A campaign of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius
“You will meet obstacles. You will know moments of doubt. You will make mistakes. But if you work hard, there will be no limits. “
Noémi Alphonse an ambitious young woman of 23 years, is a paraplegic and has decided to live life to the fullest. Noémi is a professional athlete who represents Mauritius internationally in the para-athletics games. She has been wheelchair racing for 4 years and currently holds 8 Mauritian records, including also an African record. Noémi works very hard to ensure that she flies the Mauritian flag as often as possible.
Noémi is passionate about enduring and succeeding in her plight and lives by her message that “one can succeed in life, even while being otherwise capable.”Just persevere! At a young age, her parents taught her to be independent, go to school and work hard to reap the benefits of her efforts. “My fight,” she says, “is to show the Mauritians that disabled people are no different from so-called” ‘valid‘ people.’’ She advocates equal opportunities. Naomi wants to spread this message of equity amongst the young generation and parents of the otherwise capable to send them a message of HOPE through the ‘Rise and Shine’ campaign.
She also says, “I think we have to start with the youngsters, it’s a whole education system that needs to be changed in preserving the physically challenged.”
Noémi also asks to open our eyes to the discrimination and lack of development that still exists between the “otherwise capable” and the “valid” individuals which keeps on making the lives of the otherwise capable people difficult and challenging. This saddens her immensely as there is no parity in the support of the ‘valid’ and the otherwise capable.
Noémi also shares that we still live in a patriarchal society and stands firm towards the actions of the European Union for Human Rights in Mauritius, fighting for equal opportunities between men and women, the “valid” and the “otherwise capable.” Today Noémi is proud to be an ambassador of the campaign ‘Rise and Shine’ due to the strong message and purpose it conveys. Likewise, the young athlete is a source of motivation for a whole community and country that is in the same situation as she. She has made it her mission.
Her motive is to change the Mauritian mentality on the otherwise capable, “that people must understand that we are not extra-terrestrials, but normal people who we are just different”.