GIS – 16 November 2018: Two beneficiaries of the Social Register of Mauritius (SRM), of the region of Belle-Mare, received keys of their housing unit under the Full Concrete Housing Scheme, yesterday, during a ceremony held at Belle Mare Community Centre in the presence of the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr Alain Wong, and the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun.
On the same occasion, some 20 SRM beneficiaries who followed a course focusing on life skills under the Life Enhancement Education Programme (LEEP) were awarded a certificate of participation.
In his address, Minister Wong reiterated Government’s aim of promoting social justice and economic empowerment across the different strata of the society as well as to strive towards the creation of an inclusive and more equitable society. Governmental endeavours in this venture aim at ensuring long-term progress of the population by improving their quality of life in a sustainable manner, he said.
The Minister emphasised that his Ministry, in collaboration with the National Empowerment Foundation, has set up new housing schemes to enable its residents to live in decent conditions and in dignity, namely, the concrete housing units ranging from 40m² - 50m² and the modular house, all equipped with all the necessary amenities including plumbing and electrical installation, septic tanks and water connection. This initiative, he said, is being spearheaded with the mission of supporting the economic empowerment of vulnerable groups for the eradication of poverty and to improve their life chances.
According to the Minister, it is crucial for the beneficiaries to step up their efforts and show strong commitment and determination to strive to break the cycle of poverty. On that note, he emphasised that Government’s relentless resolve to assist and help them improve their life underpins the LEEP, which seeks at equipping the participants with core values such as responsibility, discipline, respect and adopting the right aptitude, which are an important catalyst in the fight against poverty.
As for Minister Roopun, he recalled that ensuring the welfare and enhancing the quality of life of the population is at the core of Government’s agenda. He enumerated major initiatives which cater for the needs of the vulnerable group to enable them to progress in life and enhance their economic opportunities. These include the Minimum Wage, the Negative Income Tax, and the elaboration of a Marshall Plan.
The Minister pointed out that owning a house represents a new start in the lives of the families who will now live in decent conditions and in dignity. He dwelt on the relevance of the LEEP to enable parents to acquire and transmit core life skills to their children that will ensure both a proper upbringing of the children in a healthy environment and also improve their social status by breaking free from the shackles of poverty.
On that occasion, plants were distributed to the beneficiaries and a tree planting ceremony was held to symbolically represent the need of self-sufficiency, respect for the environment, and sustainable living.
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