Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
Originally we targeted the general public, aware that issues of wellbeing are common to all groups. However, a new phase of innovation in the project is about to begin. Use the Green Health project to rehabilitate recovering drug and acolohol users. The Seychelles is a medium developed country well known for its beautiful natural environment, high Human Development Index and peaceful people. However, the country is currently experiencing some major socio-economic problems, which may derail its development trajectory. In fact recent data seem to show that the resilience of Seychelles society is currently very low.
Substance abuse and dependence, and resulting HIV/AIDS prevalence, crime, unemployment and prostitution, is seen as the single most serious health and socio-economic problem in Seychelles today.
It is this community which the new project will target. There are several examples in Europe of the use of nature to overcome addiction. Working with recovering addicts the programme offers self-actualisation through the
guiding principles of:
• building self-esteem and confidence;
• learning deferred gratification;
• team working;
• personal development through both in house and external courses;
• learning respect for the environment;
• producing tangible results to input;
• learning and developing social skills;
• promoting healthy lifestyles.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
Nirmal Shah has been instrumental in shaping Seychellois civil society’s response to the environmental challenge by founding and chairing the only environmental youth NGO, WildLife Clubs of Seychelles, and by being the Chief Executive of Nature Seychelles, the largest NGO in Seychelles. He has run projects on restoration of various islands, species rehabilitation and research including the Magpie robin Recovery Program and the National Seabird Project, environmental education such as SPLASH (Special Program on Learning for Species and Habitats), and grass roots conservation activities such as LEAP (Local Environment Action Program). He is involved in advocacy for sound policy and legislation through key national committees including being Chair of the National Committee on ISO 14001 (the international environmental standard). His passion for nature and innovative led him to think about exploring other areas where nature can contribute to society. The alarming rise in drug use in Seychelles provided the impetus to try and use nature for good and this was the foundation stone for the Green Health project