GIS - October 18, 2012: A series of activities was launched yesterday in the context of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2012 on the theme Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty: Promoting Empowerment and Building Peace.
This joint initiative of the Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment and the National Empowerment Foundation (NEF) aims at raising public awareness on poverty and ways and means to address this issue and help families who live in absolute poverty to integrate the mainstream society.
The calendar of activities to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, commemorated on October 17 every year, comprises: the launching of Integrated Community development projects and health outreach activities; ICT awareness in pockets of poverty; job fairs; a Stakeholders’ Forum to elaborate on a National Strategy on the eradication of absolute poverty and a recreational activity at the State House for 8 to 10 year-old children of vulnerable families.
At a press conference on October 16 in Port Louis, the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr Surendra Dayal, reiterated Government’s commitment to eradicate absolute poverty in the country by 2020. He recalled that Government, through the various facilities offered by his Ministry and the NEF, is providing assistance to the vulnerable groups to help them live a decent life.
Mr Dayal invited those families whose monthly income is less than Rs 6 200 per month to come forward and register themselves in the Social register available in the offices of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions across the island. This, he said, will allow the Government to identify the needy ones and provide social assistance to them.
There are some 7500 families in Mauritius and Rodrigues who are living in absolute poverty. In a bid to help those families the Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment and the NEF has put in place several programmes. Under the Social Housing projects over 1500 families have benefitted from the various housing facilities. The Child and Family Development programme, with 8 Child Day Care centres, is already operational across the island. The Ministry has also put in place 2 learning corners and 8 more will be operational by end of 2012. Over 10 000 children have received school materials for the year 2012.
From 2011 to date about 6 000 persons have been placed and trained under the Placement and Training programme and out of these 2 974 have been employed in 2012. With regard to the Circular Migration project about 429 migrants have, as at date, been sent to Canada and France to work in various sectors. The setting up of a NEF Training Academy is in the pipeline with a view to enabling more vulnerable persons to benefit from training facilities in various fields.