Group in Seychelles to offer training to make environmentally friendly bags

A youth-led not-for-profit organisation in Seychelles is starting a community project in which unemployed young people will be trained on how to produce environmentally-friendly reusable bags.

The SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) in Seychelles is planning to create self-employment opportunities for the unemployed youth of the Corgat Estate in the central Mont Fleuri district, by giving them skills and materials to sew reusable bags.

The idea for the Corgat Estate project is a result of the Seychelles Free From Plastic Bags campaign led by the organisation since 2015. When the ban on the importation of plastic items including plastic bags took effect in July, the business community said there were insufficient alternatives.

There are already various activities taking place targeting the Corgat Estate sub-district after Mont Fleuri's member of the National Assembly, Jean-Francois Ferrari, raised concern on the unacceptable living conditions and hardships faced by some residents of the housing estate.

The reusable bags SYAH's community project will go towards tourism markets such as hotels. According to one of the founders of the Youth organisation in Seychelles, Anael Bodwell, tourism is the target because it was simply one of the conditions to obtain the funds.

The SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, brings together young people aged between 16 and 30 who believe they can make a difference.

The group is, in fact, part of a wider regional grouping, the SIDS Youth Aims Hub, launched in Mauritius in May 2014, bringing together young people from Small Island Developing States in the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean as well as the Mediterranean and South China Seas. The network was established to encourage young people from small island nations to exchange ideas, particularly when it comes to issues relating to sustainable development.

The local group has the support of a local sustainable tourism consultant, Diana Korner and their main funder is the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

Although the project timeline is 2017, other partners are showing interest in sustaining it beyond 2017, but Bodwell said that funding for further projects is still in the negotiation stage.

We are yet to receive funding for further projects, but nevertheless I do wish that we can successfully attract other disadvantaged groups to come forward and gets our current group of beneficiaries to eventually move into self-employment.

The organisation did a presentation to interested funding partners on Wednesday, September 20, at the Savoy Resort and Spa at Beau Vallon in the north of Mahe, the main island, as part of a regional workshop for SIDS in Sustainable Tourism.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

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