L’ESCALIER AWARDED THE DISTINCTION OF INTERNATIONAL CITY OF PEACE

                                                   L’Escalier awarded the distinction of “International City of Peace”.

On 23 June 2020, my village of L’Escalier was awarded the distinction of “International City of Peace”. This is the first-ever of its kind in Mauritius and it is therefore indeed a historic moment for the village, the district of Savanne and my country Mauritius as a whole. L’Escalier now forms part of a global movement with United Nations accreditation. This landmark proclamation is the outcome of an application I submitted to the International Cities of Peace, a US-based organization with Special Consultative Status with United Nations ECOSOC. There were certain requirements for L’Escalier becoming an International City of Peace. For instance, the city might be traumatized by war or have witnessed big peace-related events. It might also be advanced in peace studies and activities.

Africa-Asia Youth Foundation

One should understand that no city is 100% a City of Peace, rather all are on the path  to “becoming” a more peaceful city. Conferring a community as a peace city recognizes past achievements, encourages
current initiatives, and inspires future generations for practical peace building. From the European Union
to the United Nations to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, peace movements have helped shape the modern
world. Increasingly, however, cities are organizing to meet their own community-specific needs on a scale
that is smaller, localized and highly networked. Among the few cities that have successful made it to the International Cities of Peace list are Coventry in England, Bern in Switzerland, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Nanjing in China and Berlin in Germany. Some of these have been traumatized by war, others have witnessed big peace-related events while others are advanced in peace studies and activities. Put it simply, every community established has a legacy of peace, whether it is by a historical event or by local peace heroes or groups who have contributed to their citizen’s safety, prosperity and quality of life.

Convincing the jury at international level has proved a challenging process but a village like L’Escalier
can certainly speak out about what our people have gone through and what they are doing to establish a
unique legacy of peace: our stories, our heritage, our landscape, our diversity, our culture and our local
peace heroes who have contributed to their citizen’s safety, prosperity and quality of life.
Allow me to touch upon some of the arguments used to convince at international level.
On the historical side, it is well known that there has been communal violence between L’Escalier and the
neighboring villages in the year 1983. Throughout the years, L’Escalier has successfully evolved to
become a role model in terms of peace: the village provides a true and accurate picture of the rainbow and
united Mauritius nation where all communities work hand in hand, where everyone gets the same
opportunities in a country where we live in peace, where our population is healthy, where girls and
women are treated with respect. All religions today live peacefully as one big family, be it the Hindus, the
Christians, the Tamils, the Telugus, the Muslims, the Chinese, etc. Citizens’ behavior over the last few
years has been nothing but positive and respectful. One can now describe L’Escalier as a “mini world” in itself inhabited by people from different nations and varied cultures who strive to build an inclusive
society based on equality, tolerance and community service. When it comes to the environmental aspect, there exist two strategic places which are a must for all tourists who come to our island to visit: Le Souffleur and Pont Naturel – real heavens of peace and harmony, amazing natural places. Besides, two popular lakes – the Bassin Canon and the Bassin Marmite make a lively situation for the inhabitants. The latter is blessed with an Aryur Vedic Spiritual Park. Moreover, Riviere du Poste ends beautifully at Bassin Carangue, which is yet another tourist attraction. Over and above that, these rivers have played a vital role for the inhabitants in the past and present including for the “Ganesh Visharjan” and the annual Cavadee.

Africa-Asia Youth Foundation Mauritius

On the economic side, L’Escalier has one rare sugar factory in Mauritius that is still in operation today
and contributes to maintain L’Escalier as a lively, economically stable and thus peaceful village.
Omnicane was launched in July 2009 through a strategic rebranding and specialises in the downstream
production of refined sugar, bioethanol, thermal energy, and electricity at its fully integrated flexi-factory
complex at La Baraque, L’Escalier. Omnicane was the first African sugar company to obtain the
Bonsucro certification in November 2019. Besides, Omnicane makes active CSR contributions and major
projects underway in L’Escalier and neighborhood. It is worth highlighting that since the proclamation of L’Escalier as an International City of Peace, a National Organising Committee has been set up in the village which has devised a strategic plan to mark this historic situation. A Covid-19 symposium has been organised in August 2020 at Domaine Dalais with over 50 youths that has focused on the economic, humanitarian and environmental impacts of the global pandemic. We have also successfully conducted essay and painting competitions with students of Gardes V and VI of both primary schools of the village. Thanks to the support of the Mauritius Film Development Corporation, a highly insightful documentary on the village has been produced and launched. Other activities in the pipeline for the year 2020 include a workshop on yoga, a peace march and a hiking though Le Souffleur.

The global recognition of International City of Peace proves what famous American writer Mark Twain
said when he visited then remote island of Mauritius in 1896, “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven;
and heaven was copied after Mauritius.” This year, it has been clearer than ever that we are not each other’s enemies. Rather, our common enemy is a tireless virus that threatens our health, security and very way of life. COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of the planet can impact people everywhere. It is my firm conviction that the global recognition serves as a springboard to make the village of L’Escalier a role model across the whole world, including Africa and Asia, in the fight against drugs and an example for the ability of its population, made up of different communities, to live together peacefully and harmoniously. The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together.” Let’s celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic. Let’s all stand together with the UN against attempts to use the Corona virus to promote discrimination or hatred.

