CWS Foundation supports Aride Island Marine Conservation Programme
The Aride Island Reserve is leased and managed by the Island Conservation Society (ICS). The reserve also includes a sea area of 200m around the island. Whilst Aride has concentrated on conservation of its terrestrial and bird assets, the marine life has been given very little consideration. The need to study and monitor the marine ecosystem around the island has been recognized as an important component of the reserve and a team of competent people has been put together to carry the study forward. In 1998, as a result of the El Nino event the reefs around Aride suffered from massive coral bleaching and mortality and since then the recovery has been slow coming. Now, more than ever, it is important that the studies and monitoring needs to be accelerated. Having the know-how and a competent team is not sufficient without the proper equipment, hence the reason why ICS submitted a project plan to CWS for consideration. As a responsible corporate citizen, in March 2005, CWS launched the Cable & Wireless Seychelles Foundation. Working under the slogan-‘A helping hand for a stronger community’, the foundation is positioned as an extra to our normal sponsorships but with added focus on a few critical areas, and on a regular basis we proactively provide support, primarily in the form of "donations in kind" or financial assistance where relevant, hence a donation of SR 45’000.00 to assist with the Marine Programme for Aride Island Nature Reserve. The fund was used to purchase diving equipment for the island programme. Following that cash donation, the CWS Foundation maintained its partnership with the NGO to facilitate an educational trip to Aride Island. This trip was to provide in-depth knowledge on the island, it’s terrestrial as well as marine conservation programme. A small selective group of staff were identified to accompany a group of more than 30 school children on the trip. Amongst the school children, there were a few from the Praslin School for the Exceptional. Not only was the trip of an educational purpose but proved to be a trip of a lifetime for many of the school children.