Economic reform projects get funds


A souvenir photo of guests with representatives of the various groups who have been awarded grants

Representatives of each group signed agreements for the grants to implement their projects during a ceremony held last week at the conference room of the Liaison Unit for Non-Governmental Organisations of Seychelles (Lungos).

After the launch of the 2008 economic reforms, Lungos created a safety net, where NGOs and other groups could apply for a grant to carry out projects in focal areas like economic empowerment, mindset and attitude, and capacity building.

This year is the fourth one where Lungos is taking part in the economic and social reforms with the support of the International Monetary Fund.

At last week’s ceremony the chairman of Lungos Bernard Elizabeth said their decision to take part in the reforms was based on the need to help their vulnerable citizens navigate through the reforms safely and avoid becoming casualties of it.

“Lungos decided to therefore embark on an empowerment programme aimed at capacity-building through skills training and re-training of citizens to enable them to start their own small business or take up employment where job opportunities exist,” he said.

“I thank the NGOs for responding to the call for proposal, which this year saw 19 projects being submitted, but not all of which could be approved due to the limitation of funds.”

This year the eight groups whose projects have been approved are: Nature Seychelles (Building accredited skills in vulnerable groups in Seychelles to improve livelihoods and market entry); Nou La Pour Ou (Attending to and empowering children with behavioural problems); GemPlus (My future in my hands: capacity-building for unemployed youths); Scouts Seychelles (Adventure and Discovery - Introduction to scouting and sustainable living holiday camps in August and December 2012); Les Li Viv (A sure start for unsupported teenage mothers); ASFF (Empowering unemployed individuals with child-minding skills); Centre D’Acceuil de La Rosière (Vocational and skills programmes); and the National Council for the Disabled (Improving livelihoods in households accommodating people with disabilities).

The Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development Idith Alexander, who was also present at the ceremony, said that the government found it necessary to strengthen the various safety nets to mitigate the effects of the reform on the community.

“The Leve Debrouye programme initiated by my ministry was in line with the Economic Reform Social Programme (ERSP) project’s objective of empowering people to become economically independent, self-sufficient, creative and innovative,” she said.
“The government is now encouraging the civil society to partner in the social renaissance programme. The fourth cycle of the ERSP will contribute to this effort, as the projects selected will have a beneficial social impact.”

Various success stories were presented by Lungos representative Michel Pierre.
A testimony was also given by Andy Leon, a young man who has benefited under such projects, where he has learned to make hand-made jewelry and now has a skill he can use to try to earn a living. He also had samples of his work for those present to admire and also buy.