Rogers is committed to developing the Bel Ombre region through its umbrella brand. There are three key dimensions to achieving a positive impact and inclusive growth.
#1 Empowerment through learning
Awareness, training, and employment are the three watchwords that form the motto of Bel Ombre. The Rogers Group employs 20% of the region’s labour force through Heritage Resorts and Agrïa, among others. Occupational integration initiatives have also been set up, such as the Heritage Resorts Academy (which provided hospitality training to 15 people in 2020; 11 more students are currently receiving training), support for associations like Caritas for staff training (five people have secured employment with Heritage Villas Valriche), and employee development support and sponsorship programmes. Awareness-raising activities are carried out to turn young people into drivers of environmental change. For example, Reef Conservation educates and empowers people to preserve coastal environments through the Bis Lamer programme.
Through the eyes of Jean Desvaux Geerdharry, Assistant Head Sommelier, Heritage Le Telfair
“The trust that Heritage Resorts, and particularly the trust that Christophe Ramdiane placed in me, helped me to get to where I am today. Heritage Le Telfair funded my hotel management studies and later gave me the opportunity to take a course on wine and spirits. Ever since I have worked with some great sommeliers and developed a taste for competition – I even finished the ‘Best Sommelier of Mauritius’ contest as a semi-finalist! I feel honoured to receive so much support and I hope I’ll be able to give back to the younger generation.”
#2 Combatting extreme poverty
Reaching out to the most vulnerable people in our society is critical to ensuring a lasting positive impact. Substantive work is being done to help those most in need, through the support of organisations such as Foodwise, Caritas, and Lovebridge. Lovebridge provides psychosocial support to 22 families in the area and Foodwise collected Heritage Resorts’ food surpluses to distribute 3,086 meals in 2020, as well as helping 150 needy families during lockdown periods.
Through the eyes of Jannick Ricaud, Caritas – Baie du Cap
“Our support is twofold, to give children a better chance of development. It is based on healthy eating: we welcome the young beneficiaries for breakfast in our centre before taking them to school, providing a balanced meal for lunch; we then welcome infants aged 2 to 3 years old in a nursery-like setting in the morning. This support makes a difference to the children’s well-being while also allowing their parents to work part-time.”
#3 Improving the quality of life for everyone
It is essential to turn the people of this region, distinguished by its history, culture and hospitality, into ambassadors and guardians of the Bel Ombre brand. This requires continuous dialogue with stakeholders in the region, including the fishing community, which is actively engaged in protecting the lagoon in partnership with Reef Conservation and the District Council, which helps identify the region’s primary needs. Co-creation of a vibrant environment that promotes community life, culture and well-being are also essential. This ambition is expected to be realised at Place du Moulin in the form of a community market for artisans and an exhibition venue for artists in the region.
Through the eyes of Ashvin Goorappa, IT Manager, Heritage Resorts
“I was born in Bel Ombre, just like my parents and grandparents before me. This region is our home. I have grown up in Bel Ombre, both personally and professionally. I can’t imagine working anywhere else, because my roots and my family are here. And then, if I moved jobs to Ebene, how would I get home to my mum’s for lunch every day? If you had tasted her masala curry, you would understand why I wouldn’t leave Bel Ombre for anything!”
Bel Ombre’s commitments to local communities directly address ten of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are encapsulated in the Bel Ombre Sustainable Development Charter, which embraces inclusiveness through poverty reduction and inequality alleviation in the region, as well as proactive community involvement in responsible development.