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annual general meeting

 

Fondation pour L`Enfance-Terre de Paix

Director’s report for 2015

A.  Institutional functionning 

a. Committees

The managing has been able to meet in conditions conducive for good participation despite difficulties from a few members.

b. Advisory committee. 
We have pursued the tradition of organizing activities combining the thinking and leisure. The overall participation of the staff has been reasonable with an improvement in the level of team spirit over the year.

c.  Website
There has been much involvement in writing articles at all units and in this respect, 87 articles have been published on our blog this year.

d. Other media
We were present in the media in particular in connection with the launching of the nursery in Flacq

B.  Employment/skills /capacity development 

(a) Employment/skills 
The organisation has been employing 95 persons in 2016 out of which 11 were resource persons. The system of performance appraisal has been used and is now part of our tradition 

(i) At administrative level, there has been in and out and we have not been able to achieve our objective due to inability to hire the appropriate person. 
(ii) We have introduced a system of staff supervision under the guidance of Dr Kavi Vadamootoo. This has proved useful in managing the personnel. The staff has moreover found the benefits of this system both personally and for their work. 
(iii) We have recruited staff whenever there have been departures except at the social services whereby replacement has not been carried out for economic reason and decrease in workload. 
(iv) We have continued to promote the idea of upward mobility for the staff whenever possible. 
(v) There has been quite a number of recruitment in the context of the opening of the nursery at Flacq. 

(b) Capacity development

(i) All the MQA courses kept on running smoothly. It is expected that the first batches will end toward the end of the first term of 2016. 50 participants out of the initial 63 are still on the courses ((17 alternative care, 7 special needs e 26 early childhood). 
(ii) We have further developed our module on learn through play with the inclusion lf the psychodynamic approach. The course has welcomed persons from outside the organizations such as staff form the Ombudsperson office and CEDEM as well. 
(iii) Courses in psychotherapy have ended for the first batch in September 2015. Out of 10 persons enrolled, 6 have completed the course, 3 have left work and one has been on maternity leave. This first bach has also completed a course in art therapy this year. A second batch of 10 persons has also been enrolled on the course in psychoanalytical thinking and art psychotherapy. These courses are due to end in February 2017. 
(iv) One instructor from the special school is currently on the special need course at MIE while 2 others have started a validation program of prior learning run by the MIE and the MQA. 
(v) Courses have had to be adapted in the context of training needs for the personnel of Flacq. 


C. Partnership with the state 

1.  ministry of Gender Equality, Child Protection and Family Welfare

a. 7 children were admitted during the past year, 5 have been reunified. We have worked with 52 children in all at our residences in 2015. 
b. It took time to see things taking off with the advent of the new minister but we managed to establish the appropriate relationship with her.
c. The government had set up a fact finding committee on shelters and this committee submitted its report with quite a number of good recommendations. We are now awaiting their implementation. 
d. The committee on mentoring did not meet for a whole year except on December 2015. This year however, there has been two meeting s held up to now.
e. Government has increased the capitation grant for residential care by 50% as from July 2015.

2.  Ministry of Social Security

The NGOTrust Fund did not launch any particular action this year and apart from their routine audits. 
The organization continued to benefit from the grant-in-aid.

3.  Ministry of Education

a. The ministry did not organise any meaningful activity for us this year.
c. No follow-up was done on the issue of special needs education curriculum.
d. At preschool level, we maintained only administrative relations.

4. NEF

This institution has shown the extent to which it has been dysfunctional during the year 2015. The parent ministry appeared even to try to bypass it. 

5. Minister later/lanvironnman

The arrival of a new minister has coincided with their approval of the landscping project at the river bank of CED Albion. The works are yet to start however.

D. The services
1.  Fostercare and youth home projects

i). We started year 2015 with 46 children at our 8 residential homes and we ended the year with 46 children. We had 7 new admissions and 5 reunifications.
 
ii). Some of our homes have shown instability as a result of change of foster families, behaviour problems and inability of foster parents and care givers to cope adequately. We have however managed to bring back the situation under control each time. 

iii). The youth home for boys became quite hectic to run in view of the rebellious nature of the adolescents and some shortcomings at the level of the youth leaders. We have had to add up on resources as regards security issues. 

iv). We had to bear with the departure of the social worker and the transition period with the new social worker. All the training programs on Wednesdays have been running well together with the weekly visits and the supervision system. 

v). We have continued to work with biological relatives of children and 5 children have been reunified.

vi). Children in need of psychotherapy have been identified and an appropriate program has been put in place with therapist trained by Dr Kavi Vadamootoo.

