together we move
15 Years: Together & Stronger AHEAD!
As we progress past mid-2022, it’s important to allocate some time to reflect on ourselves, our families, our organization, achievements, accomplishments and more importantly the present as well as the way forward.
2022 marks an important milestone in AHEAD’s history having been incorporated and registered in 2007 as the founding members envisioned actions for a better society to achieve realistic goals and objectives through its envisaged core values, putting people and sustainable development as the focal point of every action.
First and foremost, a Big ‘Thank You’ to all the members, volunteers, local & external associations, organizations and other public or private bodies. A special kudos to all the active members and our president Mr Suraj Ray who is at the center or rather epicenter of every decision and action entailing the growth and development of AHEAD. Your valuable commitment, dedication, vision and relentless effort have not gone unnoticed and what’s important is that it made (and still making) significant impacts to people, society, the environment and the country.
The past projects undertaken since AHEAD’s inception and actual projects are paving the way for future success and calls for ongoing support and takeover from future generations. What’s inspiring throughout this journey is that all these commendable activities create a sense of accomplishment, positivity and generate a tunnel of hope in this actual world where lots of uncertainties prevail.
Health & Wellness
The last two years have been very tough and challenging for everyone throughout the world. Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of people in one way or another. Some have lost their loved ones, others infected while most people will learn to live with covid. On the other hand, the pandemic has urged crucial reflections to take a pause and focus on the most important aspects about people, their health, their lifestyle and the way of doing things. One of them is the well-being of people as a top priority. People and organizations in different parts of the world have proved to be adaptable and to be resilient to abrupt disruptions to their normal life.
While governments and organizations are trying their best to cope with containment and protection of their people, it is a known fact that stress and mental health affect everyone, the associated conditions are often plagued by stigma as well as discrimination. This also leads to prejudice and unfair treatment. Mental health stigma is made up of negative attitudes, misconceptions, emotions and unfavorable opinions about mental health problems and mental health conditions. It can come from broader society (societal stigma), from yourself (self-stigma), or from being associated with someone experiencing a mental health condition (associative stigma).
Mental health stigma matters in order to foster an inclusive, accessible environment where all feel valued, respected and supported, and where anyone can bring his whole self to work. Responding to stigma sets the tone for a positive, respectful and mentally healthy workplace. It’s important to know the facts, educate yourself, be aware of your attitudes and behavior. There are different ways of dealing with stress and building healthier relationships. Some of them are focusing on the positives, meditating, maintaining a healthy diet, recognizing and connecting with people (colleagues/friends/family members..), maintaining work-life or school-life balance, keeping realistic expectations, to be the authentic YOU and being honest.
As we continue to adjust to new ways of living and working, developing self-compassionate habits will help us better adapt to any changes we may face. Practicing self-compassion is linked to healthier behaviors, greater motivation and confidence, and an increased ability to cope with stress and trauma. It can also help us form better connections and relationships with one another, and ultimately support our overall health and happiness. Regular physical activity is also one of the best ways our overall health and well-being can be improved.
As a glimpse of hope appeared in reaching protective levels and adjusting to back to normal life with the Covid-19 vaccines and booster doses, the world has been stunned by invasion of Russia against Ukraine as well as the ongoing war between them. Beside raising questions about sovereignty, democracy and human rights, this has caused unprecedented consequences in terms of weaker economic growth, stronger inflation and potentially long-lasting damage to supply chains. This has undoubtedly raised further wake-up calls from organizations, governments and people about self-sufficiency, sustainability, resiliency and development that will meet the needs of the population without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Various activities have been undertaken by AHEAD since its inception to engage mainly in capacity building in civil and human rights, constitution and the law, and engagement in sustainable development activities, mainstreaming “People, Rights, Gender, World of Work, Education, Environment, Wellness and Living Things”; cross cutting gender, ensuring equality, inclusion and empowerment of women in everything it does. AHEAD is also currently engaged in two major projects, namely first, ‘case management’ where AHEAD has ‘adopted’ 5 families at the grass root and second, advocacy at national level on gender issues (#GBV & #SGBV) mainly on ILO Convention C190 and the Workers Rights Act whereby AHEAD is reinforcing the capacity of and empowering women and girls in the World of Work!
Among others, AHEAD has marked events such as ‘World Food Day’, ‘Partnership with MACOSS in the FEMNET Project’, ‘World Braille Day’, ‘International Volunteers Day’, ‘World Environment Day’, ‘Earth Day’, ‘Work Life Balance’, ‘National Colloquium on People & Sustainability: Earth, Economics & Sustainability’, Road Safety consciousness, Human Rights, Workers Rights, Violence Prevention, Sports & Leisure Activities, …and the list goes on.
AHEAD also marks its presence at various environmental and sensitization campaigns both at community and national level, setting the example by uplifting and converting empty spaces into green fruitful ones. The most recent and remarkably laudable one was the distribution of food packs to poor and vulnerable families in Roches Noires in October 2021 to mark the International Volunteer Day (#IVD) and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (#IDPD). These families fall in the official Social Register of Mauritius (SRM) living in extreme poverty conditions and in such circumstances coordination with the authorities are essential to provide further support to them.
The follow-up, planning, coordination, scheduling and implementation of those activities would not have been possible without the valuable contributions of our members, volunteers and colleagues in place. The involvement of the young generation and their participation were much appreciated and inspiring. Ongoing and other planned activities are under way and being published.
The Way Forward…
AHEAD is totally right in adopting sustainable development and the accompanying sustainable development goals (#SDGs) into its objectives and working towards those goals. We can only achieve more and grow by adopting an inclusive approach, helping each other and supporting those commendable actions. As the world moves towards containing and tackling the pandemic, challenges will continue to arise, as will new solutions. Let’s not be distracted and keep our focus on the key motivating factors that have reinforced us through the years and that will keep us moving forward: learning, educating and adapting, helping each other, staying connected, staying positive! Loads more to come…..and so together we move AHEAD!
Executive Sustainable Development
Founder & Board Member