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A: When it is called We Love Mauritius (or WeLuvMu – to use our official name).

This seems to be the opinion of the “powers that be” in Mauritius. Despite the fact that, unlike the vast majority of NGOs, we are a fully registered charity, the following institutions have refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of our organisation:

  • NGO Trust Fund
  • National Steering Committee of the UN Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (try saying that when you are dunk!)
  • National Committee of the CSR Fund

What do all these institutions have in common? In our opinion, they are staffed by people who have relieved senior government officials of the need to use toilet paper. (We cannot deny that they are doing something to save the forests and hence protect the environment.) It seems that NGOs, in order to be approved, have to follow suit. Criticising policies and making fun of political blunders is a definite no-no. Oops! πŸ˜‰

Before the introduction of the 2% CSR tax we were well funded by organisations such as IBL and Currimjee Jewanjee. Afterwards, without the approval of the CSR Committee, we could obtain nothing. This has placed a dark cloud over the future of our main activities. So what do international experts have to say about our flagship project, the MID Video Awards?

Prof Konrad Morgan (Vice Chancellor of the University of Mauritius):

Everyone has done an excellent job so it is hard to decide who is the best but I have made my rankings below [for the winners of the MID Video Awards]. Please pass on my congratulations to everyone concerned and thank you for allowing me to participate.

Prof Francois Odendaal (Consultant & Facilitator to the National Consultation Committee on Maurice Ile Durable):

Thank you very much for the opportunity to be a judge in the MID Video Awards.

What a wonderful experience this has been! I attach a sheet with my comments on the individual films. My general comment is as follows:

I think it is a wonderful idea to have a film festival of short films depicting themes or issues related to a Sustainable Mauritius. This should really be part of the overall awareness campaign for MID. I think films made by a variety of sources are highly effective in moving the consciousness of the nation along the trajectory pursuing sustainability. I think that each of the films I have seen is worthy of broadcasting on national television as part of a film festival – what counts is not so much the technical quality of each film, but the fact that they depict what people think about a Sustainable Mauritius. Considering the scope and diversity of styles they are bound to entertain as a cluster of films, and together they convey the multiple-issues nature of MID – in fact, as a cluster they bring synergy to one another, and should be broadcast as a set. As such it is not very easy to choose between the individual films. They are all little gems.

I believe a film festival such as the MID Video Awards should be used by those in charge of awareness media for MID. It can be part of awareness raising for the policy formulation process. There are many ways to engage such a film festival, including a gala evening, broadcasting on MBC, an at the event that the is being planned for part of the public input. I therefore copy the Permanent Secretary , the Coordinator of the MID awareness programme, the PCO Steering Committee Chair, several MID Operational Committee members, and so on. I hope the potential of an expanded MID Video Awards (and perhaps as more than a one-off event) will be appreciated. With more encouragement, a little guidance here and there perhaps to the producers, and sufficient funding a MID Video Awards initiative should flourish. The links are below if they are interested in watching the videos.

My own role of General Facilitator of the policy formulation process is rather limited and my current engagement a temporary one that will soon come to an end. The pursuit for a Sustainable Mauritius is of course a continuing one, and so could the MID Video Awards be a continuing feature – at least for a few years.

After 15 months of banging our heads against a brick wall, we have decided to change tactics and bang other people’s heads together instead. It is now one year since we made our first complaint to the Ombudsman, so we thought it was high time that he read his job description, as laid out in the Constitution of Mauritius. Under threat of us requesting the President to order a tribunal to investigate the Ombudsman’s failure to perform the duties of his office, he is finally beginning to act.

If you don’t particularly enjoy orally cleansing bureaucratic anuses, try writing letters like ours: