YUVA and Special Olympics Mauritius sign MoU to Promote Intellectually-Disabled Mauritians in Sports

For YUVA the creation and promotion of the concept of Generation Unified is a priority.

YUVA and the Special Olympics Mauritius (SOM) signed an MoU this afternoon with the purpose to seek mutual partnership between the two parties to create and promote the concept of Generation Unified where people with and without intellectual disabilities come together through Special Olympics Mauritius sports programmes and the engagement of Mauritian youth.

Areas of collaboration

  • Introducing and supporting exchange programmes between the two parties for the benefits of children and adults with and without intellectual disabilities to exchange information, knowledge and expertise;
  • Engage in dialogue and initiate capacity building to facilitate the integration of persons with intellectual disabilities in the professional and social life;
  • Engage in youth empowerment to create a disabled friendly environment; and
  • Encourage the concept of Generation Unified through networking and social media strategies.

YUVA and Special Olympics Mauritius both proclaim their unanimous support and affinity to each other with the vision of a disability-inclusive society where everyone are valued on equal basis.

About Special Olympics Mauritius

President: Mr. Jean Marie Malepa
National Director: Mr. Satyagan Sinha Choytun
Responsible for Youth Activation: Kritish Kumar Nudurchand

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Special Olympics Mauritius advocates for the respect, empowerment and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities of all ages including youth. SOM aims at investing in youth to become leaders and change makers who will have a collective ability to break stigma and transform their communities. At its level, SOM has developed a youth forum where issues relating to youth with intellectual disabilities are discussed and solutions are found.

YUVA lance son application mobile

Afin d’accompagner les nouvelles pratiques en matière de téléphonie et d’être toujours plus proche de vous, nous vous proposons une application mobile gratuite pour vous permettre d’accéder, depuis votre téléphone, aux infos pratiques sur les actions et les animations de notre ONG.

Ce nouvel outil permet un accès aux évènements solidaires proche de chez vous ainsi qu’une information régulière sur les actions de solidarité menées par l’ONG.

Avec le lancement de son application mobile, YUVA marque une nouvelle étape dans le développement de son organisation. Afin de faciliter l’accès au site de YUVA, son Président, Krishna Athal met son site à la portée de main de tout le monde en créant son application mobile.

« La majorité des gens utilisent un Smartphone et l’internet mobile est devenu un outil indispensable dans la vie de tout le monde. Plus de 50% de la population mauricienne utilisent un Smartphone. Donc je me suis dit pourquoi ne pas créer une application mobile pour faire connaitre YUVA auprès de plus en plus de jeunes », a déclaré Krishna Athal, le président de YUVA.

Cette application mobile offre à l’utilisateur la facilite d’avoir accès à nos activités qui n’arrêtent jamais d’être mis à jour, aux évènements que nous organisons, à nos galeries photos et vidéos, à nos articles et aux informations sur l’ONG en question. L’application a pour objectif de faire mieux connaître YUVA auprès du grand public mais également de faire connaitre nos offres d’emplois.

L’application, développée par Ashwin Ramlall, est très user friendly. L’application à l’image du site officiel de YUVA : simple, intuitif et fonctionnel. Très utile pour surfer depuis son téléphone.

« Je n’ai que 20 ans et j’ai eu la chance de développer une application mobile et de mettre en avant mes compétences grâce à YUVA », a déclaré le programmeur de cette application mobile. En effet, Ashwin a rejoint YUVA comme stagiaire depuis un mois. Il entamera bientôt ses études en Information Technology à l’Université de Middlesex. « Lorsque Krishna m’a demandé si je pouvais développer cette application, j’avais des appréhensions mais je n’ai pas dit non car je l’ai pris comme un défi. En tant qu’amateur, je suis très fier de mon premier projet au sein de YUVA. »

Cliquez ici pour télécharger l’app

27 October: World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

“We have 10 to 15 years left to transfer available audiovisual recordings to digital media and prevent their loss. We need to join forces to change the situation – for it is of the utmost importance that this recent history be understood and shared not only for issues of identity and affiliation but also for a clearer grasp of relationships and challenges in contemporary societies.”

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

Audiovisual documents, such as films, radio and television programmes, are our common heritage and contain the primary records of the 20th and 21st centuries. They help to maintain the cultural identity of a people; but countless documentary treasures have disappeared since the invention of image and sound technologies that permit the peoples of the world to better share their experiences, creativity and knowledge.

All of the world’s audiovisual heritage is endangered. Nowhere can it be said to be preserved, but through initiatives such as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage and the Memory of the World Programme, the precious work of preservation professionals is given impetus to manage a range of technical, political, social, financial and other factors that threaten the safeguarding of our heritage.

It was in this context, that the General Conference in 2005 approved the commemoration of a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage as a mechanism to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.


Sound recordings and moving images are extremely vulnerable as they can be quickly and deliberately destroyed. Essentially emblematic of the 20th century, our audiovisual heritage can be irretrievably lost as a result of neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence. Public consciousness of the importance of preservation of these recordings must be engaged and the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is intended to be the platform for building global awareness.

The 33rd session of UNESCO’s General Conference adopted 33 C/Resolution 53 to proclaim 27 October as World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, in commemoration of the adoption, in 1980 by the 21st session of the General Conference, of the Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images.

