Developing and Enhancing Capacities of CSOs through Drama and Knowledge Fair
Developing and Enhancing Capacities of CSOs through Drama and Knowledge Fair
Project Summary

The Maurice Ile Durable Programme (MID) was initiated at national level in 2008 with the objective of making Mauritius a world model of sustainable development. Some interesting initiatives have been adopted to promote use of cleaner technologies (solar water heater scheme, solar-powered electricity generation and sales to national grid etc.) However these need to be accompanied by a fundamental change in the mindset of citizens in order to:
• Treat the environment responsibly (waste treatment, reduce and re-use), and
• Produce by using cleaner technologies,
• Go green in consumption as well.

Le Morne, like any other rural and coastal communities in Mauritius, is facing a number of environmental pressures. The inhabitants of Le Morne expressed their concerns during consultations leading to the development of the Local Economic Development Plan funded under UNDP/GEF project on Agulhas and Somali Currents Large Marine Ecosystem- ASCLME). This plan, developed in consultation with inhabitants, includes the concern for environment problems, both on land and in the lagoon, and their eagerness to collaborate with Government and other partners in making their village a better place to live. The Vision for Le Morne, developed during a series of public meetings is as follows:
“To be a safe place to live, where there are adequate facilities and infrastructure. Our natural resources, both on land and in the sea, and our cultural environment should be respected, kept clean and developed in a wise manner so the local population can benefit, and tourists will be attracted to our village. Our human resource should be developed through capacity building opportunities and access to equal education, leading to flourishing business opportunities. Development in Le Morne should always be mindful of our heritage values and way of life that makes our village so special”.

However, despite nomination of Le Morne as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the inhabitants complain that no progress has been made to take advantage of this nomination, and no developmental efforts, have been made to create sustainable jobs for the inhabitants.

The main objective of this project is to assist the Le Morne Espoir Femme Association to develop eco-friendly products which will help to develop green jobs for unemployed and vulnerable groups of Le Morne region. This component will involve knowledge sharing, support of required stakeholders, transfer of technologies and development of innovative ‘green’ projects to enable the inhabitants of Le Morne to develop livelihoods that are respectful of a World Heritage Site.

The second component of this project is to contribute to the promotion of eco-citizenship at national level through the development of a play. Numerous organisations are currently applying Theatre in order to present and discuss various developmental, environmental and health or social related issues of concern in order to initiate behavioural change. Literature on applications of Theatre for Development is increasing especially in the context where targets include youngsters, people of remote communities, with low educational level and where normal means of communication (brochures, internet, speeches etc.) cannot have an effective impact on them. (http://www.unesco.org/education/uie/pdf/Mwansa.pdf)

The well known comic group Komiko (Karavann Events Ltd) has expressed interest in developing a play around the theme of environment and eco-living. The objective of this component is to promote eco-citizenship among mauritians, with a special focus on people living in pockets of poverty. Komiko has experience in the production of a series of plays in creole which is broadcasted on the national channel. The group borrows a lot from the local Mauritian tradition and use a generous dose of humour, which makes their plays widely popular among local population.

A synopsis of the play as proposed by Komiko is annexed to the document.
The plays will be promoted through:
• A Gala Show at the Café Theatre.
• 3 free regional representations to reach out to various communities of the island through Camion Theatre.
• 2 paid representations at the Café Theatre for the general public (on the basis of market interest)
• 2 free representations in Rodrigues
The project will also include the production of a DVD. Two alternatives are being finalised:
Option 1: Filming of play and inclusion of same on the DVD or
Option 2: Developing live short sketches that can be aired by MCB on scheduled times and used for free sensitisation.
Under both options, the DVDs will also include soft copies of brochures of the products developed by Le Morne Espoir Femme Association as well as other grantees of the GEF SGP, hence also promoting past SGP projects and products. It is expected that the play representation and the eventual sales and distribution of DVDs will help to pave the way for further responsibilisation of adults, development of eco-citizenship among all citizens.

This project is also in line with the SGP Capacity Development Outcome 10.3: Increased public awareness and education at the community-level regarding global environmental issues.
1.2 Organizational Background and Capacity to implement the project

Le Morne Espoir Femme Association (LMFA) was set up in June 2011 with a group of 25 members, all unemployed women of Le Morne Village. The aim of the association is to regroup individuals sharing common interest in economic empowerment, environmental protection, as well as other issues dear to the inhabitants of the region (e.g. health, fitness, education etc.)

The members of the association were also among the protagonists who were consulted in the development of the Local Economic Development Plan of Le Morne (2011). They have come to the realization that:
• Environmental consciousness in inhabitants is essential in order to protect their natural habitat and environment.
• Environmental consciousness among clients is required to generate an interest in green products.
• Innovation, creativity, capacity building and technical skills is highly required in order to come up with appealing eco-products to promote green economy.

