- LIFE 320 Ecology
- NR 150 Oceanography (Section 2)
In honor of being in Mauritius on their Independence Day, this program provides the opportunity to understand the significance of the holiday and a chance to participate in the celebration.
This program is a voyage across a different era of Mauritius; discover its rich history and evolution as you travel across the island, get to know its magnificent culture, unique folklore, and local delicious cuisine…
From the port, drive through the central plateau to the town of Beau Bassin to meet children from our partner NGO, Abaim.
ABAIM is a non governmental organisation founded in 1982. It proceeds from the setting-up of a support front during a heroic strike of the Blind Persons at the Lois Lagesse Centre in 1982. Since its very inception, the organisation has taken up the rights-based approach in the conception and realisation of its aims and objectives. Its functioning rests on philosophical and democratic principles underlying any struggle to bring about a more humane society. Abaim is composed of around fifty full-fledged members including Blind or Partially-sighted Persons working in sheltered employment, in open employment or now as retired persons. The other members are all volunteers most of whom have followed the Blind Person’s issue and other social issues with a keen interest since 1982. They have actively supported and participated in house to house visits to Blind Persons, leisure activities such as outings, empowerment of the Blind Persons in terms of sensitizing them as to their capacity of standing on their own and have actively supported social and cultural actions in favour of other needy persons. While still supporting the Blind Person’s cause, the organisation has now focused its action on the vulnerable children’s cause through a social and cultural rights’ perspective. It has, in this respect, articulated this action with the collection, preservation and dissemination of elements of the intangible heritage of Mauritius. This has led to the development of a number of pedagogical materials practices aimed at the overall development of children
Here, you will participate in a flag-raising ceremony, exchange with local children, and a ravanne workshop. The ravanne is a large tambourine-like instrument used in sega music of Mauritius, which has been classified UNESCO intangible heritage since November 2014. While learning about the fabrication to the mastering of this instrument, you’ll engage with children from different social, ethnical backgrounds which symbolizes the family picture of their diverse population.
From Beau Bassin drive to the driest coast of the island, Albion, to visit the garden; ‘LE JARDIN D’EVEIL of Terre De Paix, where you will awaken your senses and learn about endemic species to indigenous species which can be/was seen in Mauritian backyards. Experience traditional games which span more than 3 generations such as la marelle (similar to hopscotch), vavang and others.
About Terre de Paix- LE JARDIN D’EVEIL
The Terre de Paix Foundation for Childhood was founded in 1979 and cares for the most vulnerable children, without discrimination, from the disadvantaged communities of Mauritius. Approximately 200 children including about thirty boarders, as well as their parents, receive support from Terre de Paix, which currently has children’s homes, childcare centres, nursery schools, a specialised school ‘Atelier du Savoir’ (knowledge workshop) and an educational garden named Le Jardin D’Eveil. From its base in Albion, it sets up organisations to help educating children as well as monitor their circumstances, including their health and nutrition, in various towns on the island. The children’s educational garden of Albion focuses on cultural fulfilment, exploration of the biodiversity and the cultural heritage of the country. In 2013, the Club Med funded the construction of the Terre de Paix educational garden at Albion where children from all over the island of Mauritius can develop their senses and sensitivity to art and nature with a teaching course. The Foundation has been supporting the development of its educational activities from its inception. The children’s educational garden of Albion, uses a combination of ecology, creativity, games of days gone by and cultural expression in a beautiful space at the heart of nature. Based on the principle that a child needs to be stimulated in an amusing way that incorporates every one of their physical, mental and emotional dimensions. In this regard, the ‘stopover itineraries’ are a useful way of starting initiatives and providing educational support. In addition to the endemic garden, the nursery and the facilities for exploring art and cultural heritage, there are some individual tools, such as the booklets, which are used by each child to understand the process better and retain the benefits for longer.
From here, you will have the opportunity to experience a typical Mauritian picnic lunch at the seaside while you will have your lunch seated on a beach mat.
On the way back to the port, stop at the Champ de Mars racecourse, which was a military training ground until the Mauritius Turf Club was founded in 1812, making it the second-oldest racecourse in the world. Mauritian independence was proclaimed here in 1968.
Typical Mauritian Picnic Lunch
Note, the itinerary may be operated in reverse order, closer to date we will decide if we will begin with Champ de Mars or end with Champs de Mars.