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 research
President & HIV rapid tester
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. Diksha also supports in HIV Rapid testing. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mob: (+230) 5772-7601
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, Secretary and now as Vice President. 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. He is also pursuing his post graduate master degree in Business Administration. Initially of jolly but introvert nature, Vipine has discovered new grounds of his personality since joining the YQA.
e-mail: email@example.com | Mob: (+230) 5807-3829
LASAVANNE Jürgen Soocramanien
Administrative and executive Secretary
Jürgen is a gender studies graduate from the University of Mauritius as well as a civic leadership graduate from the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center Southern Africa. He is a fervent human rights defender who has a strong interest in LGBTQIA issues, women rights movements and ethnic minorities. Jürgen is currently a member of the African Queer Youth Initiative (AQYI) which is a network of motivated, dedicated and resourceful young people across Africa who are passionate about human rights. He is also passionate about intersectionality, queer culture and discovering new horizons. Jürgen loves pop music, theater, diversity, equality and above all peace.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com | Mob: (+230) 5802-8357
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 as well as was elected Auditor in 2018. Currently, Dinkar is service as Vice Secretary at the YQA. Futhermore, Dinkar has is serving as a member of Country Coordinating Mechanism against HIV/AIDS as KAPs' alternate representative since 2018.
Saarvesh is a Health Care Assistance Diplomats from Quatre 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 and also served as Vice Treasurer at the YQA in 2018. 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 Treasurer at the YQA.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mob: (+230) 5805-8149
POTIÉ Ingrid Emmeline
Emmeline is a sociology graduate from the University of Mauritius. She is a former educator and is currently working at the National Human Rights Commission. Emmeline is immensely driven by growth, consistency and leadership. She has also great interest in ecological and humanitarian activities. Emmeline has been volunteering for a number of causes including education, environment, mental health, and human rights issues.
Devan is currently pursuing a degree in Business and Administration while serving as Coordinator at the YQA. He who had much difficulties to voice out societal issues in regards to equality, wanted to embark in the journey of activism but he could not make it. Still he gave it a try by joining Young Queer Alliance with this in mind, “Devan, if you want to fight for your rights, do it, it’s now or never.” With this resolution in mind, he made the first step and he has been climbing ever since. Devan joined YQA in 2015 as an active member then as peer educator. Having acquired enough skills at peer education in HIV/AIDS and social activism, he has been appointed as the Full-time Project Officer in the organisation in 2018. He also works as the Residential House Coordinator at Gender Links Safe Haven Halfway Home and part-time Events Manager at Eventzia and Make-up Artist.
e-mail: email@example.com | Mob: (+230) 5821-5005 | 437-3960
Support and Welfare Officer
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela
Sharon is an activist who lives by this quote. She believes that we should work together to share our knowledge and endlessly educate people for a better tomorrow - as education is a never ending process. Sharon is a BSc (Hons) and a post graduate degree holder from Switzerland and Canada. She is a Headhunter & an HR Consultant by profession, and works with NGOs since 2017 to promote basic education amongst youngsters living at the Safe Haven.
Communication and Marketing Officer
Imesh is a graphic designer and photographer and is currently at the YQA on a freelance basis. He studied at Fashion and design institute and obtain his advanced diploma in Art and Design. His works has been credited as second best student in FDI and he is currently working on building a small individual business. He Imesh also works in a Company specialised in promotional items and goodies. Imesh is a leftie and loves arts and culture. His passion rely on various topics such as pop culture, music, asmr, photography, video making and so much more.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mob: (+230) 5770-2936
FOKEERBUX Najeeb Ahmad
Advisory and Mentoring Committee Member & Founder
Najeeb is the Founder of Young Queer Alliance (YQA) and has experience working with LGBT youth since 2011. 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. Upon recommendation by the Prime Minister's Office (National AIDS Secretariat), in 2014, Najeeb became a certified trainer for the Pan African Comprehensive Sexuality Education through Save the Children International.
In addition, Najeeb is the current Chairperson of the African Queer Youth Initiative; an organisation regrouping young LGBTQI leaders across Africa and is also a Steering Committee member of MPact - Global Action for Gay Men's Health and Rights - formerly MSMGF. Najeeb is also serving on the Mauritius Country Coordinating Mechanism against HIV committee as Firm representative of Gay and Bisexual Men since 2018.
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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Others about us
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.