International Day of Charity 2020 celebrated on 5 September

International Day of Charity is an internationally celebrated day on 5 September. It was first introduced by the United Nations. The aim of the International Day of Charity is to raise awareness and give a platform charity activities around the world for charitable, individuals and volunteer organisations at local, national and international levels.

International Day of Charity seeks to enhance social responsibility and increase public support of charitable causes.

Continue reading “International Day of Charity 2020 celebrated on 5 September”

YUVA volunteers, YUVA Academy students host lunch at senior citizens’ home

YUVA volunteers and YUVA Academy students organised a visit to the senior citizens’ home, Saint Jean de Dieu – Hospice & Chapel, Pamplemousses, on Sunday.

YUVA served lunch to around 100 residents of the home. We served 7 curries and rice, rason, panacon, juice and Aplon and Sagoo for lunch. YUVANs had set up the dining room, served food, fed those senior citizens who could not eat by themselves and cleaned up the place afterwards. We also organised different games, talked to the senior citizens and listened to their stories, each one as interesting as the last. We had put on music and those who felt like it danced and entertained the others. There was also an open mike session, whereby senior citizens, staff members and volunteers took the opportunity to amaze us with great songs.

Our young people were so excited that they presented handmade cards, sweets and other gifts to senior citizens. YUVANs also shared their stories with them. In return, senior citizens showered their blessings and enjoyed a lot in the company of our volunteers and students. Continue reading “YUVA volunteers, YUVA Academy students host lunch at senior citizens’ home”

20 April: Volunteer Recognition Day

There are cynics out there who will say that true altruism is a myth, that it doesn’t exist, and that nobody is capable of doing anything unless they are motivated by their own self-interest in the end. But even the most embittered cynics would be hard-pressed to explain why anyone in their right mind would make the choice to travel to the poorest parts of the world, where hunger, sickness and war ravage the population and death is as commonplace as life, to help care for orphaned children. Or why a comfortable middle-class citizen would choose to spend his or her afternoons teaching neglected teenagers how to read in the dirtiest, most gang-ridden part of town. Or why any nurse would risk his or her life to care for wounded soldiers on the very front. Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, but they are all the real-life saints and superheroes of this world. And although they don’t ask to be paid for all of their selfless work, they definitely deserve our utmost respect and appreciation, which is exactly what Volunteer Recognition Day is all about. Continue reading “20 April: Volunteer Recognition Day”

15 April: Microvolunteering Day

Today (15 April 2018) is the “Microvolunteering Day”.

For anyone who might be feeling the urge to do something worthwhile or an itch to give back to the community, but who just can’t quite seem to get around to starting, then Microvolunteering Day could be the answer. Continue reading “15 April: Microvolunteering Day”

Raaghnie Autar: Evaluating Five Arguments of the Mauritius Youth Parliament Session 3

Good Governance by Marie Valérie Uppiah (Faculty member University of Mauritius)

Simply put: taking actions, making decisions and allocating resources for the good of society. Policy makers and decision makers come together to try to find solutions for the good of everyone.

Different types of governance:

1.Economic and financial development

2.Environmental governance

3.Corporate governance

4.Marine governance

I would like to add:

5.Political governance

6.Public governance

5 topics discussed at the Mauritius Youth Parliament ­ session: Good Governance

Responsibility

Georg von Fingerhut, international delegate from Germany, Russia and Japan, spoke about the influence of culture and morals on good governance in Japan. Ideologie: your responsibility to the world, your responsibility to your family and your responsibility to yourself. This “your responsibility” is what I refer to as good governance on micro level. Everyone has responsibilities, and if only everyone lived up to them the world might have been a better place. But what better place to start good governance than at micro level? As Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I believe we all can be role models on good governance and lead the way to higher levels: corporate level, economic level or political level.

Education

Sarah­Leigh Elago, international delegate from Namibia, spoke about many things and briefly mentioned the education in her country. I was very stunned by this topic, as she mentioned that education was not free in Namibia. She said there were protest for free education and that it recently got implemented, as I believe should be. In The Netherlands you have togo to school until the age of 18, or if you have accomplished certain level. Education is a fundamental human right and no child should be denied, even if they or their parents cannot afford it. It’s the country’s responsibility to invest in a well educated nation.

Corruption

Osman Mohamed, Member of Parliament, started with a story:

“Once upon a time there was a conference in country A and a minister from country B attended the conference. When the minister from country B went to the house of the minister from country

A he was very impressed. He asked: “what is your salary and how come you have such a beautiful house?” Then the minister from country A opened up the window and asked: “you see the road over there?” The answer was “yes”. “See, when it was built a lot of money went into building that road and some of it came over here. That is how my house is so beautiful.”

And then 2 years down the road, things changed. This time the conference was in country B and the minister from country A came to visit the conference, but also went to the house of the minister from country B. The minister was so impressed, he said: “Wauw, your house is much more beautiful than mine. How much is your salary?” The minister from country B opened his window and said “Look outside.” But the minister from A could not see anything. “Yes precisely, everything came here. That is how, my house is more beautiful than yours.”

Right after the story the Member of Parliament assured us that this is not the case in Mauritius. Yet over and over again corruption is a topic which keeps on coming back and politics is being referred to as a dirty game. ICAC (International Comission Against Corruption) and YAC (Youth Agaist Corruption) are active in Mauritius. If corruption was not the case in Mauritius, why are such bodies needed in the first place? I believe such bodies are needed for several reasons on short term, such as doing research on corruption, be the place to be to report cases of corruption and spread awareness. On the long term they can definitely make a change: more awareness, less corruption and maybe even no corruption at all.

