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Friends of La Balise : 2011 achievements and vision for 2012

The Friends of La Balise committee met for the last time of 2011 year on December 2oth at La Maison de La Balise.

During this meeting, all the stakeholders from the Black-River area were able to take stock of the activities held during the year. A number of initiatives have been taken to promote the concept of integrated development in the region. It led to the setting up of the committee, the opening of La Maison de La Balise in order to build a communication platform between the community and the promoters of the project, as well as a social project and training programme for the people from the Black-River region.

The first series of training programmes within the Social and Development Plan for the area started in September for more than 100 trainees. Moreover, in 2011, five social organisations have received Rs 2.3 million from the development fund at a cheque giving function. The fund will allocate Rs 11 million to be distributed among 9 organisations for a total of 13 development projects over 3 years.

A new "Kalimaye" has been given to the Marathi community and recently a "cyber corner" has been set up to give free internet access to the people of Black-River.

On-going Construction works

Construction works are under way and the first phase of the project is expected to be ready by December 2012. The works also include the enhancement of the infrastructure around
St Martin Canal, roads and drainage systems. The start of construction works for Phase 2 have also been discussed.

Projects for 2012

In addition to the job creation and social development programme, some of the trainees will also be provided with personalised psychological support to address their personal issues. Other social and environmental projects are also being considered.

« Our vision is to provide financial and psychological support, as well as infrastructure, to the people of Black-River for long-term development in the area » said Dominic Dupont, General Manager of La Balise Marina.

This was the last meeting for 2011 and the participants also exchanged Seasons Greetings and New Year wishes.

Guests included : Anabye Crishna and Santaram Suckhoo, respectively president of the Marathi association and community, Jayram Chrisna, a member of the executive committee of the Marathi community, Hervé De Baize, a member of the village council, Father Jean-David Carossio, the priest at the Saint Augustin church, Sister Lucianie Guillaume, Anielle Ducray and Sylvie Gravil from the Pont Tamarinier NGO, Marjorie Auguste representing the parents of Petite-Rivière-Noire, and Marie Loresse Patate, from the" Zanfan amba pié" association.