Olympian Felicity Passon’s swim challenge nets $41,000 to boost e-counseling services in Seychelles
More people in Seychelles will benefit from e-counselling — a timely service amid the stress of COVID-19 — after one of Seychelles’ top athletes, swimmer Felicity Passon, donated a sum of over $41,000.
Passon raised the funds through her ‘Mind Over Matter’ swim challenge last month, in which she swam from La Digue to Praslin – the third- and second-most populated islands – and back, covering a total of 15 kilometres.
During the handing over ceremony on Thursday, Passon, Seychelles’ reigning sportswoman of the year and a Tokyo Olympics qualifier, outlined that she is grateful to every single individual who donated, no matter the amount.
“Throughout the last few weeks after the challenge and a little before the challenge, I seem to have gotten a lot of credit and praise for doing a swim and challenge like this and for raising funds for mental health. I want everyone to know that with every single person who donated, this project will be able to get the kickstart that it needs,” said Passon.
The director general at the Quality of Life Division at the Family Department, Beryl Naiken, said that this gesture came at the right time.
“We want to thank Felicity immensely as the donation came at a point when there is a need for us to expand the service that we offer, especially with the COVID-19 situation that doesn’t allow a lot of people to really come in person for counselling. Now, even more so, there is more need for counselling,” said Naiken.
E-counselling will be an extension of the counselling service being provided by the ministry. The idea behind this service came when COVID-19 first hit Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
Naiken said previously that having such a service in place will allow the ministry to provide counselling, even if only virtually, to the public.
The Minister for Youth, Sports and Family, Marie-Celine Zialor, outlined that this pandemic is not only an economic issue but also a psychosocial one within the society.
An example given by the minister is the restrictions on the number of people who can attend funerals during this time.
“Just imagine that you cannot go visit someone who is dying in the hospital and you cannot go to the funeral and hence you have no closure. These people need counselling. Even the health workers are stressed out and the Quality of Life Division is going to provide some stress management sessions for them as well, to support them psychologically and emotionally so that they can continue with this fight against COVID-19,” said Zialor.
People interested in getting e-counselling can contact the ministry on 4281500.