this expedition will be an eye opener for all of us as we journey together either physically on the sailing boat or watching live in the comfort of our home.
I also feel that it will be an honour to be alongside amazing women of Seychelles, learning from them according to their profession and our various work of life. Oh wow… this is A BLESSING INDEED TO THE GLORY OF GOD MOST HIGH!
Revd Christine Beatrice Benoit is the first female to be ordained in the Anglican Diocese of Seychelles and in the Province of the Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean, which comprise Anglican Churches in Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles; She was made Deacon on May 9, 2004 and to the Priesthood on November 26, 2006
Lisa Leonel, parent and member of Liam’s Rainbow Foundation
Lisa Leonel is a 39-year-old parent caring for four chronically sick children including 2-year-old Joshua who suffers from an incurable illness called Glass Bone disease. Lisa lives at Perseverance with her husband and 5 children.
Joshua was born at 28 weeks in 2021, during which time Lisa was suffering from the feared illness, Covid-19. To save Joshua they did a C-section on Lisa from which she spent 3 months in a coma. The coma really impacted Lisa’s health, she is now blind in one eye and suffers from other chronic diseases which severely affects her life as a mother. Joshua is also asthmatic, his development is slow, he cannot speak. His leg is an issue at the moment. Lisa is hoping to take Joshua to MIOT hospital in India, so that they can fix his leg. Life for Lisa is extremely hard and her main tower of strength is the Lord Almighty.
“I am really happy that Miss Erica has been able to set up a foundation to help sick children and their parents. This is one of the main reasons why I will be sailing around Seychelles in 18 bays, to help support Liam’s Rainbow Foundation as our children are our treasure and they need all our love and protection,” explains Lisa who will be ‘Sailing Around Seychelles in 18 Bays’ along with other women to help raise funds for Liam’s Rainbow Foundation.
Tiva Uranie, Fisheries teacher, member of Womesa, La Digue
“My name is Tiva Uranie, aged 29 years. I have been in the field of Education since 2019 and all my life I have been working in the marine environment. I started as Assistant Research Officer at the Seychelles National Parks Authority’s research section. I then joined SBS as an assistant fish inspector. I joined SMA in 2019 and this is where my career as a teacher started. Till now I am teaching fisheries at secondary level. I have two small sons and I am currently doing my advanced diploma in education. I am also a member of Womesa.
“My journey in maritime started since I was in secondary four and the rest is history. I wish to be a role model for young girls who wish to have a career in the maritime sector. My door is always open for any advice. I want to see more Diguoise join the maritime sector. I have had the chance to work with many different NGOs such as GVI, MCSS etc.. I have participated in multiple workshops including those involving small island developing states (Sids), coral ecosystems, mangroves and wetlands.
“Having the opportunity to take part in such an innovative project like ‘Around Seychelles in 18 Bays’ is a great honour. It is a recognition for the years I have spent working in the maritime field. This voyage at sea will be a life changing experience. It will also be a great opportunity to meet and spend time at sea with other women who cares for the ocean. What a way for us women to celebrate World Oceans Day! As a mother and teacher it is an honour to participate and create maritime history. It is also a great opportunity to explore the beauty of Seychelles including its amazing bays. After this great historic voyage I will be able to furthermore share my experience with my students and most importantly with other women on La Digue. I hope that I will be able to inspire other Diguoise to join the maritime field as there is a huge lack of them in this domain.”
Lara Cousin, La Digue student
“I am honoured to have been selected to form part of the all-female crew sailing around Seychelles in 18 bays. Being raised on the island of La Digue, there is no way that one cannot feel the influence of the ocean on our lives. I am 14 and still a student, but this should not stop me from playing my part to raise awareness about the plight of the ocean to other young students and to my fellow Diguoises. Climate change is causing slow changes to our marine environment. While as islanders there is little we can do to halt the changes in our climate, through our everyday actions there is much that we can do to reduce the other local stresses that we are imposing on our marine environment. I am participating to represent the generation that can make a change!”
Lana Ah-Kong, Dive Instructor, La Digue
“I have decided to Sail around Seychelles in 18 Bays because I am interested in meeting up with other women working in maritime like myself. I wish we could meet up more often and have such event on a regularly basis.
“I love the sea, been working at sea for over 18 years, actually ever since I left school. I have started working on boats then I went into diving. Worked for a while as a Dive Master. I am currently working as a Dive Instructor with La Digue Island, the only thing left for me to do now is to obtain my skipper license. I am a 37-year-old mother of one child and live at Anse Reunion.”