Following Circular No 832/61 of 17th July 1961 from the Secretary of State for the colonies and the felt need of all institutions including statutory bodies and voluntary organisations working for the welfare of the society at large, the Mauritius Council of Social Service was founded in November 1965. From a social service coordinating body, MACOSS has evolved into a Council of NGOs dedicated to social services and sustainable social development.
The Council was incorporated under Act 55 of 1970 voted in Parliament thus providing it with the appropriate legal framework.
A dynamic focal point and platform of the Non-Governmental Organisation Sector and Civil Society to promote sustainable development.
As an umbrella organization for NGOs, MACOSS seeks to promote social and community development and voluntary actions through non-governmental organisations. It strengthens its members by initiating communication and collaboration and networking among NGOs and between NGOs and Government and the private sector primarily through meetings, workshops, consultations and institutional development activities. MACOSS also facilitates its member organisations and strengthens their organisational capacity.
(a) To promote voluntary/charitable activities, community and social development in Mauritius, in particular, the advancement of social education, the furtherance of health and the relief of poverty, distress and sickness.
(b) To promote and foster co-operation in the achievement of the above purposes by bringing together representatives of the statutory bodies and voluntary organisations engaged in the furtherance of the above purposes.
i) To stimulate and promote economic, social and cultural activities for the advancement of the community.
ii) To assist in the planning and coordination of the activities of member organisations.
iii) To organise workshops, seminars, conferences and training courses for voluntary social workers, personnel of voluntary organisations, non-governmental organisations and professionals to strengthen their organizational and managerial capabilities.
iv) To co-ordinate the activities of NGOs in emergency and natural disaster activities and programmes.
v) To collect, diffuse and share information pertaining to adult education and development in particular.
vi) To promote, encourage and undertake experimental work.
The Council at the Annual General Meeting is the Supreme Body.
The Chairperson is elected for a one year mandate. The Council at the Annual General Meeting elects 1/3 of the Executive Committee members for a three-year mandate. One-third of the elected Executive Committee members retires annually and is re-eligible for election.
The Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day management of the affairs of the Council and the implementation of its programmes and policies.
Standing Sub-Committees assist the Executive Committee in its various tasks.
As at end of January 2016, 368 organisations were affiliated to the Council.