The office bearers are of the association are:
President Mrs M. Anne Verloppe
Assistant President Mrs Mariette Larusee
Secretary Mrs Joanna Louis
Asst.Secretary Miss Clayvie Jean
Tresurer Mrs Nicole Jean
Asst.Tresurer Mrs Nadege Verloppe

Since the association has been set up, members have been active in seeking opportunities for developing their capacity and competencies in various activities and trades, namely:
• Manufacture of rattan wares, fancy jewellery training with local institutions (e.g. Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority)
• Cooking
• Manufacture of items using recycled materials (carton, plastic etc.)

LMFA has requested for affiliation of Entreprendre au Feminin Ocean Indien (EFOI), which has as objective the promotion of women entrepreneurship at national level. By being an EFOI affiliate LMFA will benefit from:
• Networking and linkages with other entrepreneurs
• Support for participation in market fairs
• Assistance by EFOI for commercialisation of products through its sales points in Curepipe and Port Louis.
• Information sharing opportunities for further project development
• Support project communication in radio and print media

Accordingly EFOI will also actively support the project by the upgrading of skills in the production of eco-products and providing assistance for project capacity building, monitoring and coordination, and hereby enhancing the development of sustainable eco-businesses operated by vulnerable communities and women groups.

1.3 Project Objectives and Expected Results

The objective of this project is to:
• Develop the innovation, creativity and build the capacity of Le Morne Espoir Femme Association in the manufacture of appealing eco-friendly products that can be of interest to the local market.
• Develop and organise the representation of a play in creole using to promote the concept of MID, GEF SGP and green thinking.
• Produce and market a DVD of the play (and/or clips on environmental themes) to be sold and also used at a later stage on MBC to target a wider audience.
• Promote products of Le Morne Espoir Femme Association as well as that of other GEF SGP grantees through:
- Organisation of Knowledge Fairs at each play representations.
- Inclusion of a brochure on products in each DVD distributed and sold.

It is expected that:
• Le Morne Femme Association will be able to produce appealing, innovative and green products and that the products of the above association as well as that of other grantees will be put in the lime light through the Knowledge fairs organised at each play representation.
• The women entrepreneurs involved in the project will be able to earn their livelihood from manufacture of eco-friendly / greener products which will be sold at the representations but also mainly at the EFOI shops in Port Louis and Curepipe.
• The play will serve to further sensitise the general population (including people living in pockets of poverty) on how irresponsible actions and behaviours can cause harmful effects on environment, health and means of livelihood in the context of Maurice Ile Durable (MID)

• It is expected that the play, the involvement of vulnerable groups for environmental protection, the new eco-products, will contribute to the necessary change in environmental attitude and mindsets, and will lead to more motivation for citizens to save the environment and promote a sustainable future.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Le Morne Espoir Femme Association
Country:
Mauritius
Area Of Work:
CapDev
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,543.50
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 1,531.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 20,459.00
Project Number:
MAR/SGP/OP5/CORE/CD/12/11
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Capacity - Building Component
EFOI has over the past few years, been investigating into the application of recycling techniques for the development of new products. Following the interest on members to develop eco-friendly projects that can help in employment creation and reduce waste generation a proposal was sent to Food and Allied Ltd (FAIL) and same was approved. With the assistance of FAIL the following two lines of products were developed: • Carton based furniture, and • Eco- packaging of items. Mr Stellio Diamasse, designer by profession and member of EFOI was involved in this project as resource person. He conducted the training of EFOI members in order to produce the first collection of eco-products. A unit within EFOI is currently involved in this activity under his coordination, and undertaking production on the basis of orders obtained. Accordingly, the Le Morne Espoir Femmes Association will be trained in: • Development of kids furniture using recycled cardboards • Development of product eco-packaging • Upgrading of other eco-friendly products manufactured by the group The inputs for the Carton-based furniture include new as well as waste cartons of enterprises. The eco-packaging line utilises eco-materials obtained from the local environment (beads from local plants, scented tree barks, vetiver leaves, vetiver roots etc). It includes boxes, covers, envelopes etc. Additional materials will also be required in order to enhance the presentation and finish of the products.
Notable Community Participation
In order to ensure community participation in the plays the following measures will be adopted: • Up-front meeting with village level authorities in order to secure their support for information sharing • Posters / banners placed in strategic locations in the region • Use of radio announcements to invite inhabitants of the region to attend the play on the proposed date
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Indicators
Empowerment
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 25
Livehood
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 25

Grantee Contact

Mr System Administrator
 

Address

Avenue Anthurium,
Le Morne Village ,

SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Pamela Bapoo-Dundoo
Phone:
(230) 213 53 84
Fax:
(230) 212 14 11
Email:

Address

2nd Floor, Sugar Industry Pension Fund Building, 1 Remy Ollier Street
Port Louis, Mauritius

Country Website