In our latest Zoom meeting we were delighted to be joined live by Rotarians in Mauritius - the first time that we have had anyone from Africa join us in a Zoom meeting. It was fascinating to hear about Mauritius and the work of Rotary in the region.
Our two guests were Dinesh Gageelee & Yusha Luchmun.
Dinesh will be District Governor of District 9220 (covering Mauritius, Reunion, Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Seychelles and Djibouti) for 2021-2022. He is a former Club President and has held various officer positions in District 9220, including those in the field of Rotary Public Image and Communications. He has also assisted the setting up of a number of new clubs.
PP Yusha is a member of the Rotary Club of Grand Baie, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in December 2021. Like us, their club has also been meeting online because of the pandemic.
Dinesh gave us an overarching introduction to the activity of Rotary in his district, while Yusha gave more detail about specific projects after giving us an introduction about his club.
We learned that the Rotary Club of Grand Baie is located in Mauritius and is very much involved with the local community. We learnt about cleft palates (gaps/splits in the upper lip and/or roof of the mouth) and the problems that they can cause - such as feeding difficulties or speech impediment. Other consequences include social, emotional and behavioural problems. Each surgery, including expenses, costs approximately Rs 120,000 (3,400 USD). They hope to target 13 infants in the next 3 years (7 surgeries have already been done). Their long-term hope is to create a cleft care centre in Mauritius.
Their cleft palate project is being carried out in collaboration with Smile Train Association (known locally as Cleft Care Mauritius www.cleftcare.org) and targets children aged between 6 months and 9 years old. The surgeries are performed in India and Mauritius.
You can learn more about the Rotary Club of Grand Baie's projects here (mostly in French).
Picture: Our presenters, Dinesh Gageelee & Yusha Luchmun, with an outline of the map of Mauritius in the colours of its flag. Picture credit: Rotary Club of Canterbury/PIxabay.