President Wavel Ramkalawan’s New Year message |03 January 2024
‘Let us seek that which unites us and overcome what divides us’
“This year, I have allowed myself to be inspired by one of our young artists, Travis, and his patriotic song which speaks of the beauty of our islands, blessed, united, cherished, where we are urged to put our country above all and to make our flag fly high. This Seychelles is, above all, the place where we treat everyone equally with the same opportunities without taking into account colour, race, religion, or other considerations, because we are Seychellois and we all get the same chances of advancement. I have been really touched by how, with the youth from SNYC, they have sung of those realities and aspirations with such emotion and love. I say a big thank you to you because you help our people to look at Seychelles, our Seychelles, with a fresh and more determined eye, a more committed heart and courage multiplied.
“Yes, we all love our country and each day when we open our eyes, and at night before we rest, we look up to heaven and say thank you to God Almighty for his grace, love and blessings. As a people, I pray that we continue to walk in the path of this God who continues to protect us and let us ask that He keeps us on His path to accomplish much more in our lives, our families, our communities and our country.
“At the beginning of a new year, we look back of course to express gratitude, not only for our accomplishments that make us happy and give encouragement, but also for the challenges that made us fall. So, we need in this new year to look at how we can build on the successes and to transform the weaknesses and challenges into even more determination to succeed where last year we failed. As the wise ones tell us, it is not falling that counts, but rather the courage to pick ourselves up, rise and take us further forward, stronger and even more determined to accomplish what is well and good for our brothers and sisters around us.
“First of all, I want that the spirit of December 7, stays alive in the heart of each and every Seychellois. In the midst of the worst misfortune that our country has ever been through where 3 lives were lost, more than 400 residences affected, more than 400 people found themselves in temporary accommodation and more than 635 businesses stopped their operations. But what have we experienced? A spirit of solidarity, compassion, unity and determination. During my visits, I have seen volunteers from all over – friends, foreigners, religious groups, contractors, organisations, associations and government agencies all pitching in in that morass of destruction and suffering to help and make a contribution so that this brother, sister, child of Seychelles recovers their smile and puts this nightmare behind them. We have seen youth and adults alike, friendly nations, Seychellois here and overseas, visitors and strangers put their hands deep in their pockets to contribute towards the Disaster Fund which today has reached $561,056.00, €824,445.78, £675.82, R15,108,473 which makes a total of : R35,292,692.71. Just from the Offertory Collection of these 2 funeral ceremonies a total of R41,000 was offered towards the disaster fund. Thank you for your solidarity.
“The spirit of December 7 is a spirit of unity. We come together in solidarity to help a human friend in difficulty. Unity means, like our songs say, that we don’t look at religion, race, colour or someone’s politics. We look for what is good and well and we love our neighbour without preference. In 2024, let the spirit of unity that was manifested on December 7 become a light that shows us the road to take to build and make our country and our people really strong. Let us seek that which unites us and let us overcome what divides us so as to strengthen our spirit of resilience, in other words, the true Seychellois spirit.
“The spirit of December 7 is one of compassion and love. How many tears were shed and how many hearts shattered? But, in the midst of all, our people have shown that we are good-hearted. In 2024, let us remain a people who have a benevolent regard for our neighbours. Show our concern and remove all selfishness from our actions. Let us first of all live as good family members and as good neighbours. Remember that my freedom ends where yours commences. Love and compassion mean that your concerns are also my concerns. I will do everything for you to succeed because when you progress, I also move forward. Show compassion at all times. The scourge that destroys your child also destroys my family. The noise that you make affects me. The rubbish that you discard everywhere infects the entire community. So let us change the way we do things and live as sisters and brothers in our beautiful Seychelles. Let love and compassion reign among us.
“The spirit of December 7 was a resourceful spirit. I saw people taking it upon themselves to rebuild and move forward without complaint and without waiting. This is the attitude that will allow us to move forward and stand on our own two feet. Do not seek to know what my country or what the government will do for me, but rather let's start by asking what I will do for myself, for my children, for my family, for my community and for my country.
“If we succeed in adopting such a way of thinking, we will all move forward and no one will be able to stand in our way. Let this spirit of resourcefulness guide us in 2024.
“Seychellois brothers and sisters, we must dream for our country. Perhaps sometimes, as the sages of the past have told us, a great plan or mission begins with a dream. This is what forms the basis of all aspirations of which when combined with faith and courage, we can accomplish great works that transform humanity. Can we join with our youth to dream of that Seychelles, clean, beautiful, where citizens show respect for each other, have compassion, love and where the aspiration of each one is fulfilled because the only occasion where I will see you as beneath me is when I am holding on to your hand to make you climb higher? A Seychelles where our youth filled with strength and energy are in employment where they are delivering like thousands of others are doing and we succeed in extricating the minority who have fallen into the scourge of drug use? Where the mercenaries stop importing that poison, drugs, to kill our youth? Can we, all of us, do this and stop generating negativity and let Positivity become the oxygen that fills our lungs and put smiles and expressions of satisfaction on our faces?
Seychellois brothers and sisters, I share positivity with you because I believe that as a people, we can make 2024 into a better year for all of us. As a people, we can make it a year of light, fulfillment and happiness for each and every Seychellois. Let's not hesitate, but together let us make it happen. Every day, ask yourself: What is the positive thing that I will accomplish today?
“My heart remains with all Seychellois. I wish all Seychellois, here and abroad, everyone who is in our country during 2024, in any life circumstances, a year filled with success, love, compassion and courage. Stand really strong and at all times keep our flag flying and sing with me ‘I love my country, blessed, cherished, I fly my flag highest of all. My country you are above all. My Seychelles, you are above all.’
I pray that Almighty God blesses you and your family, that He blesses all Seychellois. May Almighty God bless our beautiful country in 2024.
“Bonn ane 2024!
“A blessed 2024!
“Bonne année 2024”
President of the Republic of Seychelles