TBTM Global Ambassador Kunal Quentinn Narain writes about youth activities in Mauritius:
Plaine Magnien Youngsters Academy (PMYA) is an NGO, founded in 2013 to bring sports, leisure and social activities to young people in Plaine Magnien village in Mauritius. The academy is mainly composed of young people with the motive to promote societal norms and values through civic actions. PMYA has often been implementing activities such as 8-A-side Football Competition, National Petanque Competition, National Badminton Competition, Annual Christmas gifts distribution to vulnerable kids, Annual Family Fun Day and Fund Raising for children who have to undergo medical treatment abroad.
Their "Youth in Sports" project comprises of football training for vulnerable young people, and subsequently channeling them into Professional Football leagues. The academy also has many future projects; e.g. Remedial Classes for Grade 5 & 6 kids and Mixed-Ability Rugby Team project. In all, PMYA has successfully met its goal in uniting the people in the village of Plaine Magnien particular the youth through social activities.
But how did it all start?
Whilst working at the National Empowerment Foundation which aims to provide the most vulnerable people with the ability to improve their living condition, Vashil Jasgray met with some young people who wanted to organise some social activities in Plaine Magnien. Unfortunately, these individuals lacked enough acquaintance with education, and leisure facilities were not provided in the locality. Thereafter, Vashil identified some community youth leaders in the surrounding vulnerable regions to work together on how he could help them to plan social activities. They then set up the Plaine Magnien Youngsters Academy (PMYA) to welcome other young volunteers in the region to come up with suggestions and various action plans. At the start, the organisation had around 12 members. Consequently, these members started to recruit other people through their networks. Today, PMYA consists of a total of 30 young people aiming to bring a change to their village through civic actions. The organisation has a president, vice-president, secretary and executive members whereby each member has to lead a project in their turn.
What are PMYA's main activities?
PMYA, in collaboration with the Village Council of the region, organized a Family Fun Day on the 15th of April 2018 at the Plaine Magnien Football Ground. "Feed the bear", face painting and many other fun activities were organized.
In this picture, young people are seen to be rewarded for their participation in sports activities.
On the Family Fun Day, these young boys were rewarded for their exceptional performance in athletics.
PMYA primarily encourages young people from vulnerable areas to get engaged in sports through facilities provided by the Ministry and sports activities organised by the PMYA. The aim is to deepen their potential in sports and build a social bond with young people in the locality. Yet, PMYA believes that sports help to keep away young people from juvenile delinquency.
PMYA getting ready to host an event.
The PMYA team is seen on this picture to serve foods to senior citizens.
Normally, this Senior Citizen Lunch project is carried out by King Savers Supermarket and PMYA’s members help in serving foods to the elders. This project is done on an annual basis and PMYA regularly/always participates.
PMYA realised a Gift Distribution Project as part of their annual Christmas celebration. The team gave out Christmas gifts to numerous kids, mainly from vulnerable areas.This project was largely realizable with the participation of various sponsoring bodies which have been working with PMYA.
PMYA organized a Petanque Tournament in 2017 wherein the main aim was to carry out a fund-raising activity to invest in their future social works. Most importantly, PMYA engages in fund-raising activities to generate funds for most of their social projects. This type of activity is also seen to strengthen social bonds and encourage social solidarity among people in the Plaine Magnien region.
Since a great number of young people come from vulnerable areas in the region of Plaine Magnien, PMYA encourages these individuals to participate in football activities. Accordingly, adequate equipment is provided for these young people to make the most of, and they are helped in their registration at national level.
“...volunteering must be a part of your everyday life to enhance our society and to make the world a better place”
- Vashil Jasgray, founder of PMYA
All photos were taken by the PMYA team, and reserve rights as such.