While the Recommendation has helped to raise awareness of the importance of our audiovisual heritage and has been instrumental in ensuring the preservation of this often unique testimony to economic, political and social development for future generations, more efforts are needed as audiovisual recordings are particularly vulnerable and require special attention for their long-term security. The anniversary of the adoption of the Recommendation is considered a timely opportunity to launch a movement in recognition of the benefits of the preservation of audiovisual heritage.

Activities and events that take place during the day include:

  • Competitions, such as a logo contest, to promote the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage;
  • Local programs organised as a joint effort between national film archives, audiovisual societies, television or radio stations, and governments;
  • Panel discussions, conferences, and public talks on the importance of preserving important audiovisual documents;
  • Special film screenings.

Source: United Nations

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2016 is now open for entries; submissions can be made until 1st May 2016.

The overarching theme for 2016 is ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, which is also the 2016 Commonwealth Year theme, and a topical theme for today’s youth. Both Senior and Junior topics give young people the opportunity to think about aspects of the theme such as: the significance of community; the importance of diversity and difference; the question of belonging; the values of tolerance, respect and understanding; and the sense of shared responsibility that exists within the Commonwealth today. The topics are a chance to develop critical thinking and to express views in a creative manner.

Read the Senior and Junior topics.

For more information about the competition, please visit Terms and Conditions and Frequently Asked Questions.

Information on how to submit an essay can be found here.

Open to all Commonwealth citizens aged 18 and under, our essay competition offers young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to make their voices heard on a global platform, to engage with issues important to them and to express their aspirations for the future. Each year, participants demonstrate their ability to stimulate and provoke discussions about important Commonwealth and global issues from a young person’s perspective and to showcase their critical and creative skills.

History of the Essay Competition

The RCS has a rich history of nurturing the creative talents of young people around the Commonwealth. We endeavour to promote literacy, expression and creativity among young people by celebrating excellence and imagination. Run by the RCS since 1883, this international schools’ writing contest – the world’s oldest and largest – is a highly regarded and popular international education project which we run in partnership with Cambridge University Press.

In 2015, the contest was renamed ‘The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition’, in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s role as both Head of the Commonwealth and Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

Read about the 2015 winners.

Yale Young African Scholars Program

The Yale Young African Scholars Program (YYAS) is a high-intensity academic and leadership program designed for African secondary school students who have the talent, drive, energy, and ideas to make meaningful impacts as young leaders, even before they begin their university studies.

YYAS brings together students from across Africa in this seven-day, residential program and helps prepare them for the demanding application process of attending university in the United States. YYAS is an official program of Yale University.

Summer 2016 sessions will be held in three locations:

Ghana: 29 July – 4 August
Rwanda: 9 – 15 August
Zimbabwe: 20 – 26 August

There is no cost to students to participate in the Yale Young African Scholars Program.

The 2016 Yale Young African Scholars application is now available! Click here to apply now.

Deadline to apply is 31 March, 2016 at 11:59 EST

Learn about the:
2015 program in Rwanda and Zimbabwe >>
2014 program in Ghana and Ethiopia >>


MENA Regional Youth Advocacy Workshop on Global Citizenship Education (GCED)

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) will organize a MENA regional advocacy workshop on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) for young people from 12 to 16 December 2015 in Amman, Jordan.

Organized in partnership with the Generations For Peace, the workshop aims to build the capacity of dynamic young leaders from the MENA region to foster peace using the core components of GCED. The three-day advocacy training will build on the outcomes of the ‘Seminar on the Role of GCED in Fostering Youth Peace builders’, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York from 10-11 September 2015. At the Seminar, youth advocates, educators, experts, NGOs and international organizations explored the root causes and different forms of youth violence; identified aspects within GCED that could be used in preventing and building resilience to violence, hatred, intolerance and conflict; and learned from existing programmes around the world for prevention of conflict and violence targeting youth.

On 25 September 2015, world leaders gathered at the UN Summit for Sustainable Development and adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This workshop will provide participants with a global platform to discuss with other young leaders how to ensure the successful achievement of the  development goals for a more equal, just, prosperous and peaceful world by integrating concepts of GCED into peace-building practices at the local, national, regional and global levels.

Attending participants will be asked to identify specific aspects of GCED and advocacy, reflecting on the global challenges around violence and insecurity. Working both individually and in groups, the young people will expand on these topics, devising advocacy goals and strategies for use at local, national and regional levels. Participants will also engage in information sessions and workshops at the training to support them in this task, on areas such as ‘Advocacy tools to build strategies’, and ‘Bottom-up planning for advocacy campaigns’.

Approximately 50 participants, between the ages of 18 to 24, will be selected on the basis of their past/ongoing engagement and future commitment in educating youth at the local and national levels around GCED. Participants must have a minimum of two years’ experience in youth advocacy activities, an understanding of GCED issues and priorities, and a proven record of influencing change at the local or national levels.

Applications (in English or Arabic) for the Youth Advocacy Training must be received by 30 October 2015 (Midnight, EST), and successful applicants will be notified on 6 November 2015 (EST). Travel and local expenses will be covered for all successful applicants. This Workshop is supported by the Educate A Child.

