The Young Queer Alliance (YQA) is a non-governmental, youth-led and apolitical organisation registered in the Republic of Mauritius to empower youth, promote equality and leading change in the field of Sexual Orientation, Gender Expression and Gender Identity.
Founded on the 1st February 2014 – a date that Mauritius commemorates the Abolition of Slavery –YQA was officially registered on the 1st September 2014 after a successful complaint at the Equal Opportunities Commission due to homophobic authorities.
Within these few years of existence, through advocacy, activism and field interventions on various legal, social, policy making and health matters, coupled with a strong networking among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) youth and other stakeholders, YQA has positioned itself as a reference in the struggle for equality in the Republic of Mauritius for the LGBTQI community at large and for local and regional actors.
The Young Queer Alliance is dedicated to advance human rights and youth empowerment in the Republic of Mauritius with a focus on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression.
Supported by various local and regional governmental and non-governmental organisations and philanthropies, instilling the culture of volunteering, YQA seeks at empowering youth for them to promote equality and be leaders of change. For this, our main pillars of action are:
No movement, no organisation exist without a critical mass of individuals with the ability to mobilise, organise and act. At YQA we believe in human potential and their work, and the difference they can make for LGBTQI people in their communities – at workplace, in schools and at home. We equip young people and community actors with the appropriate tools and confidence to be role models and leaders so as to network and influence others.
Promoting acceptance and celebrating diversity
Mauritius is a concentration of richness of civilisations and diversity inter-mingled. Believing in the tested aptitudes of Mauritians to be accepting and celebrating diversity, the Young Queer Alliance goes in communities reaching people from a diverse range of ages, sexes and ethnic and religious appurtenance to foster dialogue on issues of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression.
The commitment to promoting acceptance and celebrating diversity is further translated to actions through numerous media interventions, visibility, I-stories and promoting space-sharing between LGBTQI and heterosexuals.
Reclaiming and changing laws
Strong and accountable institutions and representatives are key components in the struggle for equality. At YQA, we will continue to lobby government and political representatives to amend laws that do not ensure equality for LGBTQI people or enforce existing laws on sexual orientation. We will also empower institutions and hold them accountable for violations of basic human rights.
Despite the progress for Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals (LGB), we recognise that transpeople are still not recognised under laws in Mauritius and LGBTQI people face harassment, discrimination, persecution and lack of equal opportunities. Thus, at YQA, we will continue fighting to ensure that transpeople are regarded as citizens with equal rights as well as continuously holding local representatives accountable for laws they pass and decision they take as well as advocating for a better society.
The Young Queer Alliance envisions a society where “being human is the sole prerequisite to have equal human rights”.
YQA provides various services to attain its mission:
- Education, empowerment and sensitisation
- Psycho-social counselling and case management
- HIV/AIDS and STIs prevention
- Safe spaces and emergency sheltering (emergency sheltering for LBT women and girls only)
- Advocacy and litigation
Diksha is a Sociology graduate from the University of Mauritius. After working as Research Assistant for the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Chair of African Studies, she joined the Young Queer Alliance team as Coordinating Officer in August 2016 till end 2017. She previously served as Vice-President in the organisation and is currently serving as President of the YQA. She is passionate about human and minorities' rights as reflected from her involvement at YQA and the Institute for Social Development and Peace among others.
e-mail: email@example.com | Mob: (+230) 5772-7601
CHEN PAT Shayne Kevin
Shayne identifies as a young LGBT person and serves as Vice President at the Young Queer Alliance. He has been with the organisation since its foundation. He is always positive and always there for a laugh. Prior to his engagement at the YQA, Shayne was always fearful, timid and lack assertiveness. The YQA has helped him to bring himself forward during trainings, break his timidity, have a broader mind of things, to work with people and collaborate. He is still learning to be more assertive and continuing challenging himself even further. My future for this world: Love everybody equally
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mob: (+230) 5771-7080
Vipine joined the YQA Team in 2015 as a member. Since then his journey allowed him to grow from being an Auditor at the organisation to then serve as Vice Secretary and now as Secretary. Learning Science through academic education, business through career profession and sociology through voluntary social work allowed him to become quite versatile in his tasks at the YQA. Initially of jolly but introvert nature, Vipine has discovered new grounds of his personality since joining the YQA.
e-mail: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | Mob: (+230) 5807-3829
AMIC Alissa Sylviana
Alissa is a psychology postgraduate who integrated the organisation since 2017 to provide psychological support to the staffs of the Young Queer Alliance and also to support in case management and counselling. Following an empowerment approach to counselling, Alissa is a strong advocate of diversity and is dedicated to contribute to the advancement of human rights and social justice in Mauritius. She currently voluntarily serves as Vice Secretary to the YQA.
