Mauritius: Learning about stability

Date: April 13, 2023
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“In 10 years’ time, I still see myself working in the field of gardening and landscaping but also running my own business on the side.”

My name is Estelle and I am 22 years old. I have spent most of my life without a fixed dwelling and I came back to Safe Haven Halfway Home in February 2022.

I have spent around six years of my life at the Rehabilitation Youth Centre (RYC) before moving to live in different regions around the island. Life at the RYC was very secluding, almost like a prison. I was timid during my time at RYC. I am aware of the ‘notorious reputation’ that each inmate at RYC had: ‘they must have behaved badly which is why they are at RYC’. Sometimes, this is far from reality. When I was young, I had been told that my mother sent me to RYC. Hence, I have some sort of a love-hate relationship with my mother. My mother visited me once in a while when I was at RYC and I am still in touch with her today.

I think that my mother regrets what she did to me. I have never known my father; my mother informed me that he had died. My father’s family members try to invite me to family gatherings but I seldom go as I do not know them particularly well. I have three older sisters whom I am not in contact with anymore. Once in a month, I speak to my brother. Being in regular contact with my mother, we are slowly starting to form a new bond. Nonetheless, I wish my mother had not sent me to the RYC. I would have been able to stay at my house and lead a ‘normal’ life today. My mother organised a surprise birthday party for me recently and even invited me to stay over but I refused because I did not feel at ease with her family. I have a bigger place in my heart for my friends. My friends have always been there for me, under various life circumstances and they are my family now.

I have lived in rented premises for a long time, in different regions in the country.

I used to have a very bad temper, partly because I was so angry and frustrated that my mother sent me to RYC. I have been able to cope with the anger better now as my environment is more stable at Safe Haven. I am currently working as a gardener which I love.

I know what I want in my life – I will work overtime, save my money, invest it in my Plan d’Epargne Logement (PEL) account such that I can obtain a house and also buy things that I like such as Adidas overalls. I still believe I need to work on my anger management. I should probably stop teasing or annoying people in a childish manner too. I want to ultimately become a manager at my workplace. I am currently in a happy relationship but I am not for marriages as marriages do not last these days mostly due to lies, lack of trust and infidelity. Whenever I feel lonely, I know my phone would keep me company and I keep faith and pray. I also like to spend my time on social media and enjoy drawing cartoon characters. In 10 years’ time, I still see myself working in the field of gardening and landscaping but also running my own business on the side.