January 2014 – Wilderness Collection’s North Island in Seychelles recently closed its doors to paying guests to host a group of 29 Seychellois children on an educational, fun and rewarding ‘Children in the Wilderness’ (CITW) camp. Taking place from 9-12 December 2013, the camp offered 25 children from Mahé and four from Praslin a life-changing conservation experience in one of Africa’s most exclusive private islands.
Held in collaboration with the National Council for Children (NCC) and with the support of Mason’s Travel and Zil Air, North Island hosted the children in its luxury villas for four days. A full programme was put together to ensure that they were able to experience the wonders of the island, whilst at the same time learning about the importance of island and ocean conservation and its relevance in their lives. Activities included singing, dancing, tree planting, team building, scuba diving and tug of war, as well as various life skills lessons to encourage them to dream, hope and to realise their true potential in making a difference to our world.
A special thanks to the staff of North Island who volunteered their time to work with the children. Indeed, they too gained an immense amount from their running of the educational programme as well as interaction with the children. As Wayne Milgate, North Island General Manager, said, “It was amazing and inspiring to watch the incredible change taking place in the children over the four days, especially in terms of their confidence, self-esteem and sense of pride in their natural heritage. To ensure the longevity of the Island and its unique species, we will continue to support this incredible programme to educate and inspire our neighbouring rural children to be the future custodians of our natural areas.”
The camp’s closing ceremony was attended by Seychelles Minister of Education, Macsuzy Mondon and Designated Minister, Vincent Meriton, who urged the children to take advantage of their right to education, to grasp it with both hands and to study hard in order to be able to achieve their dreams. “We would like to thank these ministers for taking the time to join us, as well as our partners – NCC, Zil Air, Mason’s Travel and Wilderness Collection – for the unique opportunity to inspire the children of the Seychelles to achieve their dreams”, Milgate added.