‘Feed a Child Project’ off to a great start |09 June 2021
The Fregate Island Sanctuary this week handed over its first donation towards the ‘Feed a Child Project’, a collaborative initiative between ‘Make a Child Smile’ and the Red Cross Society of Seychelles.
The project, which was launched recently, aims to engage everyone to donate at least one food item to be distributed to children and their families, especially those who have been most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis.
During Monday’s handover, employees of Fregate Island handed over juice packets, rice, oil, canned meat products donated by staff on the island, as well as an assortment of fresh vegetables and fruits grown on the island, namely, pumpkins, papaya and plantains.
Lisette Lablache, director of human resource at Fregate Island Sanctuary, noted that the organisation has partnered and supported such causes in the past through ‘Make a Child Smile’ project and that the entity remains committed towards extending their support in coming months.
“In the past we have always teamed up for the ‘Make a Child Smile’ project when there are children in need so when we learned about the ‘Feed a Child Project’, we decided to come on board. We feel that it is for a good cause because as has been highlighted, with the pandemic, many are suffering silently and their struggles are not known. On Fregate we feel that we are blessed; we grow lots of vegetables and fruits grow abundantly, and despite the pandemic, we are all still in a job, which is a blessing in itself. When we announced the project, our staff have been very forthcoming and I can honestly say that I am proud of my staff. Each day when they went to the shop, they bought a little something extra ‒ rice, oil and other items ‒ which are what amalgamated into what we donated today. The staff are committed to doing it and we will also donate fruits and vegetables so we will inform Mr Mondon when the next donation is ready,” Ms Lablache noted.
The main man behind the project, Clifford Mondon intended to start off the project as of January but had to finalise certain details with partner organisations including the Red Cross Society of Seychelles (RCSS) and the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.
“The aim is to educate people into thinking about others, especially children, as there are many children who go to bed without a proper meal at night. And there are different circumstances that can result in such situations, such as the pandemic where we have observed significant increase in the cost of goods, the economy is impacted and people have lost their jobs, as well as other factors,” he pointed out.
District administrators’ offices across Mahé, Praslin and La Digue have been identified as drop-off points to allow for residents to be able to drop off food items in their respective districts conveniently. These donations will be collected, sorted and stored on a weekly basis, either at the ‘Make Child Smile’ storage at Mont Fleuri, or the RCSS storage facility at Providence for distribution as and when required.
Perishable items including frozen foodstuffs, fish, meat, fruits and vegetables can be dropped off at the RCSS headquarters located at Providence, between 9am and 3pm.
With regards to Praslin and La Digue, RCSS will be responsible for collecting the donated items from the DA’s offices, and it is important to note that perishables on both islands can only be collected on Tuesdays. Donors on Praslin and La Digue are advised to contact either 4374544 or 2521962, while persons on Mahé are advised to contact 28140000 for alternative arrangements.
The Seychelles Trading Company (STC) has also agreed to allocate a place at the Bois De Rose Complex where trolleys will be placed on the last Saturday of the month to allow shoppers to contribute.
“Let us all make a donation, not necessarily a whole carton or bag of shopping but if we all donate one item, a packet of juice, a bottle of oil or a can of tuna, a packet of tea, and if we all do this, it will add up. Our aim is not to provide lifelong-assistance but we want to help families who are trying to get a job or to change their situation and provide for their children,” Mr Mondon added.
Everyone, companies and organisations are encouraged to donate towards the cause, and to make a difference in the lives of the children.
Secretary general of RCSS, Marie-May Esparon, noted that citizens recognise that there are people in need, and any donation, no matter how small, goes a long way.
“We often take for granted when we are having a plate of food comfortably in our home that someone else may not be having a good meal. The contributions are important especially when it relates to children. As said, we hope that we can make an impact and that this will be the first donation of many. We know that the collaboration with Mr Mondon will continue, and of course as we progress, we will find better ways to better assist the community,” she concluded.