2. The Special Needs School (Atelier du Savoir)

a. The school

The general situation was quite hectic with fregards to behaviour problems. Some specific children were really out of control resulting in great instability. We have just started to resort to the psychodynamic approach for both the staff and the children. 

i). We started the year with 52 children and ended with 55.
ii). The general theme for the year was ‘soil’ and all activities were linked thereto. 
iii). At the level of staffing, we have recruited a new instructor in creativity and at the social services level, with the departure of the social worker, we have upgraded an instructor to the post of social worker. 
iv). The measures in place have worked well in relation to activities with children and parents.
v). We had sucessfully put up a music group which perfomed well at Club Med. this initiative has suffered from the departure of many children. 
vi). The wood workshop was involved in all the repairs at all our settings and even in the fabrication of some furniture for Flacq nursery. 
vii). The project of educational farm could not be persued further. 
viii). The 16+ program has been revisited for the placement of children at companies. 6 children had been placed but unfortunately, only one has succeeded. Much had to do with conditions at the place of placement itself. 

b. Servis sosial outreach

Adjustments were made at staff level. This service has focused its action on: 
(i) Intervention at school as regards support and follow-up in connction with behavior problems and absences. This work showed limits with regards to low interst of parents. 
(ii) Sustaining the management of backyard farming through an increase in the number of beneficiaries (132). The innovation this year has been the introduction of mushroom cultivation (165). 37 beneficiaries are still in the laying hen project.
(iii) Holding of activities with children with children in the regions of Camp Levieux, Barkly and Mangalkhan. Apart from Mangalkhan, the programs went on well. The same program has been replicated this year in Albion.

3. Early childhood centre (Albion)
a. Direct services to children

The early childhood centre has continued to show a big sense of ownership by the Albion community. 
1. Specifically,
i). Up to 79 children were taken care of at the preschool. 
ii). The nursery was packed to capacity at all times with 21 children.
iii). We have welcomed 63 children at the primary school follow-up program. 
2. All the programs and the pedagogical methods used were kept on good levels with a conclusive experience in terms of handling children with behavior problems. This benefitted from the support of Dr Kavi Vadamootoo. 
3.The infrastructure was well kept despite the need for increased supervision. The photovoltaic project worked out well and had continued to bring in financial resources. 4.The staff was showing some signs of burn out but measures were taken accordingly. .
5. All the other running mechanisms such as weekly meetings, meetings with parents twice per term with training, pedagogical outings and other programs went on well. 

b.Outreach social services

Actions already in place were sustained:

i) Work with parent in connetion with absence of children and behavior problems.
ii) Suppot to children with special need and parents in need of these services (special educatin schools, hospitals, speech therapist, social secutity office) 
iii) Micro-projects in connection with  (a) evaluation of the laying hen project (b) sustaining the family farming project and a new edition of a best gardening project contest (30 persons participated in the contest) (c) sustaining the interest of persons in the mushroom project. 
iv) Follow-up of the solar bulb project 
v) Follow-up of the crafts project with around 10 women. 
iv). Follow-up of the families in the food-aid program to ensure that they are making the necessary efforts especially in connection with the self-help projects. 
v). Follow-up of 63 primary school children once a week and twice weekly during holidays. 

4. Early childhood centre Kids R Kids 

We had to replace the officer-in-charge at the end of the year as a result of the resignation of the incumbent. This took place smoothly. It is worth noting that: 
i) The enrolment has been on an average 12 children 
ii) The project has shown its usefulness with regards to the difference it makes on children as compared to lack of stimulation of they experienced before coming to the nursery.  
iii) We worked with the mothers as well to a good extent.
iv) The year ended with the departure of Mr Jean Bruneau who was very supportive of our action.

5. Early childhood centre Les Mirabelles Grand Bay

We have been able to keep up the standard of care despite issues in connection with the change of officer in charge. An appropriate formula was worked out and applied with good results. The service ran on the basis of:
i). remaining at all time at full capacity (maximum 33 children) with a waiting list of around 18 children on an average.
ii)There was no real issue with the maintenance of the infrastructure. 
iii)The programs were well in place and functioned well.
iv) The replacement of the officer in charge went on smoothly during dthe maternity leave of the incumbent. 

