On Day 4, there was the renowned High Level Political Forum (HLPF) event where all of us student ambassadors were able to hear the stories of how youth advocates around the world strived for environmental sustainability, healthcare equity, gender equality, and to prevent child trafficking.
I was inspired by the countless hours of effort put in by each student advocate to achieve social justice and it motivated me to lead similar social change in my school and local region based on their experiences, successes, and setbacks. Student speakers then had the opportunity to voice their concerns about the future to Paloma Escudero, the UNICEF Director of Communications, and Sandra Astete, representing the UNICEF Spanish Committee. The HLPF concluded with a striking poem by Te’ata Robinson, a Nord Anglia International School Dubai Student Ambassador, titled “White Dwarf Stars” about the importance of the youth in bettering our future, as well as an impactful musical piece by Sing For Hope.
Day 5 marked the end of the Summit and served as a day of reflection as we split into our groups to discuss what inspired us the most during the conference and how we can incorporate the skills and values we learned during the week into the constantly changing contexts of our everyday lives.
The Summit concluded with moving statements from Shannon O’ Shea and Dr Elise Ecoff who both stated the vitality of the younger demographic having a part to play in decision making for the future and how we should not limit our imagination. Dr Elise Ecoff presented an uplifting metaphor of the children’s novel “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and how us ambassadors should act as the embodiment of Harold, who draws his own world however he wishes to live it.
“Harold imagines the world the way he wants. Then he creates it.”
As part of the event this year, I also acted as Student Journalist, which involved me creating social media content for Nord Anglia’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter channels to provide daily updates about the conference for the world to see.
So, as I sat there following the event, I remembered that day in the theatre so long ago. Did I expect to ever attend the NAE-UNICEF Student Summit? No, but I was able to join and I’ve learned so much about advocacy. And do I now feel motivated to change the world? Absolutely!