YUVA Annual Leadership and Entrepreneurship Summit

Speakers Bio of YUVA Annual Leadership & Entrepreneurship Summit 2019


Speaker 1: Ambassador David Reimer – United States Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Mauritius

Topic: Opening remarks


David Reimer was sworn in as United States Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Seychelles on December 13, 2017. Formerly, he was the Director of the State Department’s Office of West African Affairs. Before that, he was Deputy Chief of Mission, and later, Chargé d ‘Affaires, at the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania. Ambassador Reimer’s other overseas postings include Iraq; Switzerland; Haiti; Italy; Germany; and Belize. In Washington, Ambassador Reimer has worked in the Africa Bureau, Human Resources Bureau, and Economic Bureau. Ambassador Reimer is an Economic Officer. Prior to joining the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer, he worked as an International Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ambassador Reimer grew up in Ohio. He has a Master’s Degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor’s Degree, with a major in history and minor in economics, from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. He is married to Simonetta Romagnolo from Milan, Italy.

Speaker 2: Mr Ramakrishna Appadoo

Topic: Social Work and Community Service in Mauritius

Bio: Coordinator at the Social Integration Division of the Ministry of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity.

Speaker 3: Dr Emmanuel Nuesiri

Topic: Professionalising social work in the modern era


Dr Emmanuel Nuesiri is presently a lecturer at the African Leadership University (ALU) Mauritius. He has close to two decades of experience as a practitioner-academic who has taught courses in Sociology, Politics, and International Development, and carried out social policy and governance research in Africa, Europe and the United States. Dr Nuesiri has a masters’ degree from Cambridge University, a doctorate from Oxford University, and was a visiting scholar at Cornell University. He is a member of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and has been a consultant for several United Nations agencies including the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA). Dr Nuesiri enjoys reading and watching science fiction dramas and going on long walks by the beach. 

Speaker 4: Ms Sradha Gobin Manna and Dr Vasant Manna

Topic: The relevance of counselling and mindfulness in today’s society

  • Bio Ms Manna:

Master’s degree in Counselor Education, at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), the U.S.A. in 2014, with a specialization in Marriage &Couple Counselling.

Registered Member, 311773, British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy

Continuous Professional Development in Supervision Skills

Trained as a Chaplain (secular) in Robert wood Johnson University Medical Center, offering psychological & emotional support to patients and their families

Voluntary activities: Prison pen-pal, palliative care, listening to people with suicidal tendencies (by phone & Crisis chat line), and teaching Mindfulness on TCNJ campus.

Present voluntary activities: Mindfulness in the community, Radio & TV programs, public talks

President, Centre for Counselling & Mindfulness

Current work: Part-time Lecturer in Counselling, at the University of Technology.

Private practice in couple counselling

I offer counselling to appease “the deepest hunger of the human soul (which) is to be heard and understood”(Stephen Covey).

My experience in Mindfulness:

My background in Mindfulness derives from attending several 10-day residential retreats in the U.S.A., (Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia). In April 2016, I participated in a 20-day silent retreat in Igatpuri, Mumbai. Though I have studied Mindfulness under various renowned teachers, only a rigorous personal practise has brought me invaluable benefits. In 2014, I became a Certified Teacher and since then, I offer Mindfulness to the general public, free of charge. I have offered talks and practice sessions at Rotary clubs, Toastmasters, Middlesex University and most recently, in the corporate world.

  • Bio Dr Manna:

Dr Vasant K Manna is a Senior Medical Advisor having worked both in Clinical Medicine and Clinical Research and Development within the Pharmaceutical Industry. He has been practising both formal and informal mindfulness meditation for the past six years.  He recently completed a training course in London for teaching mindfulness in primary and secondary schools organised by the MISP (Mindfulness in Schools Project). Together with his wife, they run a weekly Saturday morning mindfulness session at their house.

Speaker 5: Ms Ayrece Stewart Cornet

Topic: Social Work v/s Social “media” work


Ayrece Stewart is a strategic creative whose strength lies in her ability to find innovative solutions. As a student of journalism, who majored in Political Science & Marketing, she took a keen interest in using her writing skills to make an impact on those around her. Today she is a strategic content creator who helps brands establish themselves in the digital realm. Her strategic yet creative flair brings both a fresh but realistic perspective on real-life issues as well as creates ways in which brands and people can have the most impact on their audiences.

