The Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (Ceps) is all set to commemorate the non-governmental organisations’ week from tomorrow Sunday February 20 to Sunday February 27.
As part of its effort to revive the civil society in Seychelles Ceps is planning a one-week celebration from February 20 (Social Justice Day) until the official NGO day, which is observed annually on February 27.
“The aim of the week-long celebration is in line with Ceps’ key thematic priority; striving for a conducive environment for NGOs to thrive. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic NGOs have been mobilised to propose activities that will be conducted during that week. As from this year we will be having major activities to commemorate the NGO week,” explained Alvin Laurence, the chief executive of Ceps in a press meet held on Thursday at Ceps’ headquarters at Orion Mall.
The official opening of the week will be done on Praslin. “Ceps needs to work more with Praslin and the inner islands. We have to open the doors with the younger generation and see how they can invest themselves in the civil society,” noted Mr Laurence.
The proposal will be the prime manifestation of the activities to commemorate the NGO week. The week will also be the opportunity for the board to share about the strategic priorities of the sector. While this may appear as a pilot in the new era of Covid-19, it will also contribute towards the ‘SDGs’ (sustainable development goals) and serve as a catalyst of preparation for a much bigger manifestation next year.
The programme is as follows:
Sunday February 20: (Social Justice Day) – Various spiritual celebrations will be organised across the country and message will be aired on the media.
Monday February 21: Official opening of the NGO week at the Baha’i Centre at Baie Ste Anne Praslin
Tuesday February 22: Special sensitisation sessions will take place on Access to Information and Civil Code (by Bernard Georges)
Wednesday February 23: Pink Shirt Day (Youth) School Outreach at Anse Boileau secondary school. This will be the start of the campaign to share what civil society means and how they can be part of it. All board members will be going in different schools to do some sensitisation programmes.
Thursday February 24: Entrepreneurship incubator at Providence. There are already two NGOs who will be sharing their experiences.
Friday February 25: Orange Day Art Celebration. As accustomed, every 25th of the month, the Orange Day is observed and on that day all NGOs and the public are invited to dress in orange to show our support against domestic violence. And this day will also be dedicated to art at 4pm at the Chinese Pagoda on Benezet Street.
Saturday February 26: A forum will be held at the STC conference room with the different representatives of the NGOs. Ceps will unveil the way forward for the organisation. All the representatives will be able to debate on the plan and the direction of the civil society will be decided on that day.
Sunday February 27: (The NGO Day) There will be different spiritual celebrations across the country as religious groups remain the pillars of the civil society in Seychelles.
Mr Laurence also noted that many activities are being planned for the coming months. March 1 is the Zero tolerance.
Regarding the number of NGOs in Seychelles, Mr Laurence explained that “currently there is an exercise that is ongoing, since three years where the Association Act has been revised. We are working together with the Registrar of companies and the number of NGOs in Seychelles will be known in August. How many associations are in compliance we do not know. These associations have till July to do their AGM and pay their annual subscription. Associations are not created for eternity and the beauty of the civil society is that other NGOs are born through some associations. In Seychelles we need associations that are dedicated to serving the community”.
Currently Ceps employs six persons at its headquarters at Orion Mall. There is a Citizens Advisory Bureau for the public to call if ever they need help on 4325550.
Courtesy : Vidya Gappy (Nation.sc)