I came in a bit late and was greeted with a young girl telling a story about life, the universe, and the power of women. WOW. WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW. If only more speakers had her passion, her grace, her power. Standing ovation. WOW.
She’s followed by Grandmother Sara Smith, an Indigenous Elder from the Mohawk tribe. She talks closely about our part in the world, our Earth Walk, and our responsibilities in the world. The power of women to create and manifest is still available, we just need to remember. It’s actually quite moving and not really something I can put into words, but suffice to say that for us to make change in the world, we have to remember who we are and where we come from.
Next up is Amelia Kinahoi-Siamomua, Acting Director at CARE. She starts of by saying we are POWERFUL – a theme that seems to be running in this panel. She runs a video for their “I Am Powerful” campaign, which features women around the world and the various roles and powers they have. The concept behind that campaign is that no matter what or where, every woman has the power to change their world – and CARE is there to help them do it. She relates stories of how women were at the periphery of HIV/AIDS and are now at the center; are now in peacekeeping forces even when they didn’t have full rights. The point is, women are no longer just bystanders in making change. They ARE change agents, and they need all the support they can get.
Next is Angela Mason, from World Vision, a former actress who now makes award-winning documentaries on women and children. She is also a speaker on “hope in impossible places”. WHOA she’s loud. And she got us to do a massage chain! Yay! Her speech was very compelling and fascinating – I didn’t actually type anything in between because I was quite taken by it. She told us stories of her trips with World Vision, about how people were so HAPPY because they had water, about this Ugandan woman who had a booming business making envelopes for people to keep medicines in (so much so that she couldn’t keep up), about people who were happy for the smallest things. Sure puts some things into perspective.
This panel ends off with another song. Stay tuned for more of the UN Youth Assembly.