LASAVANNE Jürgen Soocramanien
Treasurer & Senior executive
Jürgen is currently serving at the Young Queer Alliance as Treasurer and has been serving the organisation since its foundation. Jürgen is passionate about human rights with a particular interest in LGBTQIA and women's rights especially in Mauritius. Jürgen also self-identifies as a non- gender conforming and strongly believes in intersectionality approaches of identities and social conditions which are effective tools in understanding the levels of opression and privileges in societies.
e-mail: email@example.com | Mob: (+230) 5802-8357
Saarvesh is a Health Care Assistance Diplomats from Qautre Borne Professional Training Centre and City & Guilds. He started his journey at YQA in 2015 as an active member then as Peer Educator from his exposure to various trainings, conferences and youth empowerment programmes. For his contributions and dedicated committments towards the LGBTQIA cause in Mauritius, he has also been awarded the Founder's award in 2017. Mim is passionate about human rights and firmly believes in Equality for all and he stands up against all kinds of discrimination. Mim now serves as Vice Treasurer at the YQA.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mob: (+230) 5805-8149
Dinkar works in the Marketing and Administrative sector. He is very passionate about Human Rights and endorses Gender Equality. Since 2015, Dinkar has been actively involved in the YQA's activities and worked as Peer Educator at the organisation. Dinkar has recently been elected as a member of Country Coordinating Mechanism against HIV/AIDS as KAPs' alternate representative and also serves at the YQA as Auditor.
INVULNERABLE MIREILLE KOUMERA
Mireille, or as her friends and the local LGBT community know her, MK, is married to her husband, Stephan, for 9 years now. MK is an ally to the LGBT community and acts as support to young LGBT around her locality and on Social Networks. Her hobbies are riding motorbikes, Social Media networking, be empathetic towards people and support young people in their endeavours. Apart from her hobbies and personal life, MK shares her time with her work in customer care and serving as auditor at the YQA.
e-mail: email@example.com | Mob: (+230) 5920-1082
JOOMUN Shah Irfan Mohammad
Part-time monitoring and evaluation officer
Ifran is currently serving in the Young Queer Alliance as a part-time M&E officer and has been serving the organisation since its foundation. His volunteering path backs to the days he was active member of school clubs and youth centers. Passionate about youth leadership, HIV and AIDS and Human Rights, he brings his contribution to various NGOs; such as Media Watch Organisation, AILES, PILS, Gender Links among others. He works as Trainee Nurse at the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and is enrolled in BSc (Hons.) Human Resource Management Course on part-time basis.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mob: (+230) 5791-8547
FOKEERBUX Najeeb Ahmad
Advisory and Mentoring Committee Member & Founder
Najeeb is the Founder of Young Queer Alliance (YQA) and has over 5 years experience working with LGBT youth. Najeeb previously held positions of responsibility in various organisations such as the Rivière-du-Rempart Youth Centre Advisory Committee, the Youth Action Movement, the Organisation Miss-Roi D'Été, Association VISA-G, Collectif Arc-en-Ciel, We Help You and Jeunesse Militante. Najeeb is currently the Chairperson of the African Queer Youth Initiative; an organisation regrouping young LGBTQI leaders across Africa and is also a member of the Youth Reference Group (YRG) of the Men who have Sex with Men Global Forum (MSMGF). Recently, Najeeb has been elected to serve on the Country Coordinating Mechanism against HIV committee as Firm representative of Gay and Bisexual Men.
e-mail: email@example.com | Mob: (+230) 5705-3507
Advisory and Mentoring Committee Member
Anushka works for Gender Links and drives the overall vision, strategy formulation, programing and processing streamlining to create an innovative and leading-edge NGO. Her work also consists of finding ways in bringing together a coalition of gender NGOs, Local Government Authorities and media houses as well as campaigning for the elevation of the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development into a Protocol. She leads through example and is a great believe in giving people space and proper guidance and mentoring to develop. Anushka key drives are about reflective aciton learning; alignment of strategic business goals and objectives; engagement and committment to Gender Links Mauritius; gained through mentoring and counselling.
Advisory and Mentoring Committee Member
Valerie is a lecturer in law at the Faculty of Law and Management at the University of Mauritius. She is currently undertaking her doctoral studies at the Center of Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa and has a keen interest for Human Rights issues, with a particular focus on the issues faced by the LGBTI+ community.
BHAGANOOA Sandy Christ
Advisory and Mentoring Committee Member
Chris is a lawyer at the Bar of Paris and of Mauritius. He is based in Paris and practises both in Mauriitus and in France. Their chambers consists of four lawyers who are all Mauritians issued form French-based universities and/or the University of Mauritius. They are much concerned about the situation of civil and human rights in countries where these are violated and not respected. They engage in a particular practice concerning the rights of LGBTQI persons so that their fundamental civil rights are respected.
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Eric Whitaker (U.S. Department of State)
I find the youngsters of Young Queer Alliance very creative and I welcome this shelter project in Mauritius. Congratulations for this beautiful project that I will surely narrate at Washington.
Saarvesh Doorjean (Peer Outreach, YQA)
I am so proud of us. I have learnt many things and got to know many people working with the Young Queer Alliance. A big thank you and the team at YQA.
Aldo Dell'Ariccia (European Union)
I took the opportunity to comment the initiative of the Young Queer Alliance for launching a national campaign theme "Equality for All", and thank the members of the association for their determination and dynamism.