First Rodrigues winner of MCB ‘Make a Wish’ contest unveils community garden
The primary objective behind starting the school community garden is to cultivate vegetables and sell them to raise funds to finance the school’s projects, and also awaken a consciousness of the earth’s bounty and importance of agriculture among the pupils. (Image: MCB)
Araucaria Community Government School became the first school from Rodrigues Island to win MCB’s ‘Make A Wish’ competition last June with its ambitious project of setting up a community garden, and what makes its feat even more impressive is that it was the first time it participated in this competition.
For the 2014 edition, Araucaria school gave the most convincing and most inspiring answers among other schools, which competed on the parameters of project quality and seriousness of intent.
‘Make A Wish’ is an annual competition by Mauritius-based financial services major MCB which asks all primary schools of Mauritius and Rodrigues to answer this simple question: “What would you do with Rs 200,000 to improve the quality of life in your school?”
After a few months of concerted work, Aurélie Leclézio, Sustainable Development Coordinator at the MCB Group, and Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues, Serge Clair, officially inaugurated the community garden of the Araucaria school in the presence of the pupils, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff, among others.
“Our first place in the ‘Make A Wish’ contest was a direct result of the overriding philosophy of this community school. It is a beautiful recognition of all the efforts put in by all the families of the community school of Araucaria,” Serge Clair stated.
Daniel André, President of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), underlined the collective work and contributions by everyone in the realization of this ambitious project.
“It has been a long time since we needed a community garden, and the MCB group has allowed us to realize our dream faster than seemed possible,” he noted.
The primary objective behind starting the school community garden is to cultivate vegetables and sell them to raise funds to finance the school’s projects, and also awaken a consciousness of the earth’s bounty and importance of agriculture among the pupils.
“The cultivation of land and growing vegetables are real jobs. In Zimbabwe for instance, many people have made good money with these agricultural businesses. Why can’t we? This project aims at teaching you the basics of how such work is done,” said Jean-Marc Samoisy, President of the community garden, addressing the students.
For Aurélie Leclézio, Sustainable Development Coordinator of the MCB Group, the other schools of Rodrigues must follow the trail blazed by the Araucaria community school.
“By encouraging pupils to reflect over the environment, the competition prepares them to become responsible adults of tomorrow. The students, as well as those in their social circles, become aware of the environment and can think about ways to improve it, while respecting nature and making an active commitment to protect our ecosystems,” she indicated.
It may be noted that ‘Make A Wish’ is a project undertaken by the MCB under its sustainable development Initiative 175, and has benefited many such schools over the years by helping them realize their community dreams.