Who Cares?

We have been taught all our lives that to be decent human beings means that we exist on this earth to (as far as we can) make life less difficult for others, and in turn, make them less difficult for us. To feel like we have a greater purpose and to feel like we are making a difference, we need to help our fellow human beings in any way we can.

This attitude is ideally also meant to extend to monitoring our behaviour so that our impact on nature and the world, in general, is as positive as possible. However, every day, the human race fails to inspire because the world has become such an incredibly harsh place to call home.

Continue reading “Who Cares?”

2 October: International Day of Non-Violence

“There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.” – Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, 1927

The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.

According to General Assembly resolutionA/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

Introducing the resolution in the General Assembly on behalf of 140 co-sponsors, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Anand Sharma, said that the wide and diverse sponsorship of the resolution was a reflection of the universal respect for Mahatma Gandhi and of the enduring relevance of his philosophy. Quoting the late leader’s own words, he said: “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man”.

The life and leadership of Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi, who helped lead India to independence, has been the inspiration for non-violent movements for civil rights and social change across the world. Throughout his life, Gandhi remained committed to his belief in non-violence even under oppressive conditions and in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

The theory behind his actions, which included encouraging massive civil disobedience to British law as with the historic Salt March of 1930, was that “just means lead to just ends”; that is, it is irrational to try to use violence to achieve a peaceful society. He believed that Indians must not use violence or hatred in their fight for freedom from colonialism.

Definition of Non-Violence

The principle of non-violence — also known as non-violent resistance — rejects the use of physical violence in order to achieve social or political change. Often described as “the politics of ordinary people”, this form of social struggle has been adopted by mass populations all over the world in campaigns for social justice.

Professor Gene Sharp, a leading scholar on non-violent resistance, uses the following definition in his publication, The Politics of Nonviolent Action:

“Nonviolent action is a technique by which people who reject passivity and submission, and who see struggle as essential, can wage their conflict without violence. Nonviolent action is not an attempt to avoid or ignore conflict. It is one response to the problem of how to act effectively in politics, especially how to wield powers effectively.”

While non-violence is frequently used as a synonym for pacifism, since the mid-twentieth century the term non-violence has been adopted by many movements for social change which do not focus on opposition to war.

One key tenet of the theory of non-violence is that the power of rulers depends on the consent of the population, and non-violence therefore seeks to undermine such power through withdrawal of the consent and cooperation of the populace.

There are three main categories of non-violence action:

  • protest and persuasion, including marches and vigils;
  • non-cooperation; and
  • non-violent intervention, such as blockades and occupations.


Choosing my Avatar: Master or slave?

YUVA together with Judy Johnson is organising a workshop on the 3rd October 2015 under the theme: Choosing my Avatar: Master or slave? This conference will be held at Brahma Kumaris Centre, Global Peace House in Khoyrati as from 12.30 p.m to 4.30 p.m.

Judy Johnson, consultant and coach in the field of leadership development and organizational effectiveness from Canada invites you all to join her for a workshop that will help you to better choose you Avatar. YUVA is collaborating with her as it will benefit all our youngsters in exploring the ways and means to go beyond all your limitations and barriers in achieving excellence in life.

Judy works in the field of organizational effectiveness and leadership development. With a background in adult education, intercultural effectiveness, leadership and team development, she specialises in facilitating clarity in complex organizational and group situations. She assists in uncovering the inherent strengths in organizations and individuals, enhancing their ability to create and sustain focused, purposeful and positive directions.

Judy is adept in the areas of process facilitation, team development, principled negotiation, conflict resolution, experiential education design and delivery, needs assessment and program evaluation. She works with government, private sector and community-based programs and organizations in international and intercultural settings. Listed are examples of recent projects.

Judy has the ability to select and blend appropriate process tools to create clarity in groups, focus the will of the group in a common direction and enhance relationships and commitment to a collective endeavour. Through the use of silence, teaming strategies, reflective inquiry, and experiential activities, Judy uses an appreciative inquiry approach to facilitate strategic planning, teambuilding and conflict resolution retreats to strengthen organizational and group effectiveness. She facilitates consensus-building gatherings between multiple stakeholders in diverse contexts.

She has also been working directly with leaders at all levels of organizations in a one on one basis to support values-based leadership approach. In the coaching role, she acts as a sounding board and mirror to support and challenge assumptions guiding leadership approaches. In a facilitator role she works with leadership teams and/or develops programs to enhance leadership within the organization. She brings a perspective rooted in the principle that it is individual change that creates systems change and recognition that when leaders are focused on a purpose greater than profit or products will their organizations thrive.

