Mauritius Down Syndrome Champion
Commonwealth Point of Light 83. Ali Jookhun
Ali Jookhun, representing Mauritius, created the only network in Mauritius where people with Down Syndrome can meet each other and find support about the condition.
Drawing on his experience caring for his late twin daughters who were both born with multiple disabilities, Ali has led the network since 1993 and provided its 75 members with vital advice about education and healthcare. The network has significantly improved the lives of over 1,500 people with disabilities in the country since its inception and is raising awareness of the issues that affect them through Ali’s annual ‘World Down Syndrome Day’ event. Ali has worked with a number of Mauritian government ministries to help establish the Special Education Needs Authority, launched by the Mauritius National Assembly to provide specifically designed, inclusive learning environments for SEN students. He has also collaborated with the United Nations on their report about disability and equal rights.
“As humans none of us is superior to each other and inferior towards our counterparts. Engaging in volunteering for a better tomorrow, we should never seek accolades and awards. Being able to serve without expectation, is a divine opportunity where one is able to aid and inculcate goodness. The designation of the Commonwealth Points of Light awards running comes at the threshold of my 25 years of service in the field of persons with disabilities. The true recipient of the designation goes to my twins daughters Umraana and Irfaana who are my driving force even if they dwell in heaven and all caring and determined parents of children with disabilities.
“Any individual, corporate and group who uses the term of persons with disabilities should be aware it remains a sensitive issue.”