News on Sunday

Miss Humanity Hope 2016: Jaleela Hassennally: “Making the world a better place”

Charming, enthusiastic and a social worker, Jaleela has been elected as Miss Humanity Hope 2016. With her vision and her passion for humanitarian work, she is all set to embark on this new journey. The 23-year old is a studying computer applications at the University of Mauritius. Recently, she has been conferred the title “Miss Humanity Hope” by the Cancer Association of Mauritius (CANMA) for an awareness campaign she spearheaded on stomach cancer. She visits numerous places such as schools for cancer awareness campaigns. “Through CANMA, I have a platform through which I can perform field work more easily, approach people and talk to them about stomach cancer or simply cancer in general,” she shares. Part of fulfilling her assignment for CANMA, she had to come forward with a project that reminds us of our constant fight against cancer. “After all, society should stand united to support and help each other through difficult times. So, my project was to design ‘supporting cards’ where people would take the pledge of fighting cancer and not be stigmatised by it. These cards would be a token that can be kept in their purses or diaries where coming across them would serve as a reminder of their constant fight against this invisible foe. I also created Facebook and Instagram pages where I post information about stomach cancer or supportive messages,” she avers. Humanitarian work The world has known many remarkable personalities, she says, but there has been only one Nelson Mandela, one Rosa Lee Parks, one Muhammad Ali and one Mother Theresa to mark history. “They did not come by chance, they were God-sent. They inspire the new generation. It is our responsibility as human beings to be involved in humanitarian work. If we don’t, who will? Humanitarian work transcends all barriers, be it age, gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, and social. This motivates me because I believe that there is no such thing as a second class citizen; everyone should be considered and treated equally,” she says. Jaleela is a multitasking person. She has several pets at home: cat, rabbit, tortoises and ducklings. Sports is another one of her passions, and she describes herself as a die-hard fan of Manchester United. She has been practising many sports, such as boxing, archery, football, and tennis. From time to time, in her spare time, she would pick up a book. As a university student, with her final-year essay coming, planning proved to be crucial to balance studies and the cancer awareness campaigns. “Even if the situation in Mauritius is getting better where cancer is concerned, it nevertheless remains a taboo. Despite being warned, I actually noticed that during my campaigns, some people refused to listen to information about cancer, but to even avoid mentioning or speaking about the word ‘cancer’. So it was a real challenge for me to take a different approach for my campaigns so that they looked less like a ‘lecture’ and more like a moment of ‘sharing’ of knowledge, feelings and thoughts, so that the audience was more at ease and ‘welcoming’ when it came to dealing with this topic,” she explains. Her dreams… She has the dream to see a better world where one feels good to live in, to share friendship and brotherhood and to stand by each other through sorrows and difficulties times. “I have the dream to see less atrocities and bloodshed so that our planet remains blue indeed. In line with my field of involvement, though at this point in time, it is delusional to eliminate cancer, it is my humble vision that we can at least stand as one person to fight against this silent killer and make life a little better for the fighters of cancer,” she shares. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"21093","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-35008 alignleft","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"301","height":"340","alt":"Miss Humanity Hope 2016: Jaleela Hassennally"}}]]Awards and recognition achieved Jaleela has received numerous awards and recognition in various competitions including boxing and public speaking. Some of her main achievements are:
  • In July 2010, Regional Boxing Champion in the Lightweight Category
  • In 2012, Gold Medallist in Boxing for the same category
  • In 2015, Ranked third in ICAC’s public-speaking competition on Corruption
  • In March 2016, First in a public-speaking competition held by Transparency Mauritius (Topic: Importance of a Freedom of Information Act in Mauritius)

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