The most rewarding part of volunteering with GVI Seychelles
Landon has just wrapped up four weeks with us here at Cap Ternay. For this week’s blog, he reflects on what has been the highlight for him – participating in our community project,
The most rewarding part of volunteering with GVI Seychelles has been working with the kids in the local community. No, it is not diving in one of the most beautiful reef systems in the world, but without teaching and working with the local community, the research that we collect while diving would mean very little.
Each week a group of four volunteers have a chance to travel five minutes by car down the road to a local beach to teach the students from the International School of Seychelles (ISS) about certain marine biology topics.
These kids range in age and are all incredibly smart for how young some of them are. Our group of volunteers were able to work and play with thirty of the grade 4 students for a period of four weeks. Classes are broken up into two groups with each pair of volunteers teaching roughly fifteen students at a time. The topics we teach are decided upon earlier in the week between the Staff Community Liaison for GVI and the volunteers. I had the privilege of helping the kids understand the topic of overfishing and how it can lead to the destruction of many marine habitats and large amounts of bycatch. I come from a medical background with little training in marine biology and was able to learn and teach on the topic with help from the staff and other volunteers.
The rewarding part of all the work we put into preparing for class and designing activities comes when we start to see the kids understand what we are talking about and engage in the class activities rather than playing in the sand. Even more so when the kids are able to share what each had learned from the class and explain the topics discussed and possible solutions for the issues. This is when I as a volunteer felt like I had made a lasting impact here in Seychelles.
Now besides all the hard work we put into the classes, research diving, and daily chores around base, we also have a lot of fun here at GVI with BBQ night every Thursday, and weekend trips to Victoria or nearby islands like Pralin and La Digue. I would highly recommend spending time on these islands because after a week of diving and working around base, it is nice relaxing on a world-renowned beach or exploring the island culture by bike for a weekend with some close friends you meet here at base.