5th AGM of Sesel Paster Lannwit | 01 October 2019
‘Recruitment of new members remain a challenge’ – Revd Danny Elizabeth
Sesel Paster Lannwit (SPL) had their fifth annual general meeting last Saturday at Le Petit Seminaire, where they discussed the way forward and how to attract more members.
The board members for the term are : Reverend Danny Elizabeth (chairperson); Sister Alice Vivien (vice-chairperson); Marie Ange Rignace (treasurer); Gary Johnston (secretary); Jeovana Charles, Sarah Simeon, Irenie Fock Tave, Anselmine Cafrine, Joelle Perreau, Christine Desir (members) and Doreen Wong (administrator).
Various speakers from Apdar, Nac, and the Ministry of Family Affairs addressed the assembly and talked about collaboration among institutions and how to use the resources to better assist as many people as possible.
In his report, the chairman of SPL, Reverend Elizabeth noted a few major points regarding the organisation itself: “Firstly at the moment members come from the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. We have struggled to recruit new members and we need to seriously consider non-Christians as full members. Doctrinal variance may be an opportunity for personal growth in our multi-religious culture. Secondly, we applied for National Grants this year but the outcome was not successful. We are registered in the Register of Associations but we are not a member of the Citizens Engagement Platform (Ceps). The National Grants support only projects and they are not for the operation of an NGO. Thankfully, we continue to receive financial donations from individuals. We have also done fundraising activities. Organisations like SPTC, Airtel and the British high commission support us in kind. Our request for donation of a car has been negative up till now.”
He further noted that SPL was approached by the Central Regional Councils and invited to widen the ministry in three districts. They have worked with district administrators of Perseverance 1 and 2 and of Mont Fleuri.
“We are thankful to Gency Volcère for her remarkable support when we went to Mont Fleuri. Corgate Estate residents welcomed our presence. Fourthly, memorandums of understanding have been signed with Apdar and the Seychelles Police. SPL continues to meet people on the streets at night in Victoria and neighbouring districts. We have helped people to get employment or financial assistance; others have been given a place in night shelter at North East Point. Often we have alerted the social services of cases of homeless people sleeping in dangerous conditions. Sometimes we have called the police or the emergency services to attend people in need.”
“Additionally, members of SPL undergo continuous in-house training or when invited by related agencies but recruitment of new members remain a challenge. In December 2018 the SPL partnered with Caritas to sing Christmas carols and distribute food in Market Street. We have also produced the first Newsletter in December2018. The board meets once every two months. The current governing board is in its second year,” Reverend Elizabeth outlined.
Sesel Paster Lannwit is a non-governmental organisation founded in February 2015 and was set up by Christian churches working together with the support of government, the police, sponsors and friends. Its aim is to help bring peace to the streets of Seychelles and help those in need. Teams of trained Christian volunteers go out late at night during weekends into the places where drinkers, alcoholics, drug users, homeless people and sex workers gather.
“We listen to them, and also refer them to the helping agencies, giving out snacks, flip flops, and water where needed. We administer first aid, dispose of broken glass, and help ensure people get home safely and call emergency services where necessary. More importantly, they ask for prayers, so we pray with them as well,” said Mrs Wong.
Teams on the streets are backed up by prayer pastors who pray for the team and for the situation and people they encounter. SPTC also helped the volunteers to get home after their voluntary work.