Raft race raises funds for children’s home


GVI is a volunteer based conservation expedition and has a marine conservation project on Mahé at Cap Ternay and a terrestrial conservation project on Curieuse Island. Both expeditions work closely with the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA). 

GVI project partners SNPA and Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) took part along with teams of GVI staff and volunteers and a team from University of Seychelles. Nine teams in total built and raced homemade rafts through the Baie Ternay marine park to determine who would be the 2013 Raft Race champions.
The Raft Race kicked off at 11am, starting from the shore of Baie Ternay marine park on a sunny, calm day. Teams of five to six people paddled to the deepest mooring buoy in the marine park and back, while keeping at least three team members on their raft at all times. They could not lose any raft parts in the process, or they would be disqualified from winning the race.

The raft designs were varied from small and simple to large and complex. GVI staff and volunteer teams built creative rafts out of recycled wood and plastic bottles, used marine fenders and buoys.

 One GVI team even included a sail on their raft, but for the first time in weeks, the winds were calm and the sail ultimately tipped them over halfway through the course. The GVI dive master team had a series of li-los tied together with string and used their kicking power to cruise around the course. MCSS built a strong raft and paddled hard, finishing the course in almost record time. The ultimate victory went to a team from SNPA, with their durable raft built of empty barrels and bamboo.

SNPA are the reigning champions, as they won the Raft Race last year as well.

After a fun and eventful race, everyone enjoyed a delicious barbeque at Cap Ternay, cooked by SNPA.

While the event was fun, the real focus for the occasion was on the fund raising efforts for the President’s Village Children’s Home. In addition to their marine conservation work in Seychelles, GVI has been working closely with the President’s Village since 2010, raising money that is used for various activities for the children such as snorkels, big arts and craft days and a Christmas party at the end of the year. The Raft Race event raised over 1100 GBP for the President’s Village Children’s Home.  In addition to these on-going activities, GVI and the President’s Village are hoping to announce a new focus for GVI’s fund raising efforts, a long-term renewable energy project for the President’s Village. GVI transformed their expedition base on Curieuse to be powered by renewable energy sources in 2012, including solar power panels for electricity and rainwater collection tanks for non-potable water and are looking into the possibility of installing a renewable energy system at the President’s Village. The long-term project would help reduce overall costs for the President’s Village and would help achieve environmental sustainability here in Seychelles, where water and natural resources are precious. GVI hosts fund raisers for the President’s Village every three months and will continue to host the Raft Race each year as their main fund raising event. Some teams have already started working on their raft designs for next year!

A huge thank you goes out to everyone who took part and helped to make the event such a success.
For more information about the Raft Race and GVI’s fund raising efforts for the President’s Village, please visit www.justgiving.com/teams/SeychellesRaftRace.