Minister Toussaint stresses importance of social inclusion for vulnerable youngsters

A cohort of 11 youngsters from the Correctional Youth Centre received their certificates under the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (Bronze) programme yesterday at the Mauritius Prison Training School in Beau-Bassin in presence of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, and other personalities.

In his address, Minister Toussaint highlighted that the Mauritian youth would be required to give proof of their capabilities and abilities in shaping the overall development of the country. Hence, there is a great need for the youngsters to develop key values such as discipline, determination, patience and tolerance at an early age, with the support and guidance of the elders, he emphasised.

On this score, he underlined that the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award programme opens new avenues of participation in various fields and provides opportunities to the youth to discover their hidden skills, identify their talents as well as build upon their abilities. Moreover, he pointed out that the programme contributes significantly to the wider society in terms of an improved education and social inclusion for youngsters coming from vulnerable groups.

The Sports Minister reiterated that social exclusion is detrimental to the character and personality development of the vulnerable groups particularly juvenile delinquents and youngsters with disabilities. According to him, the youth should be empowered and be taught basic values and principles to help them pick up important life skills.

He also called for an effective follow-up to ensure the reintegration of these youngsters in the mainstream society and urged them to reach for a higher level in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

The Minister also proceeded with another Award Ceremony at the Mauritius Mental Health Association in Rose-Hill where a second batch of 19 students was awarded their certificates under the same programme.

The Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Mauritius, which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, is a challenging self-development programme open to young people aged between 14 and 24.

Over 8 million young people in more than 140 countries and some 50 000 young Mauritians have followed the programme.

The Award concept – with three levels, bronze award, silver award and gold award, is one of individual challenge. It presents to young people a balanced, non-competitive programme of voluntary activities which encourages personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility towards themselves and service to their community.

Source: Government of Mauritius