An award of certificates ceremony was held, this morning, at the Eastern High Security Prison, Melrose for some 20 detainees and 3 prison officers after completion of a training programme on entrepreneurship in context of the Social Reinsertion and Inclusion Programme for detainees in presence of the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah.
The training programme which has run over a period of 11 weeks, at the initiative of SME Mauritius, aimed at promoting entrepreneurship as a tool for the rehabilitation of the detainees in the society. Several topics were being covered ranging from the creation of start-ups, management, marketing, accounting, human resources, as well as preparation of the Business plan. The programme is complementary to other such programmes offered to detainees in other spheres such as agriculture, bakery and pastry among others.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister Bholah emphasised the importance of giving the detainees a second chance to reintegrate the society. He evoked the need to help those people to overcome the stigmatisation and to take ones destiny in hand with a new start. According to him, the training programme will help the detainees in identifying opportunities that can be developed into innovative social projects. Social entrepreneurship, he further pointed out, offers new opportunities and encourage independence and entrepreneurship whilst solving social issues.
Minister Bholah recalled the objective of such programmes which is to enlighten detainees on creation of a start-up, and business preparation and also to support and encourage them to become entrepreneurs. He also observed that very often detainees faced difficulties in finding a job after their prison life. Hence, he highlighted the importance of such training programmes and reiterated his Ministry's complete support in this endeavour which he said will eventually help detainees to become self-sufficient and financially independent. Such initiatives, he added are vital to improve the life chances of detainees so as to enable them lead a normal life after completion of their sentences.