EDUCATION AND REINSTATEMENT
The Petit Verger prison
A nursery within the Petit Verger prison, launched in 2019.
With the help and funding of the Australian Embassy, the GEF Small Grants Programme of the United Nations for Development and the Mauritian government, FORENA has installed a nursery in the Petit Verger prison.
This program provides prisoners with training in agriculture, which can become an asset for their reintegration into the professional and social environment upon their release. Plants from the nursery are already being used for reforestation at the Citadel and Priest Peak.
They will also be used for future FORENA projects.
In all agricultural and biodiversity protection projects, FORENA integrates vulnerable populations. They become the key persons thanks to whom the objectives are achieved. FORENA reaches out to young people, especially in elementary schools and Priority Education Zones (PEZ). They are educated about the stakes of climate change, the preservation of the fauna and flora of the island, and in time about harmonious living between Man and Nature. FORENA organizes planting activities, excursions to discover the fauna and flora throughout the island as well as workshops in the classroom.
The implementation of an environmental education program in elementary schools, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Port-Louis Citadelle and FORENA, as well as Reef Conservation, started in 2008.
The first marine environmental education project for elementary schools served as a reference for the definition of a terrestrial environmental education project in the Black River Gorges National Park. Today, some 130 elementary schools have benefited from this programme, which led to the revision of the curriculum for Environmental Studies.
The environmental education program consists of outdoor activities dedicated to endemic and native plants on the one hand, and classroom instruction with a dry aquarium and posters on the marine environment on the other. Workshops are held for teachers to train them in the use of the equipment, principles of marine ecology, and guidelines on how to implement the environmental garden project. Regular site visits are conducted by representatives of the NGO alongside the Rotary Club of Port-Louis Citadelle and are complemented by sessions on terrestrial and marine biodiversity, water and composting.
The land-based environmental education project of FORENA offers an excursion to Pétrin for 60 children and their teachers. It is part of informal education where children will learn the importance of conserving the unique biodiversity of Mauritius with the reintroduction of an endemic ecosystem in Pétrin which is being invaded by exotic plants. Students from PEZ schools or informal education centres such as Adolescent Non Formal Education Network are privileged. The objective is to break the segregation and stigma caused by school failure. For many of these children this is a unique opportunity to visit Pétrin, which can inspire and encourage them to connect more with nature.
Volunteering by associations
La Citadelle's project allows associations to invite their members to come and discover the site and to participate in the planting and watering of the plants.
Each association is free to agree on a date with the FORENA team, which provides the necessary plants and materials as well as a short introduction and explanation of the techniques being applied.
The association An Angel, consisting of social workers, regularly accompanies groups each month.