Founded in May 1965, Caritas Mauritius was then defined as “a work where Charity would be both dedication and competence” by its founders. Caritas Mauritius initially focused on emergency relief services because, in the period following independence in 1968, many families were in distress as the country experienced an acute unemployment crisis and had to cope with all kinds of calamities.
In 2001, following the Diocesan Synod, the Preferential Option for the Poor became the priority of the Diocese of Port Louis. Today, thanks to the support of the diocese and the 47 parishes, Caritas Mauritius works to rehabilitate the poor, the excluded and the oppressed by welcoming them, listening to them, visiting them and accompanying them so that they can regain their dignity and build together a community of solidarity and justice.
With more than 50 years of experience in the service of the needy, Caritas Mauritius is, to date, a network of more than a thousand volunteers serving 50,000 beneficiaries through its listening services spread throughout the island.
Caritas Mauritius groups its actions under three departments:
Accompaniment and Development Service
- Emergency Relief, in the event of natural disasters, provides for the needs of victims in terms of food, transportation, medical expenses and educational assistance.
- 46 SEED (Service d’Écoute Et de Développement) branches which operate by welcoming, listening, accompanying and supporting the poorest.
- 15 Centres d’Éveil des Tout-Petits (Early Learning Centres), which provide sensory and motor skills training for vulnerable children starting in pre-school.
- 1 Community agricultural farm that offers training for a better quality of life and food for the community.
- 64 Functional Literacy Centers that offer a method of learning how to speak, read, write and count.
- The Life Skills Management Programme; training for personal development with psychosocial support that aims to enhance the skills of the trainees.
- The Centre of Learning, a community development service to fight poverty and exclusion through training and support for residents.
- 2 Home Technician Schools to train beneficiaries in housekeeping in a professional setting.
- 1 Pastry School that offers professional courses in pastry and bakery with an internship in a company.
- The Housing Assistance Fund enables low-income families to obtain decent housing, own their homes, or avoid foreclosure through interest-free loans.
- 2 night shelters to welcome and accompany the homeless in their social reintegration.
- The Relais Espérance, Maison Abbé Pierre, provides a family with a temporary apartment to help them save money for their own housing project.
For the realization of its multiple actions, Caritas Mauritius works actively in partnership with state institutions, the private sector, UN organizations and foreign embassies.