During this month of June 2000 NGO SPES is celebrating its 33rd Anniversary of successful Vocational Crafts Training mainly at grassroots level, for the upliftment of primary school dropouts with literacy difficulties in dire need of special training skills.

Sadly since the SPES foundation in 1967 we have had to dispense creative training skills to counteract this still prevailing early school leavers educational problem. All the same at SPES we are pleased that we were able, on a voluntary basis, to radiate life-long skills to thousands of marginalized adolescents and adults to improve socio-economic conditions.

In fact, throughout the years, several of our grassroots crafts/designer trainees have won Top International Awards, mainly thanks to the SPES advancements in new pedagogical methodologies; seeing that we started using computerized equipment as from 1981 with an electronic photographic enlarger for silkscreening, launched our Training CAD and CAD/CAM Unit in May 1987 in diversified Crafts fields, e.g. weaving, knitting, pottery, etc. and initiated the SPES Website, in 1996, which is still updated monthly by our high-tech team.

In 1997 SPES initiated the first free cybercafé browse learning sessions to bridge the digital gap between the have's and the havenots - 3 year old tots to aged grand-parents were marvelled by the computer novelty!

Todate free cybercafé sessions are still organised regularly at the SPES High-tech Design Unit.

In March 1998 to promote skills SPES carried out video-conferenceing invitation sessions between enthusiastic 12 year olds from Mahèbourg and Quatre Bornes.

At Infotech language scholars in Arabic, Hindi, Gujrati and Mandarin were also initiated by SPES on video-conferencing and on the new techniques of touch sensitive computer screens of eMates from Apple with the hand stylus writing facility were also demonstrated to the public.

Presently SPES engages in dynamic internet contact mainly with the African Region: SEPAC (Small Enterprise Promotion Advisory Council)/SADC, and is fortunate to have join ALC - African Learning Channel - activities of Worldspace.

The SPES objective is still to date, to equalize knowledge access opportunities and to try to provide the best learning / sharing methodologies available, some of which we innovated for grassroots benefit in order to develop creativity and designer products, in appropriate diversified SME fields.

To mark our 33 years of vocational experience NGO SPES is pleased to announce that after one year of applied research on some tropical plants - and the uses of their fibres, we have programmed a colourful relational data-base, with botanical support from the MSIRI (Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute) and under the aegis of MRC (Mauritius Research Council).

We count on our worldwide collaborators continued interaction and support to keep up our global-village spirit and implement the innovative multi-literacy skills project we designed to provide knowledge access for vulnerable "kids at risk" at national, regional and international levels and also to retrain the unemployed with new life long skills.

UPFRONT NEWS - Our end of July update will integrate details and illustrate some of our new vegetal fibre/yarn findings, which could be of global interest to product designers and also to help create employment through "recycling" of human resources and also of materials.

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