Political funding

There happens to be a fine line between political funding and bribery: it’s the 200,000 MRU mark. But it’s hard to point out when it’s actually bribery or when it’s political funding. I believe there is nothing wrong in supporting a political party. If they represent what you stand for, it’s only logic. But for many it’s also very logical to expect a favour in return for a big amount like 200,000 MRU. On one hand I do understand, it’s a big amount sothe giver may want worth his money. Even though I understand, I do not agree or support this. Because it is bribery and it’s wrong, very wrong.

Bad governance

A question came from the audience: “If we are in need of a Ministry of Good Governance, do you think we have bad governance?” Osman Mohamed said very frankly, “yes”. I really respect his honesty. Admitting there is a problem is the first step to solve it. The next step would be taking action. With the Good Governance & Integrity Bill the first step in taking action has been set. I believe Mauritius might be an example for other countries which are suffering from bad governance.

Voluntarism

On the way to the Mauritian Youth Parliament we already spoke on the subject, the discussion continued at the session. The discussion was about if voluntarism should be free or if there should be at least some sort of incentive. I strongly support voluntarism, but in life there are some things I will not do for free. In my case that’s whatever is linked to my studies. I didn’t go to

school for over 20 years to fulfill my profession for free. I study Communications, so whenever the task is to do social media management, social media strategy or design websites I would like to get the recognition and some sort of incentive. For voluntary work not related to my profession I don’t mind doing it for free.

Safety

Safety was a topic not discussed during the Mauritian Youth Parliament session on good governance, but since it concerns The Netherlands and Europe at the very moment I would like to add this as an extra topic. Currently the safety situation in Europe is very instable. We have to face two major problems: ISIS and the refugees from Syria. I will continue on the topic of the refugees from Syria in The Netherlands. Whether the way things are being handled these days is yet to be proven good or bad governance.

From humanitarian point of view I believe that we should help people in need, but as a Dutch citizen I understand the fears that come with taking in the refugees. Many refugees enter Europe without passports or other legal documents, sometimes we literally don’t know who we are dealing with. Many children died on the way to a better and safer life, and I don’t think that any parent would take the risk of losing their child if the situation wasn’t bad enough.

We give them all the basics they need: shelter, food and clothes. On a longer term even education. But is it worth feeling unsafe? The feeling of unsafety comes from the fear of the unknown. There are just too many question marks. As I said before, it’s debatable if this is good or bad governance.

Raaghnie Autar: A critical review of ”Athal,K. 2015. Ramrajya: Chapter 7: Good Governance

Micro level good governance

Good governance gets more and more publicity on international and national level, but usually stays on such high levels. As a delegate from The Netherlands I came to Mauritius to learn more on the subject during the International Forum for Good Governance. When speaking about good governance on micro level I discussed the personal decision making process on the topics of voting and political leadership with other delegates at the forum. I’m pleased to share my thoughts on these topics, where I compare the course of events in The Netherlands with Mauritius.

Voting

In The Netherlands youngsters get educated in secondary school on politics years before they are allowed to vote. The educational programme includes the history of Dutch politics, the political movements and their views on various topics, the development over the years and the current course of events. This way the youngsters have the basic knowledge to make a responsible vote once they reach the age of 18. In Mauritius youngsters are not being tought about politics in the classroom, but are expected to use their vote wisely. How can we expect youngsters to make the right decision when they are not informed well?Where Dutch youngsters vote with at least some basic knowledge, which they can expand in several ways, I wonder based what do Mauritian nowadays’ youngsters vote? Caste, religion, culture or without giving it sufficient thought simply their parents choice? Athal (2015) mentioned that voting isn’t about caste, religion and/or culture, but about who is most fit for the job.

I firmly believe that the educational system should be theuncorrupted source to learn the basics of good governance on micro level to set the foundation for each and every youngster. I can’t say much about in which phase politics should be included in the educational program, because the educational system isn’t the same as in The Netherlands. My advice would be, just like in The Netherlands, that youngsters should be aware of the political arena before they reach the legal age to vote. By being well informed and by making an advised choice during elections citizens, youngsters as well as elderly, take their responsibility in their contribution for good governance on micro level.

“When the power of our votes turn into the power to turn an ordinary man into a leader of a country, we give with that a certain air of importance.” ­ Athal (2015, page 228)

Political Leadership

As mentioned before, youngsters in The Netherlands can expand their knowledge on politics in several ways. For example, they can easily access the political programme and history, join in debates and if they would like to contribute they can already join political parties. If they want to be a political leader they must join a political party, follow trainings for campaigning, debating and media and get involved as soon as possible on a very local level. In Mauritius the past decades the same political leaders have been in charge of the country. That must mean that, at least in those politcal parties, the past few decades no (former) youngster was trained, prepared and pushed forward as a (new) political leader. I honestly would like to get an answer on the WHY?Is it because current political leaders are not willing to step down? Are youngsters not willing to involve? Is there a procedure to become a political leader in Mauritius I may not know about? Let’s be real, those very same political leaders who have been in charge for the past few decades won’t live forever and if not now when will they invest in the future, the youth?

Being in Mauritius as a delegate I can see how time and effort are being invested in future leaders of Mauritius on a non­political level. I wish this youngster generation to open an eye for the situation in Mauritius and bring the change they want and deserve.