Raissa Saley of Elles Foundation |31 July 2023
Lions Club Seychelles donates towards project for teenage mothers
- R50,000 worth of goods collected within a week
The Lions Club of Seychelles has donated around R50,000 worth of food items that will go towards a group of teenage mothers and mothers-to-be currently following the ‘Stay and Play’ programme spearheaded by Elles Foundation in partnership with the National Council for Children (NCC).
It was the club’s district officer for Hunger, Dr Sasikumar who handed over the donations to representatives of Elles Foundation and NCC, during a short ceremony on Friday afternoon at the latter’s headquarters in Bel Eau.
The donation comes after Elles Foundation had appealed for assistance for the young mothers who have been following their programme every fortnightly since March this year.
According to the group’s representative, Raissa Saley, ‘Stay and Play’ project is a play group where teenage mothers and young mothers-to-be learn to play and bond with their children.
She said that through these interactions they discovered that a lot of these young parents were short of food or living below the poverty line and were requesting assistance. Elles Foundation therefore created the ‘share and care’ parcel or a food hamper; which is now called the ‘share and care hampers’, where they collected foodstuff from organisations or individuals, to assist those teenagers.
“So every time a teenage mother comes to a ‘Stay and Play’ session, she leaves with a little bag full of foodstuff. It could be rice, lentils, juice and many more. But it is something she can contribute to her family, and perhaps feed them for a week,” she explained.
According to Ms Saley they were however running out of food items and decided to approach the Lions Club of Seychelles for assistance. Ms Saley has thanked the organisation for responding to their call and said they would be of great help to the young mothers.
“Today they have come along to give us this huge donation and we were not expecting to receive all of this. In fact we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and we are extremely grateful for all the different things they have given us. They will definitely be put to good use and I am sure our teenage mothers will be extremely grateful for all of these items,” said Ms Saley.
She added that the gesture was a prime example of how people from different walks of life could come together to help those in need, in line with the foundation’s motto, ‘Together We Will Build A Better Tomorrow’.
For her part, the Zone Chair of Lions of Seychelles, Dhana Sasikumar, said Elles Foundation’s request for assistance touched them profoundly and they reacted promptly as their motto is ‘We Serve’. The organisation whose focus areas are hunger, environment and diabetes have done several donations in the past towards those three core goals.
Mrs Sasikumar said it was therefore not difficult to mobilise members and approach wholesale and retail outlets, to get them on board.
“Everybody was open armed, we did not have any difficulty to get these donations. All the collection that we have today was done within a week and since we did not have a place to store, we thought we might as well hand them over today so as not to prolong things,” she explained.
Mrs Sasikumar said she will be working with all the three Lions Club to respond to similar demands.
“I will be working with all our three clubs so that when there is a demand we can attend to them. It does not necessarily have to be us approaching people, it could be other organisations approaching us and we do it on their behalf,” she added.
The ceremony at the NCC was in the presence of Vijay Pandya, Club president of Lions club of Seychelles, Doris Belle, Club president Seychelles Centennial Women Lions Club, Gopi Dubasia, Club President of Melvin Jones Fellow Lions club of Seychelles and other club members and NCC representatives.
Compiled by Patsy Canaya