The 'New Normal' at SHF
The 'New Normal' at SHF
After two months of stagnation, prompted by the Corona Virus pandemic everyone is trying to get back to their everyday life. The talk of the island is now ‘How do we cope in ‘The New Normal’?
As an institution whose mission is to promote and develop the Seychellois cultural heritage, the Seychelles Heritage Foundation (SHF) has also suffered the consequences of the corona virus. The creole/craft village is a hub for socio-cultural activities were many visitors and passerby, used to tour and walk around freely to experience the Seychellois way of live and in doing so, feel the comfort and the historical atmosphere of the place.
Even though, the SHF is still up and functioning, some of its daily activities have stopped, such as working with the Heritage Clubs and Living Heritage participants. Certain kiosk vendors and restaurant owners are temporarily closed because lack of customers. On an average day,one would see the place buzzing with private tours operators and taxi drivers offering tourists guided tours round the grann kaz and its surrounding craft kiosks. Now the atmosphere is quieter, waiting for the time that tourists will once again visit.
We at SHF, as the other institutions in Seychelles, are now abiding and adapting to the ‘New Normal’ regulations, instructed by the Ministry of Health, under the direction of the World Health Organisation. The first rule of survival for all, is to take precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. SHF has nominated two staff namely Miriam Cesar and Lisa Hoareau as Health Contact Officers. Their role is to ensure that staff and visitors respectively follow the guidelines which state:
- Maintaining Social distancing at all times on the premises and inside SHF van
- Label standing position on floor in all required offices.
- Identify and mark standing/sitting position in the Plantation House and other relevant buildings
- Affixed relevant posters
- Indicated spaces and put hand sanitizers
- Ensure that surfaces such as desk are disinfected daily
- Isolated any person showing sign of the COVID 19 into the allocated isolation room.
- Do the necessary liaising / communication with relevant Ministries as and when necessary
These few weeks of inactivity, has been a time of great reflection for SHF and its staff. Reflection on how to change a vibrant socio-cultural site and an institution of great socio-economic importance, into a space of social-distancing with limited resources and still progress successfully. A tough challenge which calls for solidarity and understanding of all its clients, partners and stakeholders. SHF and its partners have to come up with new strategies of how to cope in the New Normal and still manage to remain relevant and fulfill its mandate. We remain positive that with the help and concerted efforts of all partners and stakeholders we will bounce back stronger than before.