Anouradha Poorun – Mauritius

Anouradha Poorun – Mauritius

Date: June 6, 2012
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I’ve been active in social work from a young age, and Gender Links has changed my approach to it substantially. In 2010, I joined FAM Exampler, an organization with which Gender Links is affiliated. They conduct a leadership program each year, to empower future women leaders.

Two years ago, I had the chance to attend a Gender Links session on the SADC Protocol. It was the first time I learned about the Protocol, and it was very interesting to me, because it’s something I didn’t know about at all, and I think the same can probably be said of most women. It has such important implications for our lives, but we’re completely unaware of it. This training triggered something in all our different organizations.

We had had a vague awareness of gender based violence in the community, but we needed a catalyst. Gender Links proved to be exactly that! We had a one month long campaign, with different workshops to raise awareness, and working with survivors. We coupled this work workshops for men. We even had a different session for kids, where we had activities about their emotions. Change is slow, but we can see the difference that is made every time we initiate a conversation about GBV.

This year (2012), we are participating in our first Gender Links summit, first in Mauritius, and then in South Africa. It has been a very good experience. With FAM Exampler, we work in close collaboration with civil society more broadly, and it’s a good opportunity to bring them into the work that we do. It gives us the chance to connect to the many organizations working on women’s empowerment, and look at where we have common interests and the possibility to collaborate. But it’s also an important space to reach out to individual activists; both to say thank you to people who have done so much, but also to inspire other people, and say you can also do something. There are NGOs that are looking for people to join in, get linked, and make a difference. This is very empowering for all of us. I believe that in life, we can all contribute to lighting up the world. To do this, we can choose to be candles, or mirrors. I think all the people who come to Gender Links summits, and choose to make a difference in their communities are candles, and want to show others how to be candles.

I have a background in management; I’m the general manager of a company, in addition to the time I spend with FAM Exampler. In the future, I’m working towards investing more in social work. I’m planning to upgrade my skills in this field, and eventually move out of management. The more I see how our work is changing peoples lives, the more invested I become, and the less I want to do anything else.



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