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Seychelles Island And Tortoise Conservation Teen Volunteer Program

Contribute towards protecting the incredible island ecology of Seychelles alongside local partners, such as the Seychelles National Parks Authority


Program Information

Join us on the Curieuse Island and contribute to one of the leading marine and terrestrial data collection organisations in the Seychelles. Take part in critical research and conservation research within a national park and help support the creation of conservation policies. Join us in paradise and live amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

Immerse yourself in the island lifestyle, supporting our long-term projects and local partners. You will be contributing to island conservation projects, living on Curieuse Island working with endemic flora and fauna while also contributing towards the long-term survival of endangered species. Curieuse is the fifth largest of the Seychelles inner granitic islands. The island is mostly uninhabited. The GVI base is situated on this beautiful island with thick vegetation all around. The island itself is a national park with the surrounding waters and coral reefs also protected.

This project has been specially designed for those looking to volunteer, but are aged between 15 and 17 years old. Throughout this project, our younger volunteers will have greater supervision, training, and world-class leaders in the field who have been chosen for their mix of relevant experience and ability to mentor and inspire young people.



Project Aims and Objectives
GVI works in line with the UN Sustainable Development goals and each project contribute to two or more goals. Each projects’ objectives are based around specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will largely contribute to pre-established environmental monitoring and research initiatives by collecting and reporting critical data. Emphasis will also be placed on increasing awareness surrounding pertinent conservation issues and knowledge of the local environment

Highlights include
Work with the critically endangered species, collect data, and record the rate of coastal erosion with our beach profiling surveys. Collect growth and reproductive data for the endemic and unique Coco de Mer palm tree. Assist in our annual census of the island's Aldabra Giant tortoise population and keep tabs on the growth rates of hatchlings and juvenile tortoises in the nursery. Don't forget the snap a selfie with one of these amazing creatures!

If you are looking to learn more about conservation, contribute to a meaningful project and want to spend some time in an incredible location, you don't have to look any further. Our monitoring program and work schedules change seasonally; which projects are available will depend on the time of year you visit - speak to our team for further details.

 

Program Details

Project Life

During your time on the project, your work will be varied, this expedition covers a wide range of conservation efforts as you rotate between projects. You will spend the majority of your time on foot working in the forests and on the beaches, experiencing different field techniques and varied project sites. At the end of each workday, you will return to our base with the rest of your team to relax together and take in the amazing scenery. You will share camp duties on a rotational basis, but our friendly team will show you how to make these duties fun! Friends can look forward to sleeping in shared dormitory style accommodation.

Project Details

On this expedition, you will focus on several key conservation efforts within and around the Curieuse Island National Park which may include the following (depending on the season):

Coco de Mer Survey
The endemic Coco de Mer has the largest seed of all living plants and is found only on the islands of Praslin and Curieuse. Following on from a successful census of the trees covering Curieuse Island the GVI team is now conducting a growth study of these charismatic palms.

Mangrove Distribution Surveys
Curieuse Island has one of the largest remaining area of mangrove forest left within the Seychelles inner granitic islands. GVI Seychelles is investigating seedling recruitment and mortality, and further determining species distribution across the mangroves.

Giant Tortoise Census
Giant tortoises were relocated to Curieuse Island in the 1980s as part of conservation efforts to protect the species. Over the last thirty years, the population has reproduced successfully and spread throughout the island. GVI conducts an annual census of the tortoise population and records key measurements on growth and distribution.

Habitat Restoration
Volunteers may contribute to habitat restoration efforts around the area to ensure the protection of certain species.

In conjunction with the Seychelles National Parks Authority, you may also find yourself participating in various educational campaigns and activities including
mangrove replanting, endemic flora re-vegetation, beach cleans, beach profiling and environmental education classes.

How this project makes a difference
Our partner on this programme is the Seychelles National Parks Authority. Data collected from your efforts will be passed to the Seychelles Ministry of Environment and participating NGOs to be used in creating local conservation policies and shared worldwide with other conservation teams and efforts. In conjunction with our partners, we are one of the leading marine and terrestrial data collection organisations in Seychelles. We help local organisations execute projects that they do not have the manpower to do alone.