Volunteer as Photographer

Photography serves to define the window through which we view, interpret, and communicate our societal ideals and problems.  It guides our understanding of beauty and pain, of joy and sorrow, of accomplishment and struggle.  A photograph can be a call to action, or a call for contemplation. Photographs are capable of altering our perception of the world that surrounds us every day.

We believe that a single image can define our organisation and convey our mission to the public in a manner that no other medium is capable of doing alone.

Do you want to give back to the World by volunteering your time and services to help us?  By connecting with our needs and your passion of photography, we shall be a powerful team whereby you will gain experience and exposure while we shall gain professional quality imagery to use within YUVA.

Images may be worth 10,000 words, but the best ones leave you speechless.

Humans are visual.  We rely heavily on our sense of vision to guide us through life.  Our emotions and judgment are permanently intertwined with our visual senses.  It is through imagery that photographers attempt to build connections with the audience.  Likewise, it is through the use of imagery that YUVA will build a connection with its audience.  We firmly believe that the power of imagery to make these connections cannot be underestimated.

Who we’re looking for

YUVA is looking for experienced amateurs, semi-professional, and professional photographers living in Mauritius who are willing to volunteer their skills to assist National and Local projects.  All photographers must at a minimum have a DSLR camera and a kit lens.

Why you should join

The one thing that joins all photographers regardless of skill level is a love for the challenge inherent in creating an image.  By volunteering with YUVA you will get the chance to work with a non-profit organisation on a wide variety of projects – each of which will present unique challenges and opportunities in an environment that encourages the development of your own artistic vision.  By becoming our volunteer photographer your photography projects gain a new purpose by directly supporting your community and our causes.  We work to ensure that all our photographers are given complete access to the people and events that they photograph thus creating new educational opportunities that will make anyone a better photographer.

What you agree to 

As a photographer for YUVA, you are responsible for creating quality images on projects which you are working. In general, we expect our photographers to deliver a minimum of 100 pictures during a project. Photos should be submitted in a maximum period of 48 hours.This gives us a variety of images to select from for use in their social media campaigns, marketing materials, brochures, fund raisers, etc.

Your rights

By agreeing to photograph for YUVA you are granting us a worldwide, irrevocable editorial license to use your photographs in support of our mission. YUVA will give credit to you as the original creator of the images for all uses of your work.  As the photographer, you retain all copyrights to your images taken during any of the events that you shoot.

Excited to change the World through your DSLR? Please fill out the form below

16 October: World Food Day

What is World Food Day?

World Food Day is a day of action against hunger.

World Food Day is a day of action against hunger. On October 16, people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. Because when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number in the world is zero.

World Food Day celebrates the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Canada. First established in 1979, World Food Day has since then been observed in almost every country by millions of people.

In North America, grassroots events and public awareness campaigns engage diverse audiences in action against hunger.  From hunger walks and World Food Day dinners to meal packaging events and food drives, there are many ways for people to be a part of solutions to hunger.

Each year, advocates come together to raise awareness and engage Americans and Canadians in the movement to end hunger. Led by the FAO Liaison Office for North America, the World Food Day USA & Canada Network  includes over 60 organizations, universities and companies that are working to achieve a zero hunger world.

YUVA District of Port Louis celebrated Easter with babies, youngsters and old people of Missionary of Charity at Roche Bois through the distribution of food. (Photo: YUVA/Luckkana Ghaneswarsing)
YUVA District of Port Louis celebrated Easter with babies, youngsters and old people of Missionary of Charity at Roche Bois through the distribution of food. (Photo: YUVA/Luckkana Ghaneswarsing)

Why care about hunger?

Because the right to food is a basic human right.   In a world of plenty, 805 million people, one in nine worldwide, live with chronic hunger.1 The costs of hunger and malnutrition fall heavily on the most vulnerable.

  • 60% of the hungry in the world are women.2
  • Almost 5 million children under the age of 5 die of malnutrition-related causes every year.3
  • 4 in 10 children in poor countries are malnourished damaging their bodies and brains4

Every human being has a fundamental right to be free from hunger and the right to adequate food. The right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child has the physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement.5

Because we can end hunger in our lifetime. It’s possible. The world produces enough food to feed every person on the planet. In September 2000, world leaders signed a commitment to achieve eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015. MDG #1 is eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and includes three targets.  Since then:

  • Forty countries have already achieved the first target, to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015. 6
  • In addition, over the past 20 years, the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half, which means about 17,000 children are saved every day.7
  • Extreme poverty rates have also been cut in half since 1990.8

The challenge is significant, but these results show us that when we focus our attention, we can make big strides.

Because the cost of neglect is too high. No one in the world should have to experience hunger. In addition to the cost of human suffering, the world as a whole loses when people do not have enough to eat. Hungry people have learning difficulties, are less productive at work, are sick more often and live shorter lives. The cost to the global economy because of malnutrition is the equivalent of US$3.5 trillion a year.9  Hunger leads to increased levels of global insecurity and environmental degradation. Ending hunger is not just a moral imperative, but also a good investment for society.

