Barlen Vyapoory was the High Commissioner of the Republic of Mauritius in South Africa with accreditation in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, and the SADC. Over the last six months, since his appointment, Barlen has strived to establish strong relationships with the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, and with High Commissioners and Ambassadors posted in South Africa for furthering the interests of Mauritius. He took an active part in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in December 2015 and he successfully organized the National Day Celebrations on 12th March 2016. He also actively participated in the Buyers and Sellers meeting organized by Enterprise Mauritius in Durban and Johannesburg in March 2016. He is currently engaged in making the twinning of the “Robben Island Museum” and the “Le Morne Heritage Landscape” a reality.
Barlen holds a BSc Honours degree in Agriculture from the University of Mauritius, an M.Ed degree from the Sam Houston University, USA, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Curriculum Development from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He has attended a number of short-term courses related to the teaching of English, Science and the Environment in Mauritius and abroad.
He has had a successful career as a Senior Lecturer at the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) from 1976 to 1995, the year in which he took early retirement from the MIE and joined active politics. He was a candidate of the Mouvement Socialiste Militant (MSM) party in the Grand Baie/Poudre D’Or Constituency in the 1995 general elections. From 1996 onwards, Barlen then pursued occupations where he is at his best, namely education. These occupations included part-time lectureship at the MIE, Organisation Mondiale pour l'Education Préscolaire (OMEP), and the Bel Ombre Foundation. He has been actively engaged in conducting interviews as well as preparing and presenting Educational Television programmes for the former Mauritius College of the Air (MCA), broadcast on the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).
As an active member of the Plateau Toastmasters Club and Secretary of the English Speaking Union, he strived to bring a touch of excellence in the practice of spoken English.
As advisor to the Minister of Education and Science from 2002 to 2005, his satisfaction lies in his humble contribution to the laudable infrastructural improvements brought in the secondary school sector through the construction of 35 new schools in the short time span of 4 years.
He was part of a team that successfully conducted a training course in Leadership and Management for the senior staff of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life in 2010/2011. He was also a member of the team that successfully conducted a training course in Employability Skills organised by the Ministry of Finance in 2014.
Barlen had a leading role as President of the MIE Academic Staff Association, the Royal College of Port Louis Old Boys Association, and the University of Mauritius Alumni Association.
Barlen has also contributed in many ways to the cultural landscape in Mauritius through his active role in the organization of cultural activities at the workplace and in social institutions. He has a rich record in the field of theatre, having acted in and produced a number of plays in English, French, Creole, and Tamil, winning a number of awards as Producer and Best Supporting Actor.
He is a member of the Tamil League since 1969, where he has served as President in 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, and 1986 to 1988. In 1987, the Golden Jubilee was successfully organized under his chairmanship through a number of activities including the visit of devotional singer S. Govindarajan, the renowned author M.P. Sivagnanam, and the staging of the play “The Anklet” in English. In 2012, Barlen produced the play “Anjalay” as one of the activities marking the 75th Anniversary of the Tamil League.
He was a member of the Mauritius Tamil Temples Federation for a brief period in 1982 when he was the secretary of the National Committee set up to celebrate the 100th Birth Anniversary of the Tamil Poet Laureate Subramania Bharati.
From his young age, Barlen has been associated with the ‘Siva Soopramaniar Kovil’ in Verdun where he served as President in later years. Barlen entertains very friendly relations with a number a Tamil Associations across the country to which he has offered his services whenever required.
In life, Barlen is passionately interested in cultural activities that uplift the human condition, in astronomy, and in comparative religion. His personal engagement also revolves around the major challenges facing the present generation, including climate change, poverty, drug abuse, and alcohol addiction. He believes, as do the majority of Mauritians, the solution lies in providing appropriate holistic development, knowledge, skills and human values at all levels in the child’s developmental path. Academic education should be complemented with creative outlets, as well as motivational workshops on a variety of themes including personal development, in order to develop character, acquire the scientific temper, connect to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values, as well as cultivate 21st Century skills necessary for the future of the Mauritian nation.
Barlen is a family man with high moral standards. He is married to Sarojini and they have a daughter, Anjali.