An islander with a unique business promoting the culture and heritage of Seychelles has been accepted in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) programme that will take place at the Regional Leadership Centre in South Africa.
Geralda Payet, who is the manager of Heritage and Cultural Education Services (HCES), told SNA, "I have been chosen for this programme because I have created inspiration through my business and how I have implemented it in my community."
Payet said she is the first Seychellois in the field of heritage and culture to go on this seven-week programme and she is very proud to have been accepted.
The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) programme launched by Barack Obama, the former President of the United States, in 2010 is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. The programme supports young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Based on Mahe, the main island, the Heritage and Cultural Education Services (HCES) is giving visitors a real taste of the culture of Seychelles - an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, through interaction with the country's older generation.
"With the work I do, I am also helping the elderly, as they also get paid for the service they are offering," Payet said.
Payet told SNA the programme will help her to shape the future of her business locally and that "I expect to achieve new and innovative ideas and how to lead others in their own professional paths."
The young entrepreneur added that: "It will give me the skills to promote my business and power to influence a change in the mindset of people when it comes taking new entrepreneurial route."
The visiting packages which are organised daily for three hours include visits to heritage sites at a fee of $112 and educational field trips for children at $84. HCES is also working in close collaboration with other local authorities promoting culture and heritage.
Winner of the young entrepreneur award last year, Payet said both young people and visitors have welcomed the activities that HCES has organized and to learn more about the heritage and cultural work she is doing, she has created a Facebook page.
"Many of them have learnt have to prepare a range of local dishes, learning traditional dances, play traditional musical instruments and basic Seychellois Creole language," said Payet, who also reveals that it is a learning experience for her.