The Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS) celebrated six years of existence on 8th November 2020 since the Liaison Unit for Non-Governmental Organisations of Seychelles (LUNGOS) was dissolved. Over the past six years, CEPS has made remarkable achievements. One of its notable achievements reflects CEPS’ key strategic area which is to strengthen and build a key relationship with its partners. In addition, CEPS spearheaded the launching of the Indian Ocean Civil Society Platform which regroups the civil society platforms in the Indian Ocean region.
CEPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government on 18th January 2018 at State House. The agreement set the scene for more strategic consultations, engagement and brings the issues of civil society to another level. Additionally, another MoU was sealed with APDAR for collaborations. CEPS has also built a strong relationship with the European Union, the Indian High Commission, the US embassy, and Civil Society Organisation (CSO) platforms at the SADC level.
Over the years, CEPS has empowered its NGO members through capacity-building workshops and training which aimed at enhancing their leadership, governance, project and NGO management, bookkeeping capacities. This training were conducted in line with CEPS’ strategic area to strengthen leadership. They are in line with one of CEPS key strategic areas – Capacity Building – with the objective to support and empower NGO leaders with knowledge, skills, and competencies in order to promote a culture of good governance in the decision-making process and the management of the affairs of their respective organisations. A bilateral agreement with NGO Femmes des Bon Coeurs was also signed.
When it comes to project implementation, CEPS successfully launched the first-ever shelter for victims of domestic violence in Seychelles through a project funded by the European Union. CEPS also trained a pool of election observers, conducted civic education sessions to educate people across the country on the three branches of governance in the country; the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. In addition, CEPS participated in the formulation of the first country’s action plan for Open Government Partnership (OGP) and organised three editions of CEPS Volunteer Award. In order to stay more connected with NGO members from other islands, CEPS created an Inner Island Committee. Furthermore, CEPS actively lobby for the introduction of the National Grants Policy which is aimed at financing NGOs’ operations on a yearly basis.
During the past six years, CEPS produced and printed a series of publications including; the History and Impact of Volunteerism in Seychelles, Visitor’s Guide to Baie Ternay, CEPS Volunteer Policy, and the Contributions of Civil Society towards the Economy.
A plot of land was also identified by the government for the construction of CEPS House. The house will be of great importance for CEPS NGO members as it will be a centralised area for them that will serve and facilitate their operation in general. However, this is an ongoing project. Meanwhile, CEPS remains connected with its members and continues to engage in national development.