Hope House is a non-governmental organization in Mauritius with the purpose of social upliftment. While the island is a paradise to some, many locals suffer under the negative impacts of poverty, poor education, lack of opportunities, and unemployment.
Founded in early 2014, Hope House implements three main programs; teaching, training, and mentoring, empowering people in difficult circumstances to create a new future for themselves.
They believe in helping people to help themselves. By doing this, people can make a sustainable difference in their communities both economically and socially. With this in mind, all programs have the aim of self-sufficiency and economic independence. They have already created several opportunities for those whom they are working with and it has been encouraging to see the changes in their lives.
Salt Surfers is a program that creates a safe environment and a positive community where children from disadvantaged areas can belong.
Mauritius being an island offers incredible opportunity for water sports. They leverage young people’s love for the beach to attract them to the program, teaching them surfing and water polo. The combination of the two sports is ideal since surfing is an individual sport and water polo is a team sport. This allows for the expression of individual talent and also teaches them the value of education, teamwork, and leadership.
At present, Salt Surfers is developing a rewards-based policy that considers academic performance at school to qualify for certain privileges associated with these two sports. A surfing/water polo clinic or surf trip would motivate them to want to do well academically so they can enjoy a weekend of fun.
Older kids who show leadership potential to assist us in some of the basic coaching and training. Thereby, they take responsibility and learn how to give something back to the community. This will open up opportunities for coaching clinics and eventually career opportunities for young sportsmen.
HOPE HOUSE CARPENTRY PROGRAM
Through Salt Surfers we have met early school-leavers and provide an environment where they can get a second chance to find a job or even build their own business. We teach them the basic principles of carpentry and furniture design. The products are sold through different channels and the workers are paid hourly, thereby ensuring them a steady income. We also share the profits made from the merchandise with the young men and introduce budgeting and personal finance skills.
Once they are trained they are equipped to work in construction or to produce items to be sold in Mauritius or abroad. For those who show exceptional talent, there would be an opportunity to study further as carpenters at one of the technical facilities offered by the local authorities.