Speaker 6: Ms Deepa Gokulsing

Topic: The Dynamics of Domestic Violence in the Mauritian Society


Ms Deepa Gokulsing is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Social Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Mauritius. Her research interests are mainly in the fields related to gender, women’s empowerment, youth, higher education, labour market, migration, social policy and social development. She has published in many international journals namely the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Social Responsibility Journal and in Emerald Books. She works in close collaboration with different ministries and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Mauritius and is currently involved in a number of research projects funded by both local and international agencies in the field of gender mainstreaming, street children, drugs, migration and poverty. She is also a member of the Pole of Applied Socio-Economic Research and Analysis at the University of Mauritius (http://www.uom.ac.mu/research/asera/) and is currently working on a project related to drugs use among young people in Mauritius and Rodrigues.


Speaker 1: Ms Chhayan Ringadoo

Topic: Opening remarks

Bio: Chief Executive of Gambling Regulatory Authority

Speaker 2: Ms Rebecca Espitalier-Noël

Topic: What I learnt in my first 365 days as a social entrepreneur


Rebecca Espitalier-Noel is the co-founder and CEO of FoodWise, a social business that redistributes surplus food to people in need. In a year, FoodWise has recovered over 50 000 kgs of food which were turned into 200 000 meals thanks to the help of 25 food companies and 60 NGOs. Prior to creating FoodWise, Rebecca graduated from a Master’s degree in International Development at Sciences Po Paris. During her time there, she launched with other students a programme offering weekly courses and personalized guidance to refugees. Rebecca also gained experience abroad in NGOs, venture capital firms, and international organizations before coming back to Mauritius in June 2018. She is passionate about the role of businesses in solving social and environmental problems.

Speaker 3: Ms Neha Valecha

Topic: Implicit qualities in a social enterprise leader


Neha Valecha is a Marketing professional, working for a Mumbai-based startup. She has led many marketing initiatives and evangelised new-age technologies like Artificial Intelligence and chatbots at various global summits and forums. She has pursued her Masters in Leadership Science from Mumbai University. And has a bachelors and a masters degree in Management too. Very convinced with Peter Drucker’s perspective of looking at business organisations as a social structure that brings people together in order to work towards the social order of society, she developed a keen interest in Social Entrepreneurship. She believes that the motives of self-satisfaction and self-growth can only make complete sense when the outcomes positively impact others. She looks forward to continuing to research and meaningfully contribute to the field of Social Entrepreneurship.

Speaker 4: Mr Krishna Seethiah, Ms Kiran Dookhony and Mr Rajesh Sannegadu

Topic: Venture Capitalists assessing business ideas of YALES participants

Bio: Senior lecturers from the Faculty of Law and Management at the University of Mauritius

Speaker 5: Mr Ravi Rambujoo

Topic: Innovative skills for a social entrepreneur


I hold a BSc in Building Construction Management and MSc in International Construction Project Manager.

After working as a professional in the construction industry for 14 years, in 2015 I started a new venture as a Vegetable Farmer and has shifted to Organic Farming for the past two and a half years. Director of Farmbasket which is e-commerce for the distribution of Fruits and Vegetables and Health-oriented products. I am the co-founder of the organisation Vert Deux Mains.

My goal is to help as many people as possible to live a healthy lifestyle.

Speaker 6: Mr Sanjay Parashar

Topic: Closing remarks

Bio: Managing Director of Indian Oil Mauritius Limited


Speaker 1: Parasivum Pillay Vyapoory, GOSK

Topic: Opening remarks

Bio: Former Acting President of the Republic of Mauritius

Speaker 2: Ms Aarti Seebaruth Ramjug

Topic: Leadership & Loneliness


Aarti Seebaruth Ramjug is currently training consultant at Sidus Learning and Development Ltd as well as learning and development manager at Essential Team Ltd (Intermart group of companies). She has first-class BCom and MBA degrees. She is devoted for the attainment of SDGs through free quality trainings provided to local people, also collaborating with YUVA Academy for youth empowerment through the Positive Parenting Programme. She has been providing training consultancy in several organisations and has several years’ experience as a lecturer in Management/HRM.

