|This site has been set up by the Ilois Support|
[IST], registered with the Charity Commission
under reference 1087561.
The Trust supports the Ilois population based
on the islands of Mauritius and Seychelles.
|It is the intention of the site to raise global awareness of the struggles that the|
population of the islands face, and those currently living in Crawley, England as
they battle the UK Government for their right to reclaim their homeland and
|Ilois Support Trust [IST] is the only British charity set up exclusively to provide assistance to the Chagossian population of Mauritius. Since early 2000, when IST was founded, the volunteer management has managed to raise funds to meet |
social need in the Chagossian community and to build the skills and organisation
of the Chagossian leadership.
There are approximately 8,000 people living in Mauritius, born on, or children of
parents born on one of the islands in the Chagossian archipelago, the largest of
which is Diego Garcia, now known as one of America's most important military bases. The Chagossians (also known as the Ilois -'islanders') make up a severely impoverished and marginalized community within Mauritius. Until 1971, they populated Diego Garcia, Peros Banhos and Salomons atolls, many families tracing their origins on the islands back into the early 19th century. Having done a deal in 1965 with the USA to "let" the island for use as a military base, the British Government of the day in Parliament and public denied the existence of an Ilois population and then spent six years removing that population to Mauritius where they were dumped in run-down slum properties.
The disgraceful mistreatment of the Chagossians became public in 2000 thanks to the tenacity of Olivier Bancoult of the Chagos Refugee Group (CRG) and his supporters who fought and won a legal battle with the British Government.
On 3 November 2000, the High Court ruled that the Government acted unlawfully in removing the population of Diego Garcia. The current Government have accepted
that view' and feasibility studies are now under way with a view to enabling
the Ilois to return to one or more of the Chagos islands, though not Diego Garcia
itself which continues to be an important US military base.
In the meantime, the Chagossians remain on the margins of Mauritian society,
socially excluded and extremely poor. Living conditions for many families remain
cramped and inadequate to cope with the extremes of heat and rain that
characterise Mauritius' climate.
Unemployment is at 60% compared with the national figure of 4% (men) and 11 % (women). Illiteracy rates, only 15% in Mauritius as a whole are 45% amongst the Chagossians. Excluded from work, education and the possibility of a decent livelihood, many younger members of the community have turned to negative coping strategies; national problems of drug abuse and alcoholism are dramatically worse amongst the Chagossians, prostitution is rife, and suicide rates are very high.
This project and the work of IST in general seeks to provide opportunity for learning, skills development and employment for the Chagossian youth in particular.
Donald Anderson, Chair of Foreign Affairs Select Committee said: "It's clearly been found that there was an indigenous population, that the government of the day was wrong, and that successive governments from the middle 1960s have colluded in that."
| Olivier Bancoult |
of the Chagos Refugee Group (CRG)
and his supporters
who fought and won a legal battle
with the British Government
On 3 November 2000
|To use the Trust Fund for the welfare, education, |
training and cultural re-establishment of the
|1||The Trustees shall apply the income, and may at their discretion, apply the|
whole or any part of the capital of the Trust Fund for the welfare, education,
training and cultural re-establishment of the Ilois.
|2||The Trustees may grant assistance to the Ilois through the agency of other|
|3||In carrying out the trusts declared by this deed, the Trustees shall have|
special regard to the long term welfare of the Ilois community whether in their
country of their present residence or in the Chagos Archipelago.
|During construction of the site the charity |
can be contacted at the following address:
The Ilois Support Trust
53 Court Rd
Phone No: 01883 342902
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Site Last Updated
13 Feb 2008
Errors and Omissions Excepted
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