In episode 9 of season 2, Arthi welcomes long-time friend, and human and environmental rights activist Yuri Ramkissoon to the show.
Yuri shares her context of growing up in an activist family, experiencing childhood and teenage-hood in the KZN South Industrial Basin, and bearing witness to the disregard and impunity from the private sector and government to remedy the pollution.
A chance selection of environmental science as a filler subject in university ignited her passion in this space but the acknowledgement of this passion came full circle when she joined the South African Human Rights Commission in 2008.
Yuri shares practical tips on how to figure out where your passion lies, how to work through obstacles, how to nurture and evolve your passion, and so much more!
Some wise words shared by Yuri:
-“if you wake up in the morning with absolute dread about going to work, you are in the wrong field”.
- “A passion doesn’t have to be static, it changes over time”.
- “Don’t take constructive criticism badly, it is something you can learn from”
Listen to the full episode to hear more from my remarkable guest.
About Yuri Ramkissoon
Yuri is a Senior Researcher at the South African Human Rights Commission heading the Economic and Social Rights (ESR) unit. Her activist work began when she was a teenager, growing up in the South Durban Industrial Basin, where communities live in tandem with major, polluting industries, and the link between environmental rights and human rights is clearly apparent. Yuri has a Master of Science in Environmental Science and a post-graduation diploma in Sustainable Development and Human Rights. In her work, she monitors a range of rights, such as healthcare, basic education, water and sanitation, and the cross-cutting impacts on gender, race and groups categorised as vulnerable in South Africa. Yuri has done much work in the field of economic and social rights but has a particular interest in the impact of private sector activities on the environment and other human rights. In addition to undertaking research on realising socio-economic rights in South Africa, Yuri has presented her research finding to the State, Parliament and myriad international organisations including the United Nations.
Connect with Yuri at
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