GIS - 01 October, 2014: Chairpersons and Members of Social Welfare Committees can play a crucial role in improving the lives of families in the local communities. With their wide field experiences and by acting as the link between local communities and the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, representatives of social welfare committees can develop relevant activities for the betterment of families.
This was the gist of the speech of the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Mireille Martin, at the launching, yesterday in Réduit, of the annual Conference of Chairpersons and Members of Social Welfare Centres.
The Conference, on the theme ‘The Family’, was organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare. Its main objective was to provide a platform to some 112 representatives of committees from the 57 Social Welfare Centres across the country for discussions and sharing of experiences as well as for the elaboration of activities and action plan for 2015.
Speaking on the need to go beyond the walls of the Social Welfare Centres to reach a larger number of people, Mrs Martin urged participants to reflect on ways to identify troubled families in the local vicinity with a view to encouraging them to avail of the facilities and opportunities provided by the Social Welfare Centres. These facilities include sensitisation and information programmes on different social issues, capacity building and training sessions to empower the communities, income-generating activities such as national/regional sales exhibition, family fun days, and sports activities, among others.
According to the Minister, in the past, the annual Conference was used as a platform for discussing only issues relating to the management and finance of the centres. However, over the last two years, she said, important themes have been taken up with a view to update knowledge of members on societal issues and trigger discussions among members. Mrs Martin stated that the chosen theme The Family reflects the priority issue and concern of the Ministry for 2014.
The resource person at the Conference was Mr Ibrahim Koodoruth, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Mauritius. He made a presentation on the current situation of families in Mauritius, the challenges facing them as well as actions that could be implemented at the level of Social Welfare Centres. It is expected that the presentation would enable participants to enhance their programmes and projects that will help strengthen families and increased social cohesion.
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