Made in Heaven

Opportunities for marginalised women in Mauritius – Isabelle Trubshaw

Mauritius is a paradise island, flourishing with natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. However, this utopia is facing significant challenges. As an isolated island, Mauritius is exposed to greater climate risks than the global average. Every day, we witness the escalating adverse effects of these changes, such as rising temperatures and sea levels, coastal erosion, and coral bleaching.

The made in Heaven project, first initiated in 2009, aims to address these issues by targeting the tourism industry, which remains primordial for Mauritius’ gross national income.

This project follows a sustainable approach of upcycling materials and creating handmade crafts with added value. Each craft has a direct link to Mauritius’ thriving culture and environment.

Some examples include:

  • Models of the traditional Pirogue (a fisherman boat)
  • Sand Jars
  • Magnets and keyrings
"We employ a variety of recruitment methods. Primarily, we advertise the training in Village Community Centers across the island. During these sessions, women can sign up for 1, 3, or 6-month courses. While some may drop out, the majority stay for the entire duration of the program."
Mr. Kheswar Beeharry Panray
Founder & President

Through these creations, the environment is often directly addressed, symbolising the biodiversity on the island through the artistic recreation of the reefs, lagoons, and forests found in Mauritius. The crafts are sold all over the island, revealing the sustainable initiative behind the project to both locals and tourists who encounter the crafts. This widespread exposure encourages much-needed education about the need for sustainable change on the island to ensure its preservation and survival. Simultaneously, it leverages the tourist industry while keeping Mauritius’ vibrant culture at the heart of its creativity.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit the workshop myself, where women have been manufacturing handmade value-added crafts for 15 years. During the visit, we learned how to make some of the handmade objects and spoke to the women about their experiences over the years. This first-hand experience highlighted the dedication and passion behind the Made in Heaven project and reinforced the importance of sustainable practices for the future of Mauritius.


‘I really like the local aspect of the crafts that we are producing. Knowing that my work is not only benefiting me, but also supports environmental conservation is incredible. I also love how these crafts represent the island. I feel proud to be part of this project.’
Begum Meeaajun
"I joined this training for 3 months. Living alone, this opportunity allows me to meet new people and learn new skills. I thoroughly enjoy it."
Begum Meeaajun

By exclusively employing local, marginalized women from across the island, this project aims to alleviate poverty in Mauritius. These women are provided with a defined purpose beyond household tasks, allowing them to secure their rightful place in society. Moreover, and most importantly, it promotes a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of earning a living.