To conclude, my vision is that of a peaceful world that takes initiatives to address violence and build a
new generation of leadership dedicated to fostering a practical culture of peace. It is now time for all of us
to take our responsibility for helping create and maintain a peaceful world seriously. Peace is the only
way out for human beings.

 

Chelvin Ramsamy, Continent Director - Africa

Chelvin Ramsamy

Peace Ambassador,

L’Escalier International City of Peace, Mauritius.
Continent Director, Africa-Asia Youth Foundation.

 

 

YOUTH AND ONE HEALTH: PREVENTING FUTURE PANDEMIC

The pandemic of COVID-19 has turned the world upside-down during which, the global death toll has reached 503,862 as of June 2020, according to the Situation Report – 162 (World Health Organization, 2020). It has worsened global inequalities and undermined international movements in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Hence, the world should take into account the One Health approach, a collaborative action coined during the SARS pandemic unifying the welfare of humans, animals, and the environment in the national and global policy.

Constituting 16% of the global population (UN ECOSOC, 2019), youth has to face severe consequences owing to the pandemic. Thus, it is logical to consider the role of young people in promoting and advancing the One Health approach.

Why One Health Matters?

In the past few decades, the increasing cases of environmental degradation and wildlife exploitation, such as illegal trading and bushmeat consumption, are commensurate with the aftermath caused by the zoonoses, including SARS, Ebola, MERS and COVID-19. In 2015, WHO found that in the past few decades, the diseases were accounted for 61% of human pathogens and 75% of emerging pathogens (WHO, 2015).

The One Health approach seeks to mitigate the zoonotic outbreak by safeguarding people, animals, and ecosystems in two manners. First, the movement stipulates that wildlife health, human wellbeing and flourishing environment are interconnected. Thus, any potential disconnection of the bond may pose an adverse impact on all entities. Massive, unsustainable economic practices, such as deforestation, unethical mining, wildlife exploitation, agriculture and human overpopulation, have harvested the dissemination of pestilent diseases to humans. Yellow fever is the paragon of how large-scale deforestation occurred during the establishment of the Panama Canal in 1888 by the Spanish colonist interfered with natural equilibrium, leading to the death of 22,000 workers. Before the construction, the diseases only infected primates living in the jungle canopy. Moreover, maltreatment of animals, particularly of livestock, has fertilized the propagation of infectious zoonoses (Benatar, 2020). In a nutshell, the way we nurture animals could affect the entire colonies. Ensuring biodiversity is thus not only ethical but is also essential to prevent the pandemic. Second, the One Health concept requires a multidisciplinary approach following the SDGs (goal 17). It provides a platform in which stakeholders from various backgrounds can not only learn best-practices but also cooperate in mobilizing their resources towards prevention.

Youth contribution

The pandemic has deteriorated sustained issues, such as the youth unemployment rate which was accounted for threefold higher than those for adults (ILO, 2020). However, youth can serve a critical role to maintain the One Health approach in the community. Given its robust population, young people need to be consistently in charge of fostering a lifestyle that is low-carbon and free of animal cruelty. Carrying on with these behaviours may, in turn, ignite more significant initiatives from wider communities and policymakers, and thus driving business sectors to adopt a more sustainable supply chain. Such an incremental cycle of lifestyle is the building block of one health approach, which seeks to uphold the future well-being of all creatures.

Finally, the human-centric approach alone is insufficient to future proof humanity of a pandemic, and neither can the government be sole problem solvers. Protecting the future of humankind requires not only a holistic view incorporating the complete ecosystem throughout the process but also a whole endeavor among stakeholders across all age groups. All of which is imbued in the One Health approach.

Article by

Rochmy Hamdani Akbar

Mirda Sylvia

Africa-Asia Youth Foundation, Indonesia chapter.

Les Cours de français

Les Cours De
Les Cours De

Les Cours de français is a Language Training Program under the purview of Art, Creativity, and Culture Division of the Africa-Asia Youth Foundation Indonesia (AAYFO Indonesia). This program will be organised as part of the implementation of cultural missions aimed at increasing opportunities for establishing cooperation and fostering ties of solidarity between youth in Asia and Africa. According to the BBC (2019), currently around 44% of French users live in Africa and the number is likely to increase to a solid 85% by 2050.

Under this program, AAYFO Indonesia will conduct French classes to hone the language skills of the participants. The basics of the language will be taught via 4 classes to be organised on 7, 14, 22, and 29 March 2020 in Jakarta from 10:00 to 12:00 WIB. Read the link provided below for the details regarding the requirement criteria. http://bit.ly/LesCoursdefrançais1 and if you think you are eligible please register by March 1, 2020 at 8am West Indonesia Time. For your information, the French class will use Indonesia Language as language of instruction.

IYD VIETNAM 2019

In commemoration of the International Youth Day – 2019, Africa-Asia Youth Foundation in collaboration with Soci Hub hosed a 2-day event in Hanoi on the theme of “Transforming Education Towards Sustainability”.

