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AfricaMoney | June 22, 2017

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Mahebourg Espoir Education Centre to promote vocational skills among youth

Mahebourg Espoir Education Centre to promote vocational skills among youth

The MEEC is an extensive centre comprising as many as 19 classrooms to hold youth development courses across vocational education, sports, skills, talents and other activities. (Image: Wazna Gunga)

The inauguration of the Mahebourg Espoir Education Centre (MEEC) took place on Friday, 27 March 15, with the centre aimed at supporting youth development in vocational fields.

The centre was inaugurated in the presence of the President of the centre, L`Amiral Francis De La Haye, Chief Delegation Officer of the Euroepan Union, Aldo DELL`ARICCIA, Minister of education and Human Resource Development, Leela Devi Dookun, and the Minister of social integration and economic development, Pritvirajsing Roopun.

The MEEC is an extensive centre comprising as many as 19 classrooms to hold youth development courses across technical education, sports, skills, talents and other activities.

Francis De La Haye highlighted that the youth forming part of this centre hail from different family backgrounds and have faced conflicted circumstances.

The MEEC welcomes these youth as they are and helps them to become independent, educate them, develop their skills, support them to get out of the poverty trap and to get a place in society by giving them a second chance.

Over the past five years, the centre has devoted itself towards alleviating poverty with 30 accommodations provided to people under the project “un toit pour toi” with the collaboration of the Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), and the Ministry of Social Integration. They also devoted efforts to adult education and a learning corner for children of 6-8 years, but unfortunately, this was halted in January 2015 due to lack of space.

Accordingly, the President of the centre made a request to Pritvirajsing Ropun to look into the pressing issue of space constraints.

The President also noted that the inauguration of this centre would not have been successful without active funding by the European Union, ABAX, Omnicane, IFS, MCB and Beau Vallon Ltd.

Finally he concluded his speech by saying that poverty is not natural, “it’s man who creates and tolerates it”.

Aldo DELL`ARICCIA, for his part, highlighted that the project is an initiative of the European Union that started in January 2014 and will end in June 2015. The objective is to alleviate poverty in the Mahebourg region with vocational education and promote development of youth so they can integrate into society.

The project takes into account technical training, environmental education and basic agriculture competence.

The project is in line with the objectives of the European Union and it is to be noted that 2015 has been dedicated as “l’Année Européenne du développement” and 84% of Europe is in favour of providing help for development.

As for the Mauritian minister of social integration; he said that combating poverty has multiple dimensions, using the MEEC as an example, and highlighting that this fight requires not only finance but also time investment, together with support along the way during hardships.

To get out of poverty, there can be various ways to go about it, as different cases and regions require a different approach. Thus, to be able to alleviate poverty, there are studies to be conducted on the region targeted, as well as a careful analysis of the situation being addressed.

Finally he lauded the MEEC for their encouraging efforts and also said that he will take into consideration the request made regarding land allocation.

As for Leela Devi Dookun, she noted that the MEEC adds a new dimension to the youth who enrol at the centre and will help them to obtain a job and integrate in the society.

She also added that the MITD will provide more courses in different campuses to better meet the requirements of the job market and the objective is to value the talents of youth who specialise in technical fields with the recent budget having announced a “chamber de metier”.

The function ended with a beautiful choir by the youth of the MEEC and a guided visit to the centre which comprises different classes, and boasts an IT class as well.

- By Wazna Gunga

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