NGO Safire launches educational farm to give Mauritian street children a fresh start
Hailing from different part of the island, these children are being given another chance to make a difference with the Safire educational farm project, which gives them an opportunity to reconnect with nature.(Image: Cecilia Samoisi)
In the framework of the World Food Day celebrated across the world yesterday, Mauritius-based non-governmental organization (NGO), Safire, inaugurated its educational farm named ‘Nou Laferm’ on October 16, 2014 at Verdun.
Sponsored by several companies and institutions, namely ENL foundation, Barclays, UNDP, Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the GEF Small grants programme (SGP), among many others, the educational farm has the objective of rehabilitating and integrating street children back into our society, which is in line with the broader Safire vision.
The inauguration was done in front of several guests of honor, notably, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mireille Martin, Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Surendra Dayal, Leader of the opposition, Pravind Jugnauth, and the UNDP Resident Representative, Simon Springett among many others.
The inauguration of the Safire farm also served as an occasion to give a vote of thanks to the 20 children who largely contributed to the success of this project.
Hailing from different part of the island, the children are being given another chance to make a difference with the Safire educational farm project, which gives them an opportunity to reconnect with nature.
“The farm is a great source of motivation for us, as the children are very passionate about what they have cultivated so far. With ‘Nou Laferm’, we are trying out a new method to help these children see the good in life,” said Safire President, Narghis Bundhun.
She went on to add that some of these children have already taken the initiative of growing crops at home.
For his part, the Communications Manager and Corporate Affairs at Barclays Bank Mauritius, Feyçal Caunhye, said that Barclays believed in the sustainability of this project from the start.
“At Barclays, it is our motto to help people achieve their goals in the right manner and this is why we are helping Safire to achieve their noble objectives through the inauguration of the educational farm. This movement started in fact, with our Barclays Colors of life initiative to recognize noteworthy NGO projects, where Safire was among the winners,” he said.
For her part, Mirelle Martin laid emphasis on the positive outcome of this project, which has enabled these children to learn new skills which can serve them well, later in life.
“We are providing these children with transportation to the educational farm at Verdun, to show that we at the level of the government are ready to deliver our bit so as to give needy children a fresh start,” she added.
Finally, Simon Springett, who featured among the guest speakers, said that the Safire project is both a very innovative and a socially inclusive project.
According to him, by 2015, the ‘Nou Laferm’ would be officially certificated by Eco-cert as producing organic crops.