Judy has designed and facilitated intercultural effectiveness orientation and debriefing sessions for Canadians travelling overseas as CIDA-sponsored professionals. Based on her own overseas project management work in India, Latin America and Southeast Asia, she also brings the intercultural effectiveness paradigm and approach to her work with interdisciplinary healthcare teams who cross professional cultures to work more effectively together. The principles guiding her approach to these sessions include a focus on self-awareness and self-mastery, intercultural awareness, and project management strategies.

We invite all young people to come and visit us on the 3rd of October 2015 for a very inspiring moment on how to be a good leader.

Portrait: Yudish Kutwaroo, Président de YUVA District Rivière du Rempart

À 24 ans, Yudish Kutwaroo n’a pas froid aux yeux et est toujours disponible pour se mettre au service des autres. Le Président de YUVA District Rivière du Rempart a adhéré justement l’association YUVA pour se regrouper avec d’autres travailleurs sociaux pour améliorer la qualité de vie de nos compatriotes.

Détenteur d’un BSc (Hons) Business Economics with Information System, ACCA Work, il travaille actuellement dans le secteur bancaire à la MCB depuis déjà trois ans.

Alors qu’il a commencé le bénévolat depuis le collège, des années plus tard, nous faisons face à un jeune qui jongle entre plusieurs activités : travail social, ses études, son travail, sa famille… Et surtout le désir d’aider les plus vulnérables. Head boy du collège Ramsoondur Prayag SSS, il a parrainé plusieurs projets dans son collège avec la collaboration de ses enseignants et amis pour venir en aide aux autres. Encouragé par ses parents, il a continué son parcours dans le bénévolat à l’Université de Maurice en étant membre de la Students’ Union (SU).

Yudish Kutwaroo à Grand Bassin pour la fête de Maha Shivratree.

 «  J’ai toujours eu le désir d’aider les personnes dans le besoin et c’est pour cela que j’ai choisi YUVA. Sachant qu’étant seul je ne pourrais pas faire grand-chose, j’ai décidé de m’associer avec les jeunes qui ont la même vision et les mêmes motivations que moi car ne l’oublions pas l’unité fait la force ».

Yudish Kutwaroo avec la Présidente de Maurice, Honorable Ameenah Gurib-Fakim.
Yudish Kutwaroo avec la Présidente de Maurice, Honorable Ameenah Gurib-Fakim à la lancement officielle de YUVA.

Son rêve ? C’est de réussir à motiver les jeunes à se bouger pour améliorer notre société en essayant d’éradiquer la pauvreté et les fléaux qui dominent la société. Sa devise: ”Don’t ever say that the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon”.

J’ai adhéré YUVA depuis sa création et je suis le Président du district de Rivière du rempart. J’ai un grand sens d’appartenance pour cette ONG qui fait tous pour le développement des jeunes et aussi parce que j’ai déjà travaillé avec Krishna Athal, le Président de YUVA dans le passé. C’est quelqu’un qui m’inspire énormément de par son professionnalisme et de par la vision qu’il a pour la société. Voilà une des raisons pourquoi je tiens tant à m’associer à YUVA ».

Yudish avec les YUVANs de l’Amitié.
Yudish Kutwaroo avec certains YUVANs de l’Amitié, Cottage et Gokoolah.

Yudish Kutwaroo est un jeune très dévoué et c’est lui qui a parrainé le tout premier projet de YUVA qui consistait à faire des donations aux pèlerins lors de la fête Maha Shivratree. Nous avons eu l’occasion de montrer nos motivations et de donner un exemple aux autres jeunes en rassemblant les YUVANs de toutes les religions ensembles.

Yudish Kutwaroo à Grand Bassin.
Yudish Kutwaroo à Grand Bassin pour la fête de Maha Shivratree.

Son prochain objectif est de rassembler des nouveaux membres dans chaque village afin de se mettre aux services des pauvres. Il a le désire de mettre les YUVANs à la proximité du peuple. Il a pour un début déjà créé des YUVA dans quelques villages tels que Rivière du Rempart, Plaines des Roches, L’Amitié, Gokoolah, Cottage, Belle Vue Maurel, Petit Raffray et Grand Baie. Pour le moment c’est une belle réussite car nous travaillons très durs pour organiser des activités afin de nous faire connaitre.