Hermínia Ribeiro the deputy director of the Instituto Marquês de Valle Flôr (IMVF) has been on the island of Maio this month. The IMVF became a Non-Governmental Development Organisation (NGDO) in 1988 in São Tomé and Principe. The IMVF is an organisation for development and cooporation and in the 1990’s extended its work to other countries that are Portuguese speaking. The organisation has been supporting initiatives on the island of Maio.
During her visit Ms Ribeiro visited several recipients of the support to monitor progress. She reported that renewal element of the project to promote and renew tourism on Maio was nearly completed. The creation of craft-making enterprises had already resulted in more handmade goods being sold in the shop adjacent to the Forte de São José.
Also the Salt Interpretation Centre is nearing completion and it is expected that this will be a useful addition for the people of Maio and visitors to the island.
Other projects on the island such as the Projeto de Turismo Solidário e Comunitário, which was started 12 months ago, has the aim to improve the living conditions of the people of Maio. It is intended to strengthen and diversify the tourism offer on Maio. Increasing tourism will increase those activities that generate income and are connected with sustainability. This will run for a further two years.
The projects are financed by the European Union, the IMVF and the Portuguese Co-operation and the Society of Tourist Development of the Boa Vista and Maio Islands (SDTIBM).