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Covid-19 Relief Fund | 20 January 2021

Covid-19 Relief Fund

Jj Spirit Foundation (Photo left) and Green Island Construction Company

Donations keep pouring in


More funding to help fight the coronavirus (Covid-19) are pouring in as more companies and foundations in the country contribute to the Covid-19 Relief Fund.

Yesterday alone the fund received a whopping USD110,000 and R12.6 million from the following companies and foundations: Jj Spirit Foundation (R10m); the Green Island Construction Company (GICC), a subsidiary of Islands Development Company (IDC) – USD100,000; Seychelles Breweries Ltd (R1m); the Joseph Albert Family Foundation (R1m); State Assurance of Seychelles (Sacos) – R300,000; Gran Kaz (R200,000); offshore company TICK MILL (USD10,000) and KD Pillay Foundation (R100,000).

Representatives of these companies and foundations were at State House yesterday morning to present their contributions towards the fund to the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, the initiator of the Covid-19 Relief Fund.

Dr Fred Arrisol, treasurer and board member of Jj Spirit Foundation, presented the foundation’s contribution to President Ramkalawan. He was accompanied by another board member, Dr Winnie Low-Wah.

“Jj Spirit Foundation has realised that at this point in time it has to do something to help like it has always done in the past,” Dr Arrisol said, noting that the money had come from the sale of ESPACE Building.

GICC’s contribution – USD100,000 – was presented by the chairman of IDC, Patrick Berlouis. He was accompanied by IDC’s public relations manager, Michael Govinden.

“Basically we want to share our solidarity with the population and the government of Seychelles with regard to the vaccination programme and this donation also represents a thank you to government for assisting IDC with FA4JR last year,” Mr Berlouis said, explaining that the money donated came from a finished project, the ‘Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts’ at Baie Lazare and GICC was paid in foreign exchange.

But the first donation yesterday came from Seychelles Breweries Ltd and its managing director, Conor Neiland, presented a cheque for R1 million to the President. He was accompanied by Mary-Anne Ernesta, the company’s corporate relations manager.

“It is important that we are at the forefront in supporting the government, other parties and our consumers all across the islands. We felt that at this point in time, given the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases on the islands, now is the right time to make a further contribution to the fight against the pandemic,” Mr Neiland said, highlighting that the company last year presented a sizeable number of hand sanitisers and thermometers to the health department.

The Joseph Albert Family Foundation’s contribution of R1 million was handed over to President Ramkalawan by sons Guillaume and Gregory Albert.

“We have joined our hands together, and I know a lot of other different companies are doing the same, which is good because when we join together it will surely result in the majority of our population getting vaccinated. The sooner we get vaccinated and the sooner we go back to a semi-normal, it will keep the economy alive,” Gregory said.

“Though 2020 was very difficult for our group of companies, we are very happy to have been able to make available this cheque for R1 million to speed up the vaccination process so as to spare our paralised economy. I think it is now the time for us to come together in solidarity and help the country out of this crisis,” Guillaume said.

On behalf of the KD Pillay Foundation, the directors of Chez Deenu, Senthil Kumar and Sashi Senthil Kumar, presented R100,000, towards the fund.

“During this time we have to give a helping hand in this pandemic situation. This donation will help the government to bear some of its costs,” Mrs Kumar said.

Sacos’ chief executive, Jennifer Morel, on behalf of the company, presented President Ramkalawan with a cheque for R300,000. She was accompanied by Tacey Furneau, the chief financial officer.

“In this situation that we are in, it’s only fair that all businesses pitch in to help a little,” Ms Morel said.

Gran Kaz on its part contributed R200,000 to the fund. It was its managing director Rod Thorrington who presented the cheque to the president. Also present was the casino’s head of operations, Jonathan Paul.

“This year, although our pocket was not as deep, we felt that we needed to make a contribution in the spirit of what the president and the Ministry of Health have conveyed. So this is a small part we can play towards the country’s recovery,” Mr Thorrington said, recalling that the gambling business donated a ventilator to the ministry last year.

Beryl Françoise, representing TICK MILL, an offshore company registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA), presented the president with a cheque for USD10,000.

“Following appeals from the president, the company has seen it as a chance to give back something to the community,” Ms Françoise said.

The Covid-19 Relief Fund is being managed by the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS).

The accompanying photographs show representatives of the various companies and foundations handing over their contributions to President Ramkalawan yesterday at State House.


Patrick Joubert

Photos: Jude Morel

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