Children and staff from four children’s homes on Mahé were happy to welcome First Lady Linda Ramkalawan and Employment and Social Affairs Minister Patricia Francourt who visited them yesterday.

First Lady Ramkalawan and Minister Francourt used the visits to the President’s Village (Port Glaud), La Solitude (La Misère) and Foyer de Nazareth (Anse Etoile) whose residents were joined by those from the Foyer de La Providence (St Elizabeth, Victoria), to bring gifts and greetings for the festive season from President Wavel Ramkalawan and also interact with the children and staff.

Accompanied by high officials from the ministry, the visits are a tradition for the festive season.

The local media met up with First Lady Ramkalawan, Minister Francourt and their delegation on the last leg of their visit at the Foyer de Nazareth. The boys aged between 5 and 16 years old interacted with the visitors before entertaining them with a Christmas song. Then Sister Roseline Vola, in charge of Foyer de La Providence (St Elizabeth) and Sister Jeannine Ravoniniaina, in charge of Foyer de Nazareth, accepted the presents on behalf of the children. The gifts are to be opened on Christmas day.

There were also gifts for children of the other two homes.

First Lady Ramkalawan and Minister Francourt thanked the sisters for what they have been doing and continue to do to care and help the children grow up to be good citizens.

“We know that the children are in good hands and today is the chance for us to show our appreciation and gratitude to what you have been doing. Continue with the good work and we know that God will continue to send his blessings upon you as the work that you are doing comes from your heart,” Minister Francourt said. 

As for First Lady Ramkalawan, she said: “We know your work is not easy, it demands a lot of passion and tolerance and I also would like to thank you for all that you are doing for the children and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I hope to come and visit you more often in 2022.”

On behalf of the two homes, Sister Jeannine thanked everyone for bringing joy to the children and staff.

She added that the fact that their work is being valued will motivate them to give more to help the children grow and become respectful hardworking citizens.

Beryl Laboudallon, director for social services, explained that the activity is a yearly event for the social affairs department as it receives donations from generous donors.

She added that as State House will not be able to host its annual Christmas rendezvous with the children as a result of Covid-19, it has been an honour to partner with the President’s Office through First Lady Ramkalawan, to meet and greet the children and offer them their gifts.

She added that the ministry will follow the different children’s homes to ensure that the children are enjoying a high standard of living.

It is to note that the chief executive of the National Council for Children (NCC), Yasmin Umarji, was present during the delegation’s visit at the President’s Village.


Patrick Joubert