Rosie Le Meme Adventist Nursing Home is a foster care home for the elderly and mentally or physically disabled persons, owned and managed by the Mauritius Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Developments that Led to the Establishment of the Institution
The home was established by a group of Adventist lay members to house homeless and elderly persons. They were motivated by Marcel Catherine, the founder of the home. Some of the group had worked in a hospice which was closing, leaving the elderly residents with no place to go. Supporting Catherine were André Viney, Henriette Noel, Karl Noel, Myrielle Blackburn, Errol Hertogs, Drusilla Hertogs, and Rosemay Guého.1
The group chose to name the home after Adventist pioneer to Mauritius Rosie (Rosina) Le Même.2 The initial stage of the project faced challenges due to financial constraints and the management process. The group borrowed 30,000 rupees from the Mauritius Adventist Mission, and received generous financial donations from church members in order to buy a former dispensary building which they renovated into the home.3 On February 11, 1963, the Rosie Le Même Adventist Nursing Home was registered.
In 1973 the Mauritian government through the Ministry of Social Security started to send its residents to the home and listed it as a charitable institution.4 In 1975 a new extension wing was built and named ‘Foyer Marcel Catherine’ after its founder.
Founding of the institution
The Rosie Le Même Adventist Nursing Home is situated at 77, Avenue Telfair, Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius. The official opening ceremony took place in March 1963, in the presence of the distinguished Dr. Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, Chief Minister of Mauritius (then a British colony), and Yves Reynolds Benett and André Viney, chairman and manager of the new home respectively. The home is open to the Mauritian community irrespective of their religious, social, or cultural background. It is a non-profit institution and is funded mainly through grants from the government and other donors.
When the Rosie le Même Adventist Nursing Home first opened, it welcomed 6 residents. Many years later, the number of residents reached 66 and the number of requests for admission continued increasing. Unfortunately, because of lack of space, it could not accommodate more residents. In 2003, the Mauritian Government voted a law for the protection of the elderly and requested the institution reduce its bed capacity to 41, which is now the maximum accommodated at all times throughout the year. In 2012, 100 requests for admission were registered on the waiting list. Nevertheless, today the home has a bed capacity maintained at 41, served by 18 employees.
The mission of the home is based on the teachings of Jesus found in Matthew 25:34-36, 40 (NKJV) to care for the needy and the homeless.
The home’s main objective is to share the gospel through the quality services it offers its residents. In 2015 Pastor Lewis Frivet conducted a survey among the residents and their relatives to get feedback on the services offered by the home. They unanimously responded positively regarding the services they were receiving. However, there were some aspects that needed to be improved, like the state of the old building and the sitting arrangement.
The Historical Role of the Institution
In 2011, the Executive Board of the Seventh-day Adventist Diocese of Mauritius decided to name the institution Rosie Le Même Adventist Nursing Home to highlight the relation of the home to the Mauritius Conference which sponsors its services.5
From its establishment in 1963 to 2019, more than 3,000 residents have stayed in the home. The Rosie Le Même Adventist Nursing Home provides four meals daily to its residents: breakfast, lunch, tea time, and supper. The meals are based on a semi-vegetarian menu to meet all its residents’ preferences, as 80% are non-Adventists. An additional healthcare service provided includes a medical followup on all the residents. The government of the Republic of Mauritius provides two medical visits to the home per week, and often refers ill residents to hospitals where services are offered free of charge. The home owns a 15-seater minibus with a full-time driver.
The Mauritius Conference has assigned a chaplain who visits the home once a week and on emergencies. The chaplain organizes spiritual meetings for the residents on a weekly basis and provides personal counseling to patients who require such a service. In 2013 three residents were baptized.
Prayer meetings for all the residents are held daily in the morning, midday, and evening. Residents are free to attend. On Sabbath, a special divine service is organized for them. On Sabbath afternoons, the residents receive visits from the church’s Adventurers and Pathfinders Clubs, the Youth Department, as well as Women Ministries and Deacons’ groups of the different churches from across the Island of Mauritius.
In appreciation for its outstanding contribution in providing excellent health care services, in 2014 the Rosie Le Même Adventist Nursing Home received an award from the Mauritius Conference, during the conference’s 100thAnniversary celebration of Adventism in the Island.
Mauritius, like many other developing countries, is facing the challenge of an aging population. In this respect, the Rosie Le Même Adventist Nursing Home demonstrates its willingness to serve the Mauritian community by offering the best social services to the elderly. It is currently working towards refurbishing its facilities. The institution leadership plans to train its existing staff and recruit additional qualified new staff in order to provide better services to the elderly and handicapped.
List of Managers
André Viney (1963); Elsie Michel; Lewis Johnson; Daniel Guého; Sylvain Joly; Norah Michel; Francis Fidélia; Guy Agathe; Carmen Sangaraille (1997-1999); Marie France Lodoiska (1999-1999); Nicole Seenyen (1999-2005); Edna Picton (2005-2010); Marie-NoëlleBosdedore (2011-now).6
“Rosie Le Même Home, Une lumière au soir de la vie, 1963-1988.” Souvenir Magazine, October 16, 1988.
Statutes of the Rosie Le Même Association, registered on February 11, 1963 – Reg. B112 No. 5835. Rosie Le Même Adventist Nursing Home archives, Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius.
“Rosie Le Même Home, Une lumière au soir de la vie, 1963-1988,” Souvenir Magazine, October 16, 1988, 9.↩
Statutes of the Rosie Le Même Association, Friendly Society, registered on February 11, 1963 – Reg. B112 No. 5835 and at the office of the Registrar of Associations under no. 502.↩
“Rosie Le Même Home,” 10.↩
Rosie Le Même Adventist Nursing Home archives, Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius. No records of tenure exist for some the home managers.↩