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In commemoration of International Women’s Day |16 March 2020

In commemoration of International Women’s Day

Captain Chang Leng addressing the group of SIT students (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

SIT students learn more about role of a woman from female pilot


Among the activities commemorating the International Women’s Day, the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC) has organised a series of motivational talks under their mentorship programme.

Last week, students and teachers from the Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) had the chance to interact with a female pilot, Captain Nicole Chang Leng, from Air Seychelles

The students aged between 17-18 years were enthusiastic to hear from the female pilot. Some were putting their skills they were learning into practice by capturing the moment with their cameras, whereas others were listening to the guest speaker with attention and admiration.

“Today I am talking as a young Seychellois woman to inspire and motivate the youth. We have a lot of social ills in our society today, so we want to pass on some positive messages that it is ok to do well, to dream and to achieve your dream. Today is to make them feel good,” Ms Chang Leng said.

She also noted that while growing up she did not even know that an International Women’s Day exist, but as she became older and learned about the conditions of other women, she realised the value of such a day.

Nicole Chang Leng has been a pilot for the last 23 years. “It was always my dream to fly Air Seychelles, so I will stick to it through thick and thin. I was 19 when I started flying. But before that I was born here, went to Mont Fleuri primary school and left Seychelles for eight years to go to England to finish my studies. Afterwards I moved to South Africa to learn how to fly and then I moved back to my native land to fly Air Seychelles,” she recounted.

She added that initially she was just an observer and once she got her license after training, she started flying as a co-pilot on the Twin Otter to Praslin and other islands.

“I have been a captain for quite a while now and now I am an instructor, a captain on the jet fleet and I am also part of the management team,” she said.

In addition Ms Chang Leng is a proud mother to an 18-year-old daughter.

The SNYC chief executive, Penny Belmont, said “this is what we want to achieve; young people getting inspired by adults to keep forging in life. In the mentorship programme we are using role models to educate others and in that we are bringing back the values that we always had in Seychelles like discipline. By listening to the journey of the role models, we hope that it teaches them discipline and respect.

“We started the campaign recently and the response is very good and I think they needed that. Sometimes the youth choose a career and they do not have somebody as an example to learn from. That is why we change the way we are doing things and having this one to one talk is better. They are able to ask questions and all schools will be covered,” noted Ms Belmont.

“Through these talks, we are looking forward to meeting other Seychellois women who are making Seychelles proud,” she concluded.


Vidya Gappy

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