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
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.
"I gained invaluable field surveying experience which helped to solidify what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I have applied to university to study Environmental Science and hopefully pursue a career in environmental research."
What's Not Included
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.
What's Not Included
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.
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
What's Not Included
Meet Hannah, our dynamic Science Coordinator on Cap Ternay. Hannah completed her Masters degree in Ecosystem-based Management of Marine Systems, is a PADI Open Water Instructor, she enjoys rock and heavy metal music and used to be competitive at cross country running in the snow and cold of northern England.
While travelling Hannah always carries a pen knife or multi-tool, a well-stocked first aid kit (having been known to be quite accident prone) and an open mind!
She joined GVI as a volunteer in Fiji back in 2013. "I was impressed with the high quality training the volunteers received and that the data being collected was being used directly to educate local communities and contribute towards helping Locally Managed Marine Areas in Fiji."
Meet Tom, an experienced GVI Science Officer. In addition to his degree in Marine Geography, Tom is also a qualified PADI Divemaster and has his off-shore skippers license.
With an obvious love for the ocean, he never travels anywhere without his surfboard and recommends it as the one travel must-have for everyone.
He spent 6 adventure-filled months travelling Europe in a converted van and prior to joining GVI he volunteered with MCSS.
Tom is especially proud to be a part of an organisation like GVI and the strong conservation work and research that we carry out worldwide.
Meet Josie, or JosieJoJo, as her friends call her. She is our Science Officer in Cap Ternay and obtained a degree in Marine Geography and is an avid diver. She completed her Divemaster in Thailand during at three-month internship."I loved sharing species knowledge with my customers."
Josie is a well-travelled adventure seeker and first started out with GVI in Mexico on a six month internship. Her favourite hobby is hula hooping and she always takes her camera on any trip.
"I love working towards aiding and inspiring the local community in the management of their marine resources, combined with the dayto-day challenges that living on base has to throw at you. I love island life!"
Meet Morgan, one of our awesome Science Officers here on Curieuse. She completed her degree in Marine Science and Ecology and is also PADI Open Water certified.
What first attracted Morgan to GVI? "I met a fellow volunteer while I was volunteering on the Eastern Pacific Leatherback Turtle and Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtle project in Costa Rica, who had previously volunteered with GVI in the Seychelles. She said nothing but great things about her time with GVI and I knew that I had to experience it for myself."
"I love the fact that I am working for an organisation that is actually making a difference in the world, and that we can share it with others, increasing awareness and understanding. To me, GVI is making the world a better place."
Meet Catherine, our enthusiastic Science Officer on Curieuse. She completed her Masters degree in Marine Systems and Policies and joined GVI as she was looking to gain field experience, to compliment her degree. Cathereine started our as a 3 month intern on our island conservation expedition here on Curieuse.
Apart from her conservation experience, Catherine has also done voluntary work in Scotland with the Woodland Trust, TCV, Riding for the Disabled, and JAPES. While travelling in and around Seychelles she's learnt that mosquitoes tend to love her and she always makes sure she has a stash of Tiger Balm and Sudocrem.
"I love being part of an organisation with such a strong family feel and how every day is different and interesting."
Meet Ahthee, our Research Assistant here on Curiuese Island. Ahtee has extensive knowledge and experience in conservation and he joined GVI to live out his passion and love for conserving our environment. He is always smiling and always happy to help and has a good eye for identifying research objects on the sea shore.
Ahtee especially loves conducting turtle and shark surveys on the island. He recommends that everyone should visit the South American countries at least once, after they've visited Seychelles first of course!
He is a valued member of our team and sees his job as fun, educational and the best thing of all is being immersed in nature doing outdoor activities.
Meet Jim, our Base Manager in Cap Ternay (Mahe). Jim has several years of travel and volunteer experience behind his name. He has a BSc in Environmental Science and has been involved in various marine conservation research projects.
Jim was first attracted to GVI by our focus of making a difference. "Also GVI has a big push for the volunteers needs; to gain experience and certifications makes the whole idea of volunteering much better for all involved."
"My office is a stunning beach or being underwater! Working and living with people can be difficult, but they become your good friends and you are able to enjoy life in paradise together."