6. Early childhood centre La Valette

i) Nursery
a.  this facility worked out well to capacity (36 children) and with a waiting list. This shows the trust parents have developed in our services.
b.  There have been some staff departures and new arrival occurring quite smoothly. 

ii) Preschool
a. The activities stood up well.
b. 35 children were enrolled last year
d. we started therapy programs with children with serious behaviour problems. 

iii) Primary school follow-up
The program started low grade in the beginning but by the end of the year, 12 children were already enrolled and appeared very interested therein. 

iv) The infrastructure
The yard has been well kept.
As for the building, the NEF has not responded well to find solutions to structural problems and we have had to take over. 

v) Work with parents
i) There have been many initiatives toward parents. Meetings with young mothers, crafts initiative, literacy were programmed. Responses have not met our expectations but they have not deterred us in our work. 
ii) Some parents have benefitted from follow-up and support in connection with special treatment for their children. Good results were obtained despite the continuous need of sustained effort form our part. 

7. Early childhood centre Les Mirabelles Flacq

This facility was launched in 2015 following the conclusive experience at Grand Bay. Fondation Antoine Tsia Lip Ken has been the funder for the whole project. The services have started in good conditions. The facility has a capacity of 60 children and the immediate target is kto reach out for 30 children. 25 children have already been admitted. 

8. The Senses Park (Jardin d’éveil)

The challenge for 2015 was to continue to improve this facility. 
a. We had to struggle a lot with the staff to keep up the standard. 
b. Attedmpts were made to interest tourist operators with poor results however. 
c. We managed to have the Orchid society for a sale even which went on quite well. The follow-up of this even had not produced expected results however. 
e. 2135 persons visited the park in 2015.  
f. Permission for the use of underground water had been tedious but will soon be obtained. 
g. Fondation Club Med has shown interest all through in the project and has contributed once more for the production of a pedagogical booklet. 

G.  Networking

a. We have continued to work with MAA (mouvement pour l’autosuffisance alimentaire),  FAREI  (ex AREU) (Food and Agricultural Research Extension Institute) for training and mushroom project.
b. At international level we have continued to develop our contacts with the Switzerland university for social work  and the universy of danmark 
c. At regional level, we participated in a colloquium on parenthood organised by the CAF (caisse allocation familiale) of Reunion Island. This was an enriching experience of sharing with the participation of 7 countries.  

H. Placement students

Students have continued to be sent for placement by foreign Universities. 
We have welcomed 16 students from Danmark and Switzerland all through the year. 

J.  Finance and sponsorship

i) This sector has been witness to a major change by the abolition of CSR guidelines. We have been placed in an insecure position as far as priority areas are concerned. 
ii) Fortunately the State has increased the capitation grant for residents from Rs252.18 to Rs378.27 .
iii) Grant from the NGO Trust Fund has increased from Rs612,845.00 to Rs696,192.00.
iv) New residence project: the women and children in distress fund was solicited without success.
v) Fondation club med: Following our accreditation to Fondation Roi Beaudoin through Fondation Club Med, follow-up actions were carried out in connection with fund raising for the project.
vi) Follow-up was carried out with other CSR companies. SBM has favourably accepted to fund the Albion Early childhood project to the tune of Rs2M this year. 
vii) There are still concerns as regards funding at La Valette. 
viii) Gamma, FAIL and BCE has renewed their support despite a decrease in their CSR funds. 
ix) The partnership with Fondation Antoine Tsia Lip Ken has allowed us to secure the sum of Rs868,431.00.
x) Initiatives taken to secure sound equipments have proved fruitful following proposal from Mahen. Impact production has indeed provided us with good standard sound equipments.
xi) In view of the fact that a particular bank will no longer provide interest on our accounts, we shall have to act accordingly.

Conclusion 

We have continued to grow up in 2015. This was made possible mainly through the funding from Antoine Tsia Lip Ken Fondation. Our services are now available at three major regions of the country.

We did contribute to the Vellien fact finding committee on the issue of alternative care and many of its proposal result from our advocacy. 

We started, in 2015, with the implementation of another approach in connection with behaviour problems of children. Our first batch of trained therapists has started therapy with children and supervision with the staff.  The introduction of art therapy this year is yet another landmark in terms of pedagogical and developmental innovation in Mauritius. 

In 1999, the staff list of Terre de Paix consisted of no more than 3-4 persons. Today with a staffing of 95 persons, we may well be the largest social organization in Mauritius. This is both an object of pride and concern. The issue of sustainability is indeed real. 

To conclude, I would like to thank all members of the committee for their big support they provided us in the achievement of our goals. I have a special mention for Mary and Mahen who have been with us so much in running of the organization. 


Alain Muneean
20.03.16