A website featuring news and information for and about the global Chagossian community was launched at a community event in Crawley, UK, on 3 December. In both English and Kreol, chagossianvoices.org was developed in partnership between the Chagossian diaspora group and the Chagos Conservation Trust (CCT), with support from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and website developers Hands Up.
A member of the community, Switzerland-based Pascalina Nellan, has been selected to be the website's Content Editor. She will work 15 hours a month to keep the content up-to-date, dynamic and relevant. A two-year funded position, she has been trained by Hands Up and will be managed by the Director of CCT, Sarah Puntan-Galea.
The newly-appointed Content Editor Ms Nellan said: "Together with our social media platforms, we aim to make Chagossian Voices more accessible, and provide fact-based information to the public "Ms Puntan-Galea said CCT was proud to have partnered with Chagossian Voices to get the website live. "This will be such a fantastic resource, not just the Chagossian community, but also for anyone wanting to learn more about the Chagossian community and culture, plus the precious Chagos Archipelago environment."
This is not the first partnership between CCT and Chagossian Voices, who worked together on Chagos Connect. Delivered by ZSL, the project increased environmental awareness and trained community members how to contribute to the conservation of the Chagos Archipelago. "With a member of the Chagossian community on our Board, we consult the community on our scientific work, and have funding for a Chagossian Research Assistant to join our next expedition, who has been identified.
Our rewilding project, 'Healthy Islands, Healthy Reefs', will also include heritage restoration of sites of importance to the Chagossian community," the CCT Director said. Chair of Chagossian Voices, Frankie Bontemps, added how important it was for the community to have easy access to accurate and understandable information and advice: "Accurate and up-to-date information for Chagosians will help them make informed choices and improve their lives".
Chagossian Voices run a weekly event for the community at Broadfield Community Centre, Crawley, with extra events for both the youth and elderly. They also run conferences, workshops, and are on hand for any help needed, including tricky forms ranging from citizenship to benefits applications.
For more information, contact Chagossian Voices on email@example.com. For more information about CCT, click on chagos-trust.org, or contact Sarah Puntan-Galea at firstname.lastname@example.org