Seychellois in Australia to hold fundraiser for COVID-19 needs in their homeland
Among the performers at the event will be Grace Barbé and her band. (Seychellois CLUB INC/Facebook)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Despite the thousands of miles of ocean separating Seychelles and Australia, islanders living down under are finding a way to contribute towards their motherland's COVID-19 recovery during this tough economic time.
Members of the Seychellois Club WA -- a group that brings together Seychellois nationals living in Western Australia -- are organising a fundraiser, the profit from which will be sent to the Seychelles COVID-19 relief fund.
The president of the club, Jimmy Naiken, told SNA that "even if we live in Australia, we are all still Seychellois and still have Seychelles at heart."
"We believe it is our responsibility to help where we can even if we are not in Seychelles. Seychelles is not like other countries that have a lot of resources so as to be able to continue on as we are in Australia. We felt that this time when we host the ball, it would be good to donate the profit that we make to the COVID relief fund that Seychelles has created," said Naiken.
He explained that the main aim of the club is to keep the Seychellois culture alive within the diaspora, especially among children, despite the long distance between the country they call home and their motherland.
The April 10 fundraiser will take place at the Maddington community centre on 19 Alcock Street, Maddington between 6 pm and 12 am. Tickets are on sale at $40 per person with free admission for children under 12 years.
|The Seychelles COVID-19 relief fundraiser will comprise the club's Annual General Meeting (AGM), dinner, raffle and live music entertainment by three bands.(Jimmy Naiken/Facebook) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
Naiken, who has been living in Australia for 20 years, explained that "for this fundraising, we have placed the ticket price a little higher than usual so that we can get more profit so as to give to the COVID fund." He added that during their annual ball held in April, the event usually brings together around 200 attendees.
The Seychelles COVID-19 relief fundraiser will comprise the club's Annual General Meeting (AGM), dinner, raffle and live music entertainment by three bands.
"All Seychellois musicians who are in Australia are ready to play at the event free of charge which is not the case when we organise other activities - we need to pay them," said Naiken.
Playing at the event will be Grace Barbé and her band, Four Degrees South led by Simon Sauzier, and Candela - a Mauritian band that plays mostly Latin songs.
Organisers of the event welcome any additional personal donations on the night and add that "a donation, even if you cannot attend the event, will go a long way."
This is not the first time that the club has conducted such fundraising activities. People and communities in Seychelles, such as Emmanuel Marie – a local singer - and the Seychelles Stroke Foundation, have received help through funds raised by the Australia-based club.
"When you are not in Seychelles you have a greater urge to contribute towards the country. It saddens me when I see people relying on the government to make things happen for them. They do not ask themselves what they are doing to help the government," concluded Naiken.