Speaker 3: Ms Dweenisha Caleechurn

Topic: Your Personal Brand


Dweenisha is a qualified member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuary in the UK. She graduated from City University London, with a bachelor degree in Actuarial Science. For her A levels, Dweenisha was awarded by Cambridge University for coming out first in the world in Mathematics. She works at a global professional services firm in London and has worked at two of the ‘Big Four’ companies. In her day to day job, Dweenisha specialises in advising some of the largest pension schemes in the UK including FTSE100 clients. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running and travelling.

Speaker 4: Sister Gaitree

Topic: Spiritual Leadership

Bio: Sister Gaitree is the overall Coordinator of all Brahma Kumaris Centres in the North and Port Louis.  In that capacity, she oversees all activities of its main centre in the north based in Global Peace House in Khoyratty, two other meditation centres in Goodlands and Triolet and the Inner Space Meditation Centre in Port Louis where she is the main facilitator for running courses/lectures on various topics of Self-Development such as Foundation course in Raja Yoga Meditation, Positive Thinking, Inner Powers, Values, Self-Management, Inner Leadership.

She also regularly organizes and facilitates various residential retreats at the Organisation’s Retreat Centre in Palma on topics such as Leading from Within (Inner Leadership), Silence and Intuition, Spiritual Intelligence, Art of Healthy and Happy Living, and Four Faces of Woman.

Since 1976 she has dedicated herself to the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, a Non-Governmental Organisation whose Headquarters in India is affiliated to United Nation’s Department of Public Information, with general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and in consultative status with UNICEF.  She has more than four decades of experience in the field of spirituality, empowerment and leadership and in the practice and teaching of Meditation, she has also worked for 20 years in the Public Service and gave up her job in 1992 to devote herself fully to the service of humanity.  She visits the International Headquarters situated at Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India every year, for a refresher course, further and in-depth study and deeper experimentation in Meditation.

She was the Secretary of two National Advisory Committee set up for two United Nation’s International Projects, namely the Million Minutes of Peace Appeal (extended in 80 countries during the International Year of Peace in 1986), and the Global Cooperation for a Better World Project, a peace initiative dedicated to the United Nations in 1988.

She has been instrumental in organizing the “Art of Healthy and Happy Living”, a Coronary Artery Disease Regression thro’ Healthy Lifestyle program run by Eminent Cardiologist and Scientist (an initiative of the program) – Dr, Satish Gupta in Mauritius.  This program which has brought several international awards to the initiative aims at unblocking arteries with a simple and high compliance therapeutic lifestyle approach and hundreds of patients are finding new life through it.

At National Level, she is presently the Chairperson of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University Trust which is the main executive body responsible for all policies of the Organisation.

Speaker 5: Krishna Athal

Topic: 20 case studies on ethical decision-making for leaders


Krishna Athal is a young, motivated man with great vision who is passionate about making change a reality and backing the youth of the world to do just that. He is a youth leader, former Chairman of the National Youth Council of Mauritius and Founder / Executive Director of Mauritius’ largest and most active youth-led organisation, YUVA. His political leadership book “Ramrajya: An Enigmatic Leader’s Rise to Power” has been a bestselling in Mauritius. No stone gets left unturned with Athal pushing to achieve a new generation of thinkers among millennials both in Mauritius as well as across the world. A recipient of national and international awards, Athal rarely conforms to the norms, and society averages in his constant strive for a higher standard. This changemaker wishes to leave in his wake inspiration, challenges and most of all change. Despite all the above, he is only a human being and can be totally unwise, silly and unpredictable sometimes.

Speaker 4: Raj Dussoye

Topic: The real crisis in leadership


Raj Dussoye ( 58 ),  Married with 2 Children

I am a  hands-on  Banking Specialist with a proven track record in turning around a bank, initiating Startups and seeing through major strategic projects in established  Banks. I have worked in Mauritius and  India and  I have dealt with clients globally. I have had my moments of glory but also went through some hurting failures, which were deep moments of reflection and learning. I like to involve others in decision- making, but I am tough-skinned when needed. I am very passionate about family, friends and football but I love daily moments by myself inquietude.  I am eager to learn and I currently a Doctoral Student with  Edinburgh Business School.

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Registered in February 2015, YUVA started as a group of enthusiastic individuals, and today it has mobilised thousands of young people with a simple aim of creating a better future for children and youth of Mauritius. At the heart of YUVA’s duty lies the conviction that the collective destinies of the human race are bound together.

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