Meet Rosabella, our awesome research assistant. Rosabella is a Seychelles national and was a participant in our National Scholarship Program before she started working us. "I am thrilled to have an opportunity to discover the underwater world and contribute to monitoring of the reef which has both ecological and economical importance for my country."
She is taking a gap year from her Bsc. Environmental Science degree before she continues with her final year of studies. Her previous work experience has mainly been in the Human Resources field yet she never gave up on her dream of living to help the world's environment. Her favourite part of her job is diving and she especially enjoys doing wreck dives.
Bella recommends that you make a travel list before any trip to ensure that you have all the things you need and that your favourite things are present.
Meet Dave, our knowledgeable dive officer in Seychelles. Dave has always had a passion for the ocean and when the opportunity came to volunteer in the Seychelles he jumped at it. Since then he kept up with everything GVI and Seychelles and now he's back on the island as a GVI staff member!
Apart from his diverse range of skills and knowledge he is also a member of Greenpeace International, Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and Oxfam International. Dave has also volunteered all over the world, from beach care to dive clean-ups and wildlife conservations programs in Australia, Europe and USA.
This well-travelled Aussie recommends that everyone should travel to a country where you don’t speak the language at least once and then you're left to do it alone and figure things out for yourself!
Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.
When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!
Meet Peter, our Science Officer in Seychelles. Peter previously volunteered with GVI in Costa Rica and has extensive experience working with and researching green turtles in Canada, USA and Taiwan.
This well-travelled nature lover has also created a short nature documentary related to turtle conservation. He holds a Master of Science in Marine Biology and can speak a total of four languages!
"I was first attracted to GVI by the exciting research being conducted on Curieuse, as well as the chance to work for an organisation that aids and empowers local communities in the management of their marine resources."
Meet Chris, our Country Director for Seychelles. Chris first joined GVI back in 2009 as Field Staff on a Marine Conservation Expedition in Mexico before transferring to Seychelles a year later.
Chris says there have been numerous highlights to working for GVI, not least the opportunity to encounter some amazing creatures, including whale sharks, giant tortoises and nesting turtles. The most satisfaction though has been seeing the Seychelles programmes develop and diversify over the years. Today GVI Seychelles projects are conducting research and collecting critical data on numerous species within a variety of habitats; an achievement that would not be possible without the volunteers.
Chris’ favourite part of the job is its unpredictability from one day to the next. Whether it is meeting with project partners and government ministers, or standing knee deep in murky water attempting to catch a lemon shark, no two days are ever the same!
Andrea Ezeta Watts
Meet Andy, one of the Science Officers and also one of our newest staff members. Andy holds a degree in Biology and is a certified Dive Master and boat driver. Originally from Mexico city Andy worked in a Science communication office, where she was in charge of designing board games, writing TV scripts and collaborating in a radio program.
Lucky for us, Andy got fed up with her life in the city and started looking for a way to develop her biology skills in the field. She came across GVI and volunteered as one of our National Scholarship participants. Having impressed everyone by the end of the programme, Andy was offered a temporary staff position on our turtle monitoring programme and is now the newest edition to our growing team in Mexico and now is working for us in the Seychelles.
Andy is also a professional fencer! She has travelled the world competing in international tournaments and was one of the best fencers in Mexico before she retired. So if you fancy testing your fencing skills while visiting our projects, don't forget to challenge her to a friendly dual!
Alan joined GVI as the Curieuse Island Terrestrial Conservation Project Science Officer in April 2014. Since completing his degree in Aquatic Bioscience at Glasgow University in Scotland he has spent several years living and working in field stations in a variety of science, management and technical roles in Scotland, the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands. He has always had a passion for tropical island field projects, so following a five year spell as a Park Ranger back home the Curieuse base was an excellent step to take.
Alan loves the challenge of island life, and the more remote the better. When not out in the field he can commonly be found up a ladder, in a water tank or somewhere in the workshop! He also gets a lot of satisfaction out of getting to know the constant stream of new volunteers and sharing his fascination with them of all that Curieuse has to offer, on camp, on the terrestrial surveys, and in and on the water.