Strong communities key to productive society


Minister Meriton addressing guests and delegates at the launch of the forum

This was said by the Minister for Social affairs, Community Development and Sports Vincent Meriton at a one-day forum held for community leaders under the theme Our Community, Our Engagement: Together we can.

The event, held recently at the Seychelles Trading Centre conference room, is an initiative of the community development department and sports together with the Liaison Unit of Non- Governmental Organisations (Lungos).

Present at the launch of the forum were the Minister for Natural Resources and Industry Peter Sinon, chief executive of Lungos Steve Lalande, principal secretary for culture Benjamine Rose, principal secretary for youth and sports Denis Rose and principal secretary for social affairs Linda William.

Other guests included Catholic Bishop Denis Wiehe, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly David Pierre and other members, district administrators and community leaders, volunteers and representatives from other departments concerned and involved.

“After the family, community is the most important structure where individuals are raised and taught moral values,” said Mr Meriton, adding it is Seychellois men, women and youth who form the basis of our community and who have the power to decide and act on what is best for it.

He also brought to light common concerns like criminality and substance abuse in communities, stressing the importance for volunteers and designated watchdogs to take on active roles in identifying and preventing this.

The forum – which is in line and a part of the social renaissance campaign launched last year – included presentations on strategic approaches to community engagement and empowerment, a documentary on community leadership and strategies and approaches for private and government sector as well as civil society, group work and general discussions.

Mr Meriton said the aim of this strategic planning is to find innovative ways to give people the power to take responsibility for their own future and added new structures will be incorporated at district level to ease the process.

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