The event was a platform for young Asian and African people coming from two different cultures and continents to share the educational issues that they are facing, and discuss to give solutions to those problems. Along with that, the program was also created with the aim of promoting cultural interference between Vietnam and African countries to partly erase misunderstandings about culture between youths and promoting peace creation towards sustainable development.

It was an excellent opportunity for ideas exchange, co-learn and discuss the current education story shared by experts and practitioners Sexual rich experience. With that, you will also have the opportunity to approach and experience “Non-violence Communication” as a tool to reconcile misunderstanding, conflict in daily life, contributing to build peace in the peace in Vietnam. society and along with it is the opportunity to share and experience the characteristic culture of different countries in Africa, expand its cultural view of black continent and have memorable memories.

Africa-Asia Youth Foundation and Soci Hub hope that the International Youth Day 2019 was a step or the beginning of the thoughts in the heart of young people about a suitable education for people to direction to a commune guild with more love and less than struggle, encourage and important no less, is the mark of connection with friends who are not the same color skin, not the same language but always share the storm to create good values for human society.

The event gave youths the opportunity to connect to friends from both continents through activities related to education and cultural experiences.

Opportunity to access and experience “Non-violent communication” with the guidance of experienced experts and at the end, certificate of participation were issued.

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AAYFO INDIA CONSULTATION VISIT TO NIGERIA HIGH COMMISSIONER TO INDIA

AAYFO India consltation visit to Nigeria High Commissioner to India

With more than 25000 young Africans staying in India to pursue their higher education, India and Indians not only need to acknowledge their valuable presence but also mutually develop a shared vision for better India-Africa relations. Taking a big step in this direction, Africa- Asia Youth Foundation (AAYFO), a convergence of progressive thinking African and Asian youths agreeing to forge a common goal in fostering youth cooperation between both continents, recently organized an International symposium on “Africa-India Relations: Boosting Ties, Exchanging Values and Leveraging Impact” to mark the launch of its ‘Center for Learning, Social Enterprise and Innovation’, on November 8, 2019, held at Shyam Lal College, Delhi University. Inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. Christopher Nwanoro, Minister Counsellor, Nigeria High Commission, New Delhi, who has been constantly guiding AAYFO in its various missions and projects.

AAYFO India consltation visit to Nigeria High Commissioner to India

In line with the success of the event, AAYFO is organizing a Youth Town Hall in collaboration with the Nigeria High Commission, New Delhi on February 5th, 2020. The purpose of the event is to develop and strengthen cooperation between youth and other potential stakeholders, to promote the establishment and strengthen ties of friendship and solidarity between participants, to discuss items on the agenda and ensure their follow up at national and international level. This event will act as another step taken by AAYFO to draw on youth experiences with addressing development-related issues in order to identify means through which youth can play a role in the implementation process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as ponder upon the Follow up and Review process. 

To proceed with the same, Mr. Keshav Saini, Continent Director, AAYFO (Asia), Mr. Angad Anand, Country Director, AAYFO (India Chapter), and Ms. Gauri Malhotra, State Director, AAYFO (India Chapter) met His Excellency Dr. Christopher Nwanoro, Minister Counsellor, Nigeria High Commission, New Delhi and he was humble enough to get us a meeting arranged with His Excellency Major General Chris Owushi Eze, The Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of India.  With this visit, we finalized the proposal of a Youth Town Hall at the High Commission on February 7th, 2020, the team had a constructive discussion with His Excellency on what the Town Hall will focus on and how will it benefit the youths of both the continents. He critically analysed the proposal of the event. We also discussed the prospects of future collaboration with His Excellency and he gave us his fruitful insights into how AAYFO as an Organization can grow.

We are grateful for all the time he spared for us from his busy schedule, and we look forward to a fruitful Youth Town Hall under his guidance.

BREAKING THE GENDER STEREOTYPES EVENT

Gender stereotyping results from unconscious biases held by all of us. Unconscious bias happens when our subconscious makes assumptions about people based on their background or perceived background. The effects of Gender stereotypes is that it shape our self-perception, attitudes to relationships and influence our participation in the world of work and everyday life.
On the occasion of the National Sexual and Gender Minorities’ Day-2019, AAYFO-Nepal Chapter successfully commemorate this day with a discussion highlighting the impact of gender based stereotypes as it affects our society. The panelists were drawn from various fields of endeavors.
 
We are thankful to the following panelists who made this event a success.
 
Ms Sunita Danuwar, an activist, multiple award winner and founder – Sunita Foundation.
 
Ms Angel Lama – Miss Pink Nepal 2018 – Transgender, Activistunita Foundation.
 
Mr Santosh Darnal – Researcher and Program Coordinator, MA in Gender Studies at K&K International College
 
On the occasion of the National Sexual and Gender Minorities’ Day-2019, AAYFO-Nepal Chapter successfully commemorate this day with a discussion highlighting the impact of gender based stereotypes as it affects our society. The panelists were drawn from various fields of endeavors.
 
Many thanks to our hosting partner “K&K International College” for hosting their support towards the success of this event.
Photo Gallery from the breaking stereotype event
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