Because it can happen to anyone. Even in the U.S., one of the richest countries in the world, one in seven Americans – 14.3 percent – does not have enough to eat.10 Nutritious food can be expensive, making a balanced diet a luxury for many. Loss of a job, a family tragedy, poor health, or an accident can make anyone, anywhere, go hungry in a moment. Globally, extreme climate events, war, or even financial crisis can dramatically affect a person’s ability to feed themselves and their families. Without social safety nets, resiliency measures and good policy in place, these small and large events can set off a cycle of hunger and poverty.

YUVANs of Vallée Pitot donated food to some needy families across the Vallée Pitot region for the Eid Festival. (Photo YUVA/Ben Ally)
YUVANs of Vallée Pitot donated food to some needy families across the Vallée Pitot region for the Eid Festival. (Photo YUVA/Ben Ally)

The 35th observance of World Food Day, which this year will commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of FAO, will be celebrated at Expo Milano.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Director-General of FAO José Graziano da Silva will be joined by the President of the Republic of Italy and the Italian Ministers for Agriculture and Foreign Affairs for the official opening ceremony.

Falling in an opportune moment, just after the Summit in September 2015 and before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21), World Food Day promises to be one of Expo’s most important events. It will be a unique opportunity to send a strong message to young people – the Zero Hunger Generation – on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to engage them in the challenge of sustainably eradicating hunger and poverty over the next 15 years.

The official ceremony will commemorate FAO’s 70th Anniversary and address the theme for World Food Day 2015, “Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty”, and how this links with the UN theme for Expo 2015, “The Zero Hunger Challenge · United for a sustainable world”.

Highlights of the ceremony will include the official presentation of the Milan Charter to the UN Secretary-General, a manifesto that engages all citizens in the fight against undernourishment, malnutrition and waste, while promoting equal access to natural resources and sustainability. The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, where Mayors worldwide commit to coordinating international food policies, is another important legacy document that will be presented. In addition to the keynote speakers, the Heads of IFAD and WFP will speak during the ceremony and guests will hear a few words from Pope Francis.

Other World Food Day events on 16 October with the participation of the UN Secretary-General and FAO Director-General include “Zero Hunger Generation”, an interactive question and answer session with students exploring the crucial role that young people will play in achieving the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and “Finance for Food”, organised by the Italian Ministry of Economy and IFAD.

YUVA was at Grand Bassin for the distribution of food during the Maha Shivaratree 2015 festival. (Photo: YUVA/Luckkana Ghaneswarsing)
YUVA was at Grand Bassin for the distribution of food during the Maha Shivaratree 2015 festival. (Photo: YUVA/Luckkana Ghaneswarsing)

What is social protection?

Any policy or program designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labour markets, diminishing people’s exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to manage economic and social risks, such as unemployment, exclusion, sickness, disability and old age. Today about 75% of the 795 million undernourished people in the world live in rural areas. Effective social protection programmes in such areas, where agriculture plays a vital role, include cash transfers, vouchers, insurances and in-kind contributions.

Why is social protection key to ending hunger and poverty?

Providing people with nutritious food is not enough. Without social protection, poor communities are at constant risk of hunger and poverty, especially when faced with a crisis or shock of any nature. By incorporating social protection programmes into national development strategies and policies, governments can provide greater income stability and ability to manage risk, thus contributing to reducing poverty and food insecurity in the longer-term. In fact social protection is high on the 2030  Agenda for  sustainable development and considered an important means to achieving the Goal of ending poverty within the next 15 years. It is also at the heart of the Zero Hunger Challenge promoted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

World Food Day: Building a movement to end hunger

Leading figures in the global fight against hunger gathered at the Milan Expo to celebrate World Food Day, marking the 70th anniversary of the foundation of FAO with appeals to speed up efforts to eradicate hunger and improve the way food is produced and consumed.
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva thanked the world’s farmers, fishers, forest workers and other food and agriculture workers for their contribution to the “amazing achievement” of increasing sustenance from all even as the world population tripled since 1945.

With around 800 million people still suffering from undernutrition, two big challenges lie ahead, he told assembled dignitaries, including the President of Italy, the President of Slovenia Borut Pahor, and Queen Letizia of Spain, who is FAO’s special ambassador for nutrition.

“First, we must quickly translate increases in food availability into better nutrition for all. Second, we must accelerate the shift of food production and consumption towards truly sustainable systems,” Graziano said.

“Good nutrition is one of the best sources of economic growth and it contributes to peace and stability,” he added.

Referring to this year’s World Food Day theme ‘Social protection and agriculture – breaking the cycle of rural poverty’, he noted that “production and economic growth alone do not solve the problem, if the hungry remain excluded. India, Brazil and Ethiopia and other countries show us that increasing the power of the very poor to buy food offers an affordable key to hunger eradication.”

“Industrialized countries did the same to end widespread hunger after World War II,” he noted. “The food stamps programme in the U.S. is one of the best examples.”

Social protection allows the hungry to “become empowered to escape hunger through their own efforts, thus lead dignified and productive lives,” he added.

“Hunger is more than a lack of food – it is a terrible injustice,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his address. “We are here to build a global movement to end hunger. We have to forge new partnerships and create better ways of working.”

The UN Secretary-General emphasized the scale of food waste and loss, estimated as around a third of all the food produced globally. “People everywhere know that waste is a disgrace,” he said.

