Mauritian Diaspora: Kick-off of Youth Diaspora Volunteering Project

Mauritius: The “Pilot Youth Diaspora Volunteering Project’’, entitled ‘Nou Rasinn: Look Forward Give Back’, was presented yesterday by the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, and International Trade, Alan Ganoo, and the Chief of Mission for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Office in Mauritius and Seychelles, Celine Lemmel, during a press conference held at the seat of Coworking in Port Louis.

Mauritian Diaspora: Kick-off of the Youth Diaspora Volunteering Project
Mauritian Diaspora: Kick-off of the Youth Diaspora Volunteering Project Image credit: Facebook

Mauritius: The “Pilot Youth Diaspora Volunteering Project’’, entitled ‘Nou Rasinn: Look Forward Give Back’, was presented yesterday by the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, and International Trade, Alan Ganoo, and the Chief of Mission for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Office in Mauritius and Seychelles, Celine Lemmel, during a press conference held at the seat of Coworking in Port Louis.

The IOM would run the project in Mauritius in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and other Government of Mauritius bodies. The IOM Development Fund will fully fund it with a budget of USD 300,000 and will run for 18 months till September 2024.

At the very outset, Minister Ganoo highlighted that the Government recognises and acknowledges that the diaspora is a valuable asset to the economy, adding that through this project, overseas national assets are being encouraged to contribute to the sustainable socio-economic development of Mauritius.

The diaspora, he said, is expected to become important partners of the motherland for skills transfer, investment and capacity building in various sectors of the economy.

To that end, he recalled that Government has implemented several measures and has enhanced existing mechanisms to facilitate the involvement, engagement and contribution of the Mauritian diaspora to the country’s socio-economic development.

He listed out the establishment of the Mauritian Diaspora Scheme, which was revamped in 2023, the endorsement of the National Policy on Migration and Development in 2018, and the launching of a project with IOM in 2018 as regards the mapping and profiling of the Mauritian diaspora in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Regarding the Youth Diaspora Volunteering Project, Minister Ganoo underlined that it aims to support the Government of Mauritius in engaging with its diaspora and harnessing its valuable potential.

Through this project, the youth diaspora will have the opportunity to connect and contribute to their country of origin, that is Mauritius, and it will therefore strengthen the cultural and emotional ties of young Mauritian volunteers with their country of origin and facilitate their contributions to local/national development, he said.

For her part, Celine Lemmel gave an overview of the project and stated that as part of the framework, NGOs and the private sector have been invited to apply as host organisations through an open call in March 2023. Following this call, a selection committee reviewed the applications, ensuring a fair and transparent process.

Out of the applications received, prospective organisations have been shortlisted to host the incoming volunteers from the Mauritian youth diaspora, she said.

Lemmel announced that the volunteers will be welcomed by October 2023 for three months, adding that calls for applications will be published this month, and specific criteria for each position have been defined based on the required skills, qualifications, and experience.

She further said that the goal is to have 15 to 20 volunteers, aged 18 to 35, join this year’s volunteering project and work in the pre-identified priority sectors requiring expertise, which include environment and climate change; renewable energy and circular economy; education; agriculture and agro-industry; maritime services; aged, disability, and social care; health and medical; and banking and financial Sectors.