Launched in July 2010, the Diplomatic Spouses Association of Seychelles consists of the wives of the heads of diplomatic missions in Seychelles.
The organization was inspired by the members’ experience of similar associations in capital cities ranging from Rangoon to Mexico City, from Reykjavik to Pretoria. The DSA aims to promote friendship between the outside world and Seychelles and benefit the people of Seychelles. Its primary role is fundraising for charities.
The DSA supports charities of Seychelles mainly by donating items purchased through fundraising. It also brings highlights to certain causes and gives the general public a chance to help through supporting its events. Charities that the DSA have benefited include the Children’s Homes Foundation of Seychelles and the Mother Teresa Mission.
The Children’s Homes Foundation was formed in 2006 by Natalie Michel, the First Lady of the Republic of Seychelles. It is a non-governmental, nonprofit charitable organization which helps children in need and their families. The responsibilities of the CHF include managing the President’s Village, the largest children’s home in the Seychelles, and supporting the other Catholic children’s homes.
Lydia Forbes (the wife of the British High Commissioner) explained that: “We have visited the homes and spoken with the staff and children to see how we may support them. We have donated books and provided equipment for the early years’ pre-school programme at the President’s Village”. The DSA has also donated outdoor play equipment for the day-care centre at the Mother Teresa Mission and books for the children’s ward at the hospital. The DSA also provided a wheelchair and clothing for elderly ladies at the Missionaries of Charity and presented clothes, books and toys at the orphanage for boys and girls.
Tatiana Kalinina (the wife of the Russian Ambassador) said that “visiting the homes and seeing happy children and staff making the most of their home from home” was a memorable experience for the DSA.
The DSA have also held large fundraising events to support charities. Their first major event was Namaste India (Welcome India) which was held at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino in August 2010. This celebration of Indian food and culture featured a fashion show, dance performances and a martial arts performance from Kerala. Both adults and children took part in the fashion show. The diplomatic wives dressed in saris for the occasion. According to Madhumita Nag (the wife of the Indian High Commissioner): “The Namaste India fund raiser was such a colourful event ‘where we experienced a different culture which included wearing a sari”. The event was attended by over 300 people and raised a respectable amount for charity.