Papal praise for FAO’s focus on social protection

Pope Francis said in a message that hunger is due to both “iniquitous distribution of the fruits of the earth” and inadequate agricultural development, which he noted made FAO’s mandate more urgent than ever.

Francis warned that lofty ideals would not suffice as iniquitous distribution generates violence in one form or another. “Perhaps the real question is whether it is still even possible to conceive of a society in which resources are held by the few while the less favored are obliged to collect only crumbs,” he said.

Basic income supports can boost the resilience of the most vulnerable people and allow them to make better use of their meager resources, which in turn can allow everyone to understand the “proper meaning of the sustainable use of natural resources,” he said.

Joint action and personal commitments

“Food and water are the universal language of human beings,” said President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, FAO’s home since 1951, said in his opening speech at World Food Day.

“Feeding the planet is inseparable from the word ‘peace’,” the president said. “Only joint action can assure food security and the sustainable use of natural resources. Unilateral action does not lead to success.”

Other speakers at the event included Italy’s foreign and agriculture ministers, International Fund for Agricultural Development President Kanayo F. Nwanze, World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and the mayor of Milan Giuliano Pisapia.

Success in achieving the world’s new sustainable development goals- and becoming the Zero Hunger Generation – ultimately depends on all people and not just governments, Graziano da Silva said in offering praise for both the Charter of Milan and the EXPO fair’s food-centered theme. Individuals can celebrate World Food Day by making “personal commitments, for instance to eat healthily, cut food waste and help others,” he added.

   (Source:  United Nations, FAO, WFD)    

[1] FAO. (2014) The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2014. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

[2] UN ECOSOC. (2007) Strengthening efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, including through the global partnership for development. Geneva: United Nations Economic and Social Council.

[3] FAO. (2012) 100 days to Rio +20, 100 facts: Making the link between people, food and the environment. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

[4] 1,000 Days. (Accessed July 2014) The Issue: Malnutrition.

[5] FAO. (Accessed July 2014) Right to Food: About Right to Food. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

[6] FAO. (Accessed July 2014) The Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

[7] United Nations. (2014) The Millennium Development Goals Report. New York, NY: United Nations. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/post-2015-mdg/news/detail-news/en/c/238394/

[8] United Nations. (Accessed July 2014) We can end poverty. New York, NY: United Nations

[9] FAO. (2013) The State of Food and Agriculture, 2013: Food Systems for Better Nutrition. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

[10] USDA. (2014) Household Food Security in the United States in 2013. Washington, DC: Economic Research Service / United States Department of Agriculture.

Driving a Wedge Between Democracy and Politics

Following the recent shenanigans happening in what we call our National Assembly, I really am left wondering whether the politicians – the men and women who have taken the oath to lead and rule our country, the same people who have dedicated their lives to making our country a better place – are at all even remotely interested in leading by example?

Have they become so immersed in their roles as ministers, members of Parliament and public servants in general that they have momentarily forgotten that their fellow countrymen (i.e. Mauritian society) are watching from the side-lines?

More importantly than just generalising this into the ‘general public’, our youth are watching. Whether they actively take an interest in the world of politics or not, they are watching and learning inadvertently what is deemed to be ‘normal Mauritian behaviour’. More than just watching and laughing at the antics, because that is what they can be chalked up to, they are demonstrating similar behaviour and somehow this surprises everyone, how ill-mannered and rebellious the youth are nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming this solely on our politicians, but perhaps it’s time to realise that the youth do learn from their older counterparts and as of now, the older, supposedly wiser counterparts, are showing a very poor example indeed.

More than just a poor example, the lack of good governance we are attempting to instil in our youth will potentially create a pattern of vicious cycles when in 10 to 15 years’ time, the new leaders continue this unacceptable behaviour. What exactly are we trying to tell the youth of the country? What are we communicating to the leaders of tomorrow? That it’s ok to not only disrespect your fellow man and woman alike but that it’s ok to carry on in such a manner in what is deemed to be one of the highest offices of the land? What kind of example are we trying to give the youth of the country when we allow such poor behaviour to take place in the heart of our democracy? Not a very democratic lesson, that is for sure. Kind of a cruel, twisted paradox to fight so hard for, isn’t it?

The kneejerk reaction to this circumstance is always the same: the blame game. Shall we blame the shrewdness of MMM for wording the initial statement concerning the MBC like they did or shall we blame the Speaker of the House for her inability to control the members of parliament (in what is seemingly not the first incident like this) or shall we even blame her subsequent underlying anger which so apparently presented itself following the raucous? I wonder though, why is it that we need to blame someone solely for these happenings? Is the situation on a whole not the root of this entire problem, the fact that this kind of situation, this kind of show is put on for all the land to see? Politics has never been a flowers and butterflies kind of arena where we all show comradery and basic respect for our fellow politicians and human beings alike. But does it have to be so dirty and ugly and downright shameful too?

Perhaps it’s time for politicians to remember they are not out on the battlefields wielding bayonets and swords, determined to slay their enemies with a gash of the throat or one single pull of a trigger. When did politicians become such sworn enemies that parliamentary sessions began to resemble scenes out of epic mafia biopics?

Sadly, this show, this parade of egos and subsequent fight to demonstrate who is capable of throwing the bigger tantrum, is not the first of its kind and that is exactly why I say that it is time politicians remember who indeed is watching them as they continue to act in such a poor manner. I recall thinking and perhaps even saying this before, but Mauritian politics is in dire need of new, younger blood.

