Mauritius launches it's first Youth Parliament

The members of the youth parliament

“Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.” — Rachel Jackson

I can now proudly say that Mauritius launched it's first Youth Parliament, and I'm really humbled to be a part of this amazing initiative.

Most people do not realize that if youth are part of the problem, they are also part of the solution. If we want to promote change, we cannot leave the voices of more than 1 billion young people behind.

I think that it's finally time to drop the stereotypes that youth are not competent enough and do not care about the future. We are standing up for what we believe in, challenging the status-quo and being strong enough to raise our voices loud.

After days of extensive training, youth from around the island debated on SDGs in a parliamentary set-up urging the government to include youth in policy-making.

Despite several disagreements, the resolutions passed and the debates by other members of parliament were really smart and brilliant. We talked about women's rights: Gender-based violence, marital rape, and gender inequality in the workforce and politics; LGBTI; climate change: the mitigation and adaptation measures as well as individual actions to mitigate effects of climate change; and quality education.

I have been amazed by my colleagues and friends and their strong desire to bring forward change. Gender, climate and education were at the heart of our debates, and I'm incredibly proud that to see future leaders, taking the reins of the country.

I remember I used to hate politics; but then later on, I realized that I cannot have the choice to hate politics because politics is the weapon we use to change legislation and policies and to shape the world. Everything flows, and I'm grateful to have been given this chance for such a platform. As I am writing this post, it's nostalgia all over again- I'm glad to meet great people and friends who challenged me intellectually and taught me so much. Thanks for the energy, the courage, the wisdom, the warmth that were contagious, and thanks for making me grow. Those few days have been the best; cries, tears, laughter, learning, and lessons. A whole year experience compressed in just a few weeks that cannot be put into words.

So I'll just say that when you give youth a voice, a platform, and a chance, they will surprise the whole nation.

Cheers to youth.

"Whatever career you may choose for yourself - doctor, lawyer, teacher - let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life. It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher. It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can. It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selflessly helping your fellow man. Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr