Flame of Phoenix: Voice for specially abled persons

Date: June 26, 2019
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Flame of Phoenix is an NGO that was started in 2017 by Anishta Seesurrun. It aims “to empower disabled and vulnerable persons through diverse actions”.  The organisation has three main pillars: Empowerment of vulnerable individuals through training and development, she herself serves as an Ambassador for gender-based violence and lastly, the empowerment of individuals who have a mental or physical disability.


In their approach, the NGO focuses on nurturing a sisterhood and brotherhood which offers a chance for individuals with disabilities to know and learn from each other and develop a support system; build life skills by providing opportunities for persons with disabilities to test their boundaries and take on new challenges; increase visibility by providing a public platform for individual to define themselves and dispel stereotypes.


Anishta’s motivation is very personal since she has a younger sister with down syndrome. As well, she wanted to highlight all individuals who have a disability and their capacities, since society often overlooks them. To this end, she wanted to create a platform where these hidden talents were made visible and this led to the creation of Miss and Mr. Able in 2018, the first local pageant for individual with mental or physical disabilities in Mauritius. In her own words, Anishta describes the aim of the pageant “this pageant for disabled persons is not to select the most attractive individual. Instead it fosters the inner qualities as the selected representative. This is a platform where people with disabilities can define themselves on their own term by taking certain elements of pageantry. We are making the world a more inclusive place.” The mission of Miss & Mr Able provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to build confidence and self-esteem in a supportive environment by breaking down barriers and open “doors of opportunity”.


It’s first edition had 80 applicants and 50 of them were retained, ages 5 to 37. They jury which consisted of a psychologist, reviewed their talents, their “demarche” and it was all very glamorous. After the event, a follow-up was made with these 50 participants and recreational outings were organized. The hope is that this event happens every year and that it serves as a way to promote the talents and capacities of individual who have a disability.


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