It has also become glaringly obvious that politicians will do whatever it takes to trip each other up and see to each other’s downfall all while the poor little Mauritian democracy sits in the corner like the neglected child crying out for some actual attention. Is that what we are teaching the youth is the key to getting ahead in life? Taking out your enemies with whatever means? Are we really sure we want the youth to know that in order to be heard in the Mauritian Parliament, you have to be the one who shouts the loudest and uses the most profanity? If that is how we are trying to groom tomorrow’s leaders then why have protocol at all when it comes to how to behave in the National Assembly?

Let the politicians stand on their benches and curse the Speaker as well as their fellow members of Parliament. Let whoever wants to shout and scream and distract the House from the actual important matters of the day which need to be tabled in order for our country to actually – let’s say – run! Because in all the fuss and drama that comes with members being expelled and regretful words uttered, we tend to forget that Parliament was suspended and whatever matters needed to be addressed now need to fall onto the following week. Very simply, this pettiness, has in fact wedged itself in the way of actual democratic progress.

The fundamental question of this entire matter is nothing more than how we expect the coming generations to act better than us, to improve on what we couldn’t, when we are failing to give them even a half decent example to go on. It is said that we need to learn from the mistakes made in the past in order for history not to repeat itself. Can we honestly say we are not setting the future leaders up for just as bad a failure democratically when this is the kind of manner in which our political leaders handle themselves? Perhaps it’s time for the youth to take it upon themselves to learn how things need to be done in order for actual change to take place in this country once and for all?

President, YUVA

Scholarship of the Scholarship Foundation of the Republic of Austria

Area of study or research:
Natural Sciences
Technical Sciences
Human Medicine, Health Sciences
Agricultural Sciences
Social Sciences

Type of grant:
Grants, Research promotion

Detailed type of grant:
Semester and/or one-year grants, Research grants


Target group:
Undergraduates, Graduates, Postgraduates

Funding organisation:
OeAD-GmbH on behalf of and financed by the Scholarship Foundation of the Republic of Austria

1- 4 months

The quota depends on the budget.

Grant benefit paid:
1) Monthly scholarship instalment: 940 EUR
2) Accident and health insurance: if necessary, the OeAD (Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research) will effect an accident and health insurance. The costs for the insurance have to be covered from the scholarship.
3) The OeAD provides scholarship holders with accommodation (student dormitory or apartment). Monthly costs: 220 to 470 EUR (depending on the level of comfort requested by the scholarship holder). The scholarship holder has to pay an administrative fee of 18 EUR/month to the OeAD for the provision of accommodation. The costs for the accommodation have to be covered from the scholarship.
4) Applicants from countries which are neither members of the EU nor members of EFTA, EEA or OECD can be granted a travel allowance. The lump sum depends on the country of origin.

Closing date for applications: 01. 03. 2016 (Expected)

Advice on how to apply:

Please be aware that the information provided here may alter for the deadline on March 1st 2016. We will provide you with an up-to-date information as soon as possible. 

Eligible for application are
– descendants of forced labourers (regardless of their country of origin)
– Or people coming from countries that have suffered exceptionally from the Nazi regime, especially from the recruitment of forced labourers.

Students meeting the above mentioned criteria can apply to pursue research
– on their diploma or master thesis
– or their dissertation.
No scholarships are awarded for Bachelor-, Master- or Doctoral/PhD studies pursued in Austria, summer courses, language courses, clinical traineeships or internships.

Applicants must not have studied/pursued research/pursued academic work in Austria in the last six months before taking up the grant.

Age limit:
Doctoral students: 40 years at the time of submission of the application (for the application deadline September 1, 2015: born on or after September 1, 1975)
for other students: 35 years at the time of submission of the application (for the application deadline September 1, 2015: born on or after September 1, 1980)

The following documents have to be uploaded for the Online Application on www.scholarships.at:
– Fully completed Online Application form “Application for a Scholarship of the Scholarship Foundation of the Republic of Austria” including a CV and a project plan, describing the plans and completed  preparatory work for the research stay in Austria
– Two letters of recommendation from university lecturers. For these letters of recommendation no specific form is required; they have to contain the letterhead, date and signature of the person recommending the applicant and the stamp of the university / department and must be no older than six months at the time of application
– Confirmation of supervision by a supervisor at the chosen Austrian university, university of applied sciences or research institution
– Scanned passport (showing the name and picture of the applicant)
– University graduation certificate of your diploma, master, PhD or doctoral studies at a university outside Austria resp. proof of enrolment at a study programme at a university outside Austria
– For descendants of forced labourers: processing number or photocopy of the letter of information or other relevant proofs

Selection procedure:
The selection is made by the Scholarship Council in regard to the following selection criteria:

– Formal check (through the OeAD-GmbH)
– Necessity of the research stay in Austria  in regard to the further process of the thesis.
– What are the plans for the research stay in the framework of the scholarship?
– How will the Project be carried out? Which scientific methods will you apply?
– What are the main objectives of your research stay in Austria?
–  Which steps have you planned in order to achieve these objectives (research in archives, interviews, . . .)?
– Have you already completed preparatory work to achieve these objectives (if yes, which ones)?
– Where do you plan to carry out your project (library, archive, institute . . .)?
– academic background (since when are you already studying, which grades have you achieved) and list of publications or documents in regard to your artistic work so far.
– plausibility of the Application.

