Who are the organisers?
We Love Mauritius is a charitable institution founded by Mauritian expatriates to promote environmental stewardship and social justice. In 2009, we launched the Voice of Youth project to empower young Mauritians to play a role in national decision-making. Our first initiative, the Maurice Ile Durable (MID) Video Awards, encourages students to share their concerns and opinions about the future via short films uploaded to YouTube. The first tranche of videos were judged by Prof Konrad Morgan and Prof Francois Odendaal who commended them highly. [Top]
What is Miss Earth?
Miss Earth is one of the top three international beauty contests. It differs from the others because knowledge and concern for the environment plays a dominant role in selecting the winner. Indeed, most years the new Miss Earth becomes the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) spokesperson (more on what sets Miss Earth apart). Hence, Miss Earth is the Voice of Youth and Mother Nature and so fits well into our own Voice of Youth project. [Top]
Why focus only on the environment?
In fact, Miss Earth is concerned for all of Life. Because of our human-centric world view, we often forget that we are only a part, albeit an important part, of Nature. We depend on healthy ecosystems for our survival and prosperity and by damaging them, we are putting our own future at risk. People in disadvantaged situations often degrade the environment out of a desperation to survive or because they do not know any better. To prevent this, Miss Earth is involved in humanrights, poverty reduction and education programmes. [Top]
Why a Miss and not a Mister?
When we consider the key people who have influenced history, the list is dominated by men. In terms of conquest, we have Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Napoleon and Adolf Hitler. In terms of religion: Abraham, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus and Mohammed. In terms of human rights: Martin Luther King and Gandhi.
The few women, notably Mother Theresa and Florence Nightingale, did not promote themselves. The world noticed them because of the self-sacrificing work they did to help others. Today we need more role models who embody this level of compassion. Those who have a heart to serve others do not seek to rule and be recognised, hence we need to search for them and put them on a pedestal for all to see. [Top]
Why a beauty competition?
In nature, beauty is captivating. Who has not been inspired by a magnificent sunset, panorama, waterfall or even a delicate flower? Helen of Troy is described as having the face that launched a thousand ships. We are on the path to ecological catastrophe, and economic and social collapse. We have talked about change for decades but nothing has been done. Perhaps what has been missing is a beautiful figurehead who can inspire us to launch ourselves into action.
Princess Diana, despite many obstacles, was learning to take on that role before her tragic death. Her kindness set us on a path to accepting those who suffer from AIDS and outlawing land mines. Her combination of beauty and compassion influenced everyone and if she were alive today we would surely be firmly on the path to a brighter future.
We need more women like her who can soften the competitive edge of our masculine leaders and stimulate them to cooperate with others. Nature is long suffering but ultimately fragile. She is becoming exhausted by our endless exploitation. We need ladies who can inspire gentleness in our gentlemen so that we treat Nature with the respect She deserves. [Top]
How will Mauritius’ representative be selected?
- Anyone interested in applying should send her cv to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The deadline for applications is 31st August. Candidates will be called for an interview, which will be video recorded. Our steering committee will draw up a short-list of candidates who will be invited to a photo-shoot. Their details will be sent to the organisers of Miss Earth who will select our representative for us. [Top]
What will happen during the Miss Earth contest?
Contestants from around 90 countries will arrive in Vietnam at the beginning of November. They will tour the country and be given a series of lectures. They will also get involved with a range of environmental and social projects. It is designed to be an informative and life-changing experience. The final ceremony will take place in a five star resort on December 4th. [Top]
What will she do after her return to Mauritius?
Representing Mauritius at Miss Earth 2010 will just be the start of an amazing 12 month experiential training programme in Public Relations and Environmental and Social Advocacy. We will create opportunities for her to share what she has learned. She will work with leading communication companies and she will receive coaching from the country’s best practitioners. Assisted by local experts, she will help guide Mauritius towards a path of environmentally and socially responsible development.
- We expect her to be invited as a keynote speaker at next year’s Model United Nation’s conference. We hope she will become an advisor to the Prime Minister’s MID steering committee as the spokesperson for her generation. And of course she will help find Mauritius’ candidate for Miss Earth 2011. Naturally, she will be suitably rewarded for her contribution. [Top]
What about sponsorship?
- The initial funding has come from Mauritian expatriates. We are developing partnerships with local firms to promote Maurice Ile Durable during 2011. We will be approaching Air Mauritius for the flights. Ideally, MBC will broadcast the final ceremony. Other companies wishing to be involved should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. [Top]
What are your plans for the future?
As our objective is to empower youth, we want them involved in the organisation and selection of Miss Earth Mauritius. In time, we expect them to take ownership of it in a similar manner to what has happened with the Model United Nations conference.
The organisers of Miss Earth are based in the Philippines and they want different countries to host the contest. We are already discussing the possibility of hosting it in Mauritius. This would be give a great boost to our tourism industry, showcase our ability to hold international events and provide an opportunity to highlight the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States. [Top]