The Fishermen Welfare Fund has awarded, yesterday, 168 educational scholarships to children of fishermen for the promotion of education within the community of Mauritius and Rodrigues. The scholarship award ceremony, organised by the Fund and the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, was held at the Mauritius Maritime Training Academy, Pointe aux Sables. The Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, was present.
In his address at the ceremony, the Minister stated that education is the gateway to the future and to successful careers. While encouraging the children of fishermen present at the ceremony to aim higher and set ambitious goals, Mr Maudhoo called on parents to support their wards, show interest in their education and guide them to adopt the right path.
The Minister urged fishermen to seize the various opportunities offered by the Fund and the Government, adding that the Ministry will seek additional funds from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, for additional scholarships.
Speaking on the potential of the local fishing industry which now has an annual turnover of Rs 28 billion and contributes a 20% figure in terms of exports values, Mr Maudhoo said that the local fishing industry is poised to become one of the major economic pillars of Mauritius. He also highlighted the accompanying measures and facilities provided to empower fishermen and enable them to further develop their activities for a more dynamic fishing sector.
The Minister outlined a number of schemes put at the disposal of fisheries cooperatives. These include: 50% grant for the purchase of semi-industrial boats costing up to Rs 4 million; 60% grant (maximum Rs 60 000) for the purchase of engines of boats and fishing nets; 50% grant (maximum Rs 200 000) to registered fishermen for the purchase of boats as well as procure the necessary tools and equipment for their fishing activities; and giving a boost to the fishermen community to enhance the financial position of fishermen.
The Fishermen Welfare Fund
The Fishermen Welfare Fund, a parastatal body that operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, promotes the betterment of registered fishermen and their families by providing several services namely financial assistance to the fishermen community. Every year, through its educational scheme, the Fund awards scholarships to children of fishermen based on their academic performance. The scholarships awarded cover secondary, tertiary and vocational courses.
Scholarships (Mauritius and Rodrigues) spread in several categories, are awarded annually by the Fishermen Welfare Fund. Post-CPE scholarship holders get a monthly financial assistance of Rs 375 over five years while post SC beneficiaries are granted Rs 750 monthly aid over two years. Post-HSC holders receive Rs 1 500 per month and vocational beneficiaries are granted Rs 375 monthly, among others.