General Information:
All scholarships are based on competition. This means that even in the case of the fulfilment of all the requirements there is no legal claim to the award of the scholarship.An award is only possible once per category, a renewal is not possible.

Scholarships are also awarded for research periods at scientific research institutions in Austria (e.g. universities, Austrian Academy of Sciences, National Library, National Archive).

As for article 1 of the Austrian Data Protection Act, BGBl. Nr. 165/1999 in the present version, the applicant is aware of the fact and fully agrees that personal data contained in the application and its enclosures may be forwarded to the authority processing the scholarship, the contracting parties, the Austrian Foreign Ministry and other granting authorities for statistical purposes and in order to ensure that the application can be processed properly.

Applications that are incomplete at the time of submission or do not meet the requirements cannot be taken into consideration! If a scholarship is awarded due to incorrect data or if there is a case of double financing, the full scholarship has to be paid back.

Short-term grants (1 to 3 months) have a priority in the period from January to June. In other cases problems can arise as regards accommodation. When applying for a short-term grant therefore consideration should be given to applying primarily for the period of January to June.

11 October: International Day of the Girl Child

Today is not your typical Sunday; it’s International Day of the Girl Child. While the very well-known International Women’s Day started over 100 years ago in 1909, the International Day of the Girl Child is fairly new—only four years old. Yet it’s goal is a powerful one: In December 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 as a day to “recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.”

Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”

-United Nations Resolution 66/170

The U.N. selects a different theme to focus on every year, and 2015’s theme is “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.” The idea is that girls going through adolescence now can start to help make a change, and plan for a better world for girls born now who will be adolescents in 15 years. The day itself is a time to focus on how to help girls “have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women,” says the U.N. “If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world—both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.”

The Day of the Girl is a response to an urgent problem facing our world today: the neglect and devaluation of girls around the world. On October 11 of every year, we see dynamic groups across the world (led by girls, of course) acting to highlight, discuss, celebrate and ultimately advance girls’ lives and opportunities across the globe. When girls come together to talk about what really matters to us, we can teach ourselves and other people–adults, boys, and other girls all across the world–new ways of thinking about gender issues, which will help us take action to change the status quo.

October 11 is not just a day; it’s a movement. A worldwide revolution.

The Day of the Girl is bigger than one issue, one organization, one country, and even the day itself. It is a yearly reflection of what we’ve done and what we need to keep doing to fully achieve gender equality everywhere.

Beautiful little girls during the Children Empowerment Program, organised by YUVA District Rivière du Rempart. (Photo: YUVA/Luckkana Ghaneswarsing)

Why a Day for Girls? Here’s a dozen reasons.

As girls, we experience inequality in every aspect of our lives. There are a billion reasons why we need the Day of the Girl, but let’s start with just a dozen (all are linked to their source):

By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s illiterate (adult) population. (PDF)

Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school. (PDF)

Girls make up half of the high school population, but receive only 41% of all athletic participation opportunities.

Women only hold 15.7% of top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.

One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.

More than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18. (PDF)

1 in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.

Children as young as age 11 are forced to work as prostitutes. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.

54% of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight.

57% of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.

Females continue to be underrepresented in top roles in film with less than 1 in 3 speaking characters in children’s movies.

YUVA works in a way where girls not only advocate for themselves but for others as well. Teaching girls to lead allows them to be part of the solution. (Photo: YUVA/Luckkana Ghaneswarsing)

In 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” You can read the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the International Day of the Girl Child for yourselves!

From the U.N.’s website,

The newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer an opportunity for a global commitment to breaking intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination – and realizing our vision of a life of dignity for all, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared, marking the International Day of the Girl Child.

“Our task now is to get to work on meeting the SDG targets and making good on our promises to give girls all the opportunities they deserve as they mature to adulthood by 2030,” said Mr. Ban in his message on the Day, referring to the newly–adopted 2030 Agenda and its landmark 17 Global Goals.

That means enabling them to avoid child marriage and unwanted pregnancy, protect against HIV transmission, stay safe from female genital mutilation, and acquire the education and skills they need to realize their potential.

“It also requires ensuring their sexual health and reproductive rights. Girls everywhere should be able to lead lives free from fear and violence. If we achieve this progress for girls, we will see advances across society,” continued the UN chief.

The Secretary-general recalled that just after the adoption last month of the Global Goals for, world leaders heard a ringing call from Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was flanked in the General Assembly Hall by young people from around the world. ‘Promise us that you will keep your commitments and invest in our future,’ she urged.

“Three years ago, on the International Day of the Girl Child, I condemned the attack against Malala and called for more opportunities for girls everywhere. Today, I applaud her courage and that of her peers, who only want the chance to contribute to our world,” said the Secretary-General.

“Let us resolve to invest in today’s adolescent girls so that tomorrow they can stand strong as citizens, political leaders, entrepreneurs, heads of their households and more. This will secure their rights and our common future,” he declared.

