SOUTHERN HANDICAPPED ASSOCIATION
SOUTH COASTAL ROAD
The Southern Handicapped Association was founded in May 1985, registered with Registrar of Association in 1986 and was affiliated with the Ministry of Social Security In 1987. At that time the Managing Committee comprised of the only ten volunteers members who were elected annually during a General Assembly. Without forgetting that it was the only handicapped Association found in the south of the island. At that very beginning some sport and cultural activities were organized on and off. In 1990 a survey was carried out between the coastal villages of Souillac and Baie du Cap where it was found that there were many handicapped children in these regions who were left to themselves. This consequently led to the opening of a Day Care Centre for these handicapped children at Souillac. A religion body helped us by letting us a building for classroom purposes. Soon after that the American Embassy purchased some pieces of furniture and school materials for our students. On the other hand the United Way helped us with the salaries of two teachers, the MSS and NCRD also helped us with other major expenses. In 1997 our student’s population increased as more students came from the regions of Riviere Des Anguilles, Tyack, Camp Diable and L’Escalier.
Definitely there was a lack of space as our first building could not accommodate all these students thus we had to move to Surinam. With the collaboration of the School of the Deaf a special teaching class was set up and a new teacher was recruited for the deaf students. In the year 2000 a new building was erected at Surinam at our present address that is Southern Handicapped Association Lady Sushil Ramgoolam Special Need School and Day Centre, Coastal Road, Riambel, Surinam. It comprises of an office, a waiting room, three classrooms and some amenities. We are thankful to Trust Fund for social and vulnerable group and Ngo trust Fund, the United Way, the School of the Deaf, Rotary Club of Mahebourg and often donations that always support us. For without them, there would not have been the existence of this new building. In 2002 with the foundation of Espoir and Development we set up our “Atelier Protegee” where the young handicapped after completing the pre-primary and primary courses were given intensive training in the handicraft sector. Our students are now able to make baskets of all sizes, trays, dustbins, and jute bags.
Today we have a “Boutik Artisanal” to market our products. Since January 2004 we have started working in close collaboration with the C.B.R and the EU Decentralized Co-Operation. In 2005, we also set up a Special Need School which was registered by the Ministry Of Education. In 2009, we were affiliated to the CSR. In the year 2010 on the occasion of our Silver Jubilee, we opened a pre-primary unit still being the first one in the south. Our heartful thank to Innodis, Foundation Nouveau Regard Shanti Maurice and A.M.L which are still sponsoring us to stand with our projects. We are also introducing Information and Technology for our students. At the present moment we are caring for about ninety handicapped persons aged between 4-35 years. We are really grateful to all these bodies which always support us, especially the Bio Culture Mauritius Ltd one of the main sponsors, together with MACOSS, with public collection and other well wishers.We decentralize our activities in the year 2012. In fact our centre at Riambel proved to be too compact to cater for the ever growing number of handicapped people appealing to us. We have opened a branch in Plaine Magnien, justly to cater for the need of the people coming from that region.
One main priority for the incoming year is to have a specialized room with qualified carers with all the necessary comforts for the severely handicapped children. For the others we wish to have a vast well fenced, safe playground where they can relax and play during their precious time because television time and extracurricular activities are carefully considered against other activities.
OUR MOTTO IS TO HELP THESE STUDENTS TO BECOME GOOD CITIZENS BECAUSE < THERE IS TIME FOR EVERYTHING, A SEASON FOR EVERY ACTIVITY UNDER HEAVEN>.