As part of Hunt, Deltel's CSR plan for 2016, the company has partnered with SIDS Youth Aims Hub (SYAH-Seychelles), a youth-led NGO promoting and advancing sustainable development projects through youth education, empowerment and action. This dynamic NGO is currently undertaking the Marine Debris Challenge, hosted by Positive Change for Marine Life based in Australia.
The challenge is to host a fortnightly clean-up in local communities over a period of two months from 22nd February until 22nd April. Given the interest generated by the Challenge, the group of energetic young Seychellois doubled their efforts and hosted weekly coastal clean-ups around the island. Seychelles is one of 10 countries which took part in the challenge. The 2-month exercise covered beaches in Port Launay, Bel Ombre and Beau Vallon on Mahe as well as on the islands of Praslin, Cousin and Silhouette.
The fifth of the Clean-Ups took place on Thursday 14th April at Beau Vallon Beach, one of the most frequented beaches on the island. The event was opened by the Minister for Environment, Energy & Climate Change Mr. Didier Dogley and Managing Director of Hunt, Deltel & Co. Ltd Mr. Christophe Houareau, whose words echoed the message being put across by SYAH, encouraging local communities to have an active approach towards nurturing healthy waste disposal habits.
Organized and funded jointly by SYAH and Hunt, Deltel & Co. Ltd. this was also a Mass Clean-Up, with both SYAH members and Hunt Deltel lobbying a SYAH-record of 246 participants for the event from a number of local organizations, hotels, private and public schools.This mass clean-up followed a first edition held at La Retraite in November 2015, organized wholly by SYAH and funded by the Indian Ocean Commission, attended by over 150 participants. Both clean-ups provided all participants with transport facilities, safety gear, cleaning equipment, snacks and refreshments upon completion of the clean-up as well as Certificates of Participation. The H Hotel and Le Meridien Fisherman's Cove contributed fresh fruit and iced tea, and a local vendor was commissioned by the organizers to provide freshly made banana chips.
Souvenirs of the activity can still be seen on-site at Beau Vallon where hand-painted signs have been installed displaying anti-littering messages, an initiative run by Sustainability for Seychelles who organized a painting station during the event.
The success of the event was confirmed by the 3-ton truck load of waste ranging from bottles to plastic bags, scrap metal and tyres to name but a few specimens collected. In fact Hunt Deltel's transport services were supplemented by a kind offer from Mr. Randy Jean-Louis of SL Catering at St. Louis, who offered his truck free of charge, to complete the clearance of the site.
Participants were also awarded for their efforts; Indian Ocean Tuna (IOT), Seychelles Sail Training Scheme, Seychelles National Assembly and Seychelles Police Defence Force (SPDF) received Eden Aquarium Group Vouchers for having gathered the biggest crowd out of all the organizations contacted and each school won a giant inflatable sea turtle as their 'trophy'. Out of the 246 participants 120 were students from various schools, namely Beau Vallon Primary & Secondary Schools, Bel Ombre Primary School, Independent School and L'Ecole Francaise.
Top Photo: The schools receiving their prizes. Bottom photo: Hunt Deltel & SYAH Organizers
Hunt, Deltel's CSR Committee envisages to make the collaborative event an annual affair. "We would like to think of the mass clean-up as an awareness exercise as much as it is a waste collection activity. The more companies and NGOs talk about and act on the issues around us, the more we can expect to improve attitudes towards them. The event was also an excellent team-building event; participants have expressed how pleasant it was t to spend time with colleagues while doing some good for the community." states Christophe Houareau, Hunt Deltel's Managing Director.