Curieuse's short, mid, and long-term objectives:
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfill our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Curieuse:
1. Increase scientific knowledge and baseline data on the health of ecosystems on Curieuse Island
2. Increase awareness of GVI

Your Impact

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.


Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.


Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.


GVI’s primary partner on this programme is the Seychelles National Parks Authority. Data collected from your efforts is passed to the Seychelles Ministry of Environment and participating NGOs to be used in creating local conservation policies and is shared worldwide with other conservation teams and efforts. To do this we work on various environmental conservation initiatives, such as safeguarding sea turtles, conducting bird surveys, surveying Coco De Mer growth, mangrove mapping, Giant Tortoise population censuses, and sicklefin lemon shark monitoring.


This is to offer support to our local partners, assist in the conservation of these islands flora and fauna, and to address many of the UN Sustainable


Development Goals, such as #14 – Life Below Water, #15 – Life On Land, #4 – Quality Education and #17- Partnerships For Goals


Our Partners In Curieuse

Project Objectives

 


GVI Curieuse Long-term Objectives:  


1. Increase scientific knowledge and baseline data on the health of ecosystems on Curieuse Island,


2. Increase awareness of GVI Seychelles projects and the ecological value of the Curieuse Island National Parks in-country,


3. Build local capacity to support long-term conservation of biodiversity and sustainable community development in Seychelles,


4. Continue to minimize our environmental impact on Curieuse Island and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst volunteers and visitors.


What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — Traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


Support

Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Safety

Upon arrival at the airport participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. Our minimum staff to participant ratio is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.


Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov

HOW GVI UPHOLDS HEALTH AND SAFETY

It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.


1 Nov

GVI’S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY AND SECURITY

As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.


6 Nov

HOW GVI REMAINS PREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS

The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.


5 Nov

HOW GVI MANAGES PARTICIPANTS EXPECTATIONS

Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.


Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of the GVI experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your GVI program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.


Languages

Seychellois Creole is spoken by the majority of the native Seychellois, roughly 95% of the populations, but as the island country was a British colony, English is the language officially used in government and business dealings. French is also spoken on the islands, by a minority.


Festivals

There are festivals throughout the year, the most notable being the Seychelles International Carnival of Victoria in February, which celebrates the cultures that helped shape the Seychelles. There is also the La Digue Festival in mid-August and the Creole Festival in October, and for those interested in the natural world, there is the SUBIOS Underwater Festival on Mahe’s main beach in October, celebrating underwater conservation.


Seychelles

Seychelles:


The Seychelles is a tropical archipelago off the East Coast of Africa, consisting of 100 islands. The main, or so-called inner islands, are made of granite. Researchers believe that they use to form part of the Indian subcontinent. The granite attracted corals and most of the outer islands of the Seychelles are based on coral. The islands are famous for their unique biodiversity and are home to literally thousands of unique land and underwater species. The waters of the Indian Ocean are a haven for coral conservation efforts making the Seychelles a sought-after diving destination.


Curieuse Island

GVI’s island conservation program in the Seychelles is based on the island of Curieuse, which itself and its surrounding waters are a national park, managed by our principal in-country partner, Seychelles National Parks Authority. Curieuse has very few inhabitants compared to most of the other larger islands, making its natural habitat is very well-preserved.



This beautiful coastal area consists of unique habitats including mangroves wetlands, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. Assist in our annual census of the island’s Aldabra Giant tortoise, who outnumber the human inhabitants of Curieuse. Collect growth and reproductive data for the endemic and unique Coco de Mer palm tree. Among the mangroves you will find species of fish, crab, and birds found exclusively in the Seychelles. Venture further into the water and spy green and hawksbill turtles snacking on seagrass. Further out at sea, if you are very lucky, you might spot one of the whale sharks who visit the islands for a short time every year.


Select a Start Date

  • 2019
  • 2020

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Publications

The best decisions in international development and conservation cannot be made without accurate and up-to-date data or informed research. Our many field teams around the world collaborate with local and international partners to analyse data and draw conclusions. In addition, many of our participants have used research they have collected on their various GVI projects to complete their Masters, Doctorate, or postdoctoral studies. We also run a fellowship program which connects postdoctoral researchers at globally-respected universities with our many sustainable development programs around the world to support their research and ensure continuous improvement of our best practices on base.


Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Herritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.