We are happy to share with you our interview with Joelle Allet Ponnen Fundraising and Marketing Manager at SOS Children’s Villages Mauritius.
Learn more about this amazing NGO!
Joelle, could you tell us more about SOS Children’s Villages Mauritius. What are your missions?
SOS Children’s Villages is a global federation working to protect and care for children without or at risk of losing parental care. SOS Children’s Villages Mauritius is a nonprofit organisation which exist since 1989. Today, we improve the lives of children without or at risk of losing parental care, young people and families in pockets of poverty, effecting change in the communities where we work.
At SOS Children’s Villages, we commit to identify the most suitable care option for every child according to the child’s best interests and in close partnership with partners and stakeholders. We support youth development and empowerment families towards self-reliance. We also advocate for the rights of all children, young people and their families.
We observe international child rights instruments like United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nations Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Our priorities are to:
- Provide accommodation and care to children victim of abuse, neglect and abandonment referred by the Child Development Unit.
- Provide continuum of care for children at risk (prevention, early intervention, short/midterm intervention, long-term intervention, aftercare support).
- Empower the youth through life skills and employability skills training.
- Support and empower vulnerable families at risk.
- Provide access to education (early childhood, preprimary, primary, secondary and vocational education).
How many children do you have and what are their background?
Our target group consists of children who have lost parental care and those who are at risk of abandonment or whose basic rights are not being fulfilled.
- 100 Residents aged between 2 to 18 years referred by the Child Development Unit, in our two SOS Family Care Centers.
- 237+ Vulnerable families nationwide, are supported in our community empowerment project to get out of poverty.
- One pre-primary school in Curepipe, welcomes 55 children living in some deprived regions of Curepipe and who receive transport, breakfast and a hot lunch among other services.
- 600+ vulnerable children/youth are supported towards Education: remedial and secondary tuitions, vocational trainings and at tertiary level, Youth empowerment: Life skills development, workshop and youth camps on ICT and connectivity/ career guidance.
In these difficult times how does the NGO survive? What are the challenges?
At this pivotal moment, the donors’ behaviors are changing. The Covid-19 crisis has hugely impacted Mauritius and funding is not immune. Unfortunately, with the first and second lockdown, we witnessed a reduction of CSR contribution by half budget. Although we are supported by the Government through the National Social Inclusion Foundation and Capitation Grant, under project proposal/write up, it covers only half the budget of the organization. With such financial challenges, we need to find alternatives and prioritize our program responses to ensure optimum use of available resources and sustainability of our actions.
There is a need to have a more structural approach with regards to mental health and psychosocial support to our beneficiaries. For this we need to have staff with specific skills and specialize services.
Increasing the level of awareness about the protection of child’s rights and child safeguarding features to donors, corporates sectors and the public will be beneficial to the children’s cause. The component of digitalization within our work is becoming more and more vital, unfortunately the cost attached is huge.
With the money collected from Scott Home Delivery Fundraising Program will you be able to upgrade the facility in Beau-Bassin? How?
This year, with the support of Scott & Co Ltd through Scott Home Delivery Fundraising Program, we shall be able to purchase water tanks for our SOS Family Based Care setting situated in Beau Bassin. As the children under our care reside in the facility 24/7, the water shortage is causing inconvenience to our beneficiaries and storing water in the water tanks will be a great solution. This will improve the hygienic condition of our beneficiaries.
We welcome the initiative of Scott & Co Ltd and on behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and children, we are very thankful to all those who have made this project a success.
What individual can do to help SOS Children’s Villages Mauritius? What do you need?
Hermann Gmenier- Founder of SOS Children’s Villages once said “It’s easy to do good, when many people help.”
At SOS Children’s Villages, we are aiming at providing individualize pedagogical interventions to our beneficiaries. Please help us to help others.
Non- Financial support:
- Volunteering (Educational support/Tuition/Therapists/Counsellors, ‘Use your skills’- Maintenance work such as Woodwork, plumbing, electricity), etc.
- Donation in Kind: Foodstuff, school materials, hygiene kits.
- Employee engagement (cleaning, fun day, developmental activities, etc.)
Sponsor a Child, a House or an SOS project, through:
- A one-off or sporadic donation
- Regular contributions by bank standing orders.
- CSR (our registered NCSRF no. NCSRF/2017/0131).
State Bank of Mauritius Ltd: 62010100066902
MauBank Ltd: 101000072290,
JuiceBy MCB 5988 26 46
Cheque to the order of ‘SOS Children’s Villages Mauritius’.
Mr Christiano Arlanda- Deputy Managing Director: 455 0821 / 5494 2141
Mrs Joelle Allet Ponnen- Fundraising and Marketing Manager: 455 0821 / 5975 1620