Second Chance

As you have probably learned the authorities are launching a program called Second Chance to alleviate the poverty and give a chance to the poorest of the poor.

« Autre mesure phare : la mise sur pied d’un Second Chance Programme , qui devait avoir été établi en janvier. Il s’agit d’un plan d’alphabétisation et de maîtrise des langues pour ceux ayant quitté l’école. Le but de ce programme est d’aider ceux- ci à s’insérer dans la vie professionnelle. « Ce programme a débuté ce mois- ci avec 220 étudiants dans 8 centres. Les étudiants vont bénéficier d’une allocation mensuelle de Rs 1 500 » , déclare le ministère de l’Education. »

I was very pleased to have been convened to a meeting of the evaluation to the team of social workers who have participated to the launch of this program. Caritas have been selected to spearhead this initiative of the government. Why?

The proposal of Caritas comprised 4 different elements that matches the needs of the sociological needs of the targeted population. Caritas have been working thereon for a number of years. Caritas have through the years researched the concepts and worked on the implementations required. Through a lengthy process of trials and errors Caritas have come up with a model that seems to hold the road.

‘Alphabetisation fonctionnelle’ has required years of research and the support of specialist in Education to be set up. The earlier research was done by Jean Pierre Carosin for 4 years and funded by Secours Catholique, later through Funds donated by the European community a specialist in Education of Belgian origin, Elise Ways was stationed in Mauritius for 4 years to carry on the implementation and development work. The objective of this ‘Alphabetisation fonctionnelle’ program is to fasten literacy for the underprivileged through a peer to peer learning experience.

Caritas spirit of Empowering the people by the people has always been present through the project. Caritas respects the freedom of the individual and work to increase the dignity and self esteem of the individual. At Caritas, every single human has potential of their own and thru his strengths other hidden talents may be developed. Sure enough the poor because of their conditions may have been disadvantaged Caritas‘s role is to empower them to bridge the gap.

Life skills management is another program which Caritas has developed using Covey leadership material as inspiration. There again, care has been taken to use a peer to peer sharing methodology instead of a top down, teacher to student teaching process. Learning occurs through eliciting collective intelligence from the group’s experience and building the capacities.

The two other elements of the proposed package are the value of work and personal and family budgeting.

Let us hope that Second Chance will bring some comfort and improve the conditions of the poor.


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