Mauritius: The Safe Haven Halfway Home project

Date: February 26, 2019
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In September 2017, Gender Links (GL) officially launched the first halfway house in Mauritius. The aim of the halfway home called Safe Haven Halfway Home (SHHH) is to shelter abused and homeless young women and their children. The setting up of SHHH has been possible through a grant provided under by the National Corporate Social Responsibility Foundation. There has been an urgent need to set up such a halfway home in Mauritius as there is no shelters for young girls aged 18+ who are homeless.

Existing shelters are meant for women victims of violence but do not cater for homeless girls. As soon as young women who have been living in shelters reach the age of 18, they have to leave. Homelessness is one of the main problems faced by these young girls since they have no relatives and nowhere to go. It is to be noted that some of them have spent their childhood and their lives until the age of 18 in shelters.

These children have low levels of education and are in low skilled, low paid jobs. The halfway home provides the following services to the residents:

  • Counselling and psychological support: Residents in need of psychological or psychiatric medical help receive assistance from qualified medical professionals. The shelter manager and the house coordinator attend the medical sessions with the resident and follow up is made with the private doctor.
  • Empowerment programmes through: Life skills; health and hygiene; art therapy, literacy and numeracy, and planting. During the first three months of the programme, residents of SHHH have been given training on self-esteem and hygiene. Art therapy and planting have been used as techniques for healing and growth of the residents of the SHHH.
  • Education programmes: Alongside boosting up the self-esteem of the residents, the project is also geared towards the educational training of the young adults to ensure that they get a decent job.
  • Economic empowerment programmes: Planning, keeping a budget, opening a bank account and saving money. Residents of SHHH have been able to save money which they have earned by working in private companies. There is an urgent need for the residents to save more money so that they can buy or rent a house to live. The aim of the project is to enable the residents to be economically independent and increased self-esteem.
  • On the job training: Through different stakeholders so that residents can find a job and be autonomous when they leave the half-way home.
  • Objectives

GL Mauritius is using the SRHR workshops to acquire support for the Safe Haven and to lobby for more shelters for young who are homeless or experience abuse. This is priority SRHR concern in Mauritius.




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