In her remarks UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the cadre of 15-year-old girls living today were born at the advent of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) into a world of hope. Not all of those hopes were fulfilled. Many have already dropped out of school to look after family members or take informal work to help support the family.

“More than 250 million of our 15-year-olds are already married, too many are facing the likelihood of HIV infection, especially given the high unmet needs for family planning…and every 10 minutes somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies by violent means,” she said, adding that: “These, and the generations that follow them, are the young women for whom we are working so hard.”

Educate girls, change the world. (Photo: YUVA/Luckkana Ghaneswarsing)

YUVA Sets Up Central Committee

YUVA is introducing a new node to its organisational structure – a Central Committee.

The first seating of the Central Committee would be held this Sunday, 11 October at YUVA Head Office, with its 38 selected office bearers from around the Island. The Central Committee would be chaired every Sunday by President Krishna Athal.

President Krishna Athal said, “The Central Committee would act as a standing administrative body of YUVA, analogous to the National Board, thus endorsing transparency, effective communication and team motivation by meeting physically every week.”

The one-hour Sunday session of the Central Committee would also serve as a platform to discuss projects, strategies and setbacks of the organisation.

As agenda for this week, the Central Committee would discuss on the IFGG 2015, Session 2 of Mauritius Youth Parliament and the YUVA Day 2015 celebration.

Terra Foundation Research Travel Grants to the United States

Terra Foundation Research Travel Grants provide support for research on topics concerning American art and visual culture prior to 1980.

These grants enable scholars outside the United States to consult resources that are only available within the United States. Grant funding is available for short-term travel that gives scholars:

  • An opportunity to discover new source material;
  • Experience works of art first-hand in museums and private collections;
  • Make contact with scholars, artists, curators, and art dealers;
  • Consult local archives and library collections;
  • Establish professional networks for future research.


Applications are due January 15, 2016. Awards will be announced in May 2016.

Eligibility & Application Information

The foundation only accepts proposals from doctoral students and postdoctoral and senior scholars outside the United States.

Grant requirements:

  • Travel should be undertaken within one calendar year after the announcement of the selection results.
  • Final report must be submitted within three months of completion of travel. It should include a description of the travel undertaken as a result of the grant, an assessment of the research accomplished, and a financial report detailing grant expenditures.
  • Recipients must acknowledge the support of TFAA in any publication that results from research conducted during the grant.

Download the Research Travel Grant application.

Zhang "Sunny" Mengyang, a PhD candidate at China's Tsinghua University, received a travel grant to the US to conduct research for his dissertation on the Harlem Renaissance.
Zhang “Sunny” Mengyang, a PhD candidate at China’s Tsinghua University, received a travel grant to the US to conduct research for his dissertation on the Harlem Renaissance.

Information about Funding

Nine to thirteen grants are awarded annually as follows:

  • Up to $6,000 per grant for doctoral students from Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand;
  • Up to $7,000 per grant for doctoral students from Asia, Africa, and South America; and
  • Up to $9,000 per grant for all postdoctoral and senior scholars.
  • Up to 5 grants are specifically dedicated to scholars from Asia, Africa, and South America.

Grant funds will be disbursed in two installments. The first installment (80% of the total grant) is paid before the recipient’s departure to the United States. The second installment (up to 20% of the total grant) is paid to the recipient after receipt of the final report.

Funds can be used for related transportation, lodging, meals, and research fees and expenses. They cannot be used for the purchase of computers or other equipment.

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International Africa Arts Forum

What is the Africa Arts Forum?

World Youth Alliance Africa invites you to the second Africa Arts Forum (AAF). The 2015 AAF will bring together African youth aged between 14 – 30, working in the field of art and youth interested in art to learn, share ideas and work together with WYA in the promotion of human dignity through art. This forum will showcase different types of art including fashion, music, spoken word, poetry, drawing arts, paintings and sculptures.

The Africa Arts Forum 2015 will be held on Saturday, 7th November 2015 at the Michael Joseph Center, Safaricom in Nairobi, Kenya. It will be open to members of WYA and members of the public who have a keen interest on art and/or would like to learn about art.

Date: Saturday 7th November 2015

Venue: Safaricom Michael Joseph Centre, Nairobi

Entrance: Free (registration is required)

Registration Deadline for artists: Friday 30th October



This year’s Africa Arts Forum theme will be Art and Dignity. The forum aims to influence the youth that are talented in arts and art professionals to promote dignity in our society through art and to portray art in light of a fundamental aspect of our human existence. This expression of Art and Dignity will enable educating in the understanding of the human person so that our capacity to see human dignity in art will improve.

World Youth Alliance Africa invites artists and students to participate in the Africa Arts Forum by submitting their pieces of art.

Young artists selected to participate in the Arts Forum will have the opportunity to:

  • Present their vision of dignity in art through their artwork
  • Exhibit their artwork for the forum audience
  • Participate in interactive discussion with fellow artists and participants
  • Engage in dialogue with artists from a variety of disciplines and cultural backgrounds

Registration is required to attend the Africa Arts Forum. Fill out this application form to register as an artist.

Note: Deadline for artist application is Monday 12th October. Screening will be conducted from 19th to 23rd September at the WYA Africa office in Karen.

Artists will showcase/exhibit their work during the Africa Arts Forum.

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