By Karen from the YWCA of the Philippines
I have been involved with the YWCA of the Philippines for a decade now. I am inspired by its mission and vision to develop the physical, social, intellectual, moral and spiritual well-being of women and girls in accordance with Christian ideals.
I joined the YWCA many years ago and I was fortunate and grateful to meet the role models and leaders of this organization who developed, transformed and empowered me to become a responsible Christian leader through the YWCA trainings, workshop and activities that I attended. The World YWCA has given me another opportunity to attend the 48th Session on the Commission on Population and Development in New York. I knew that such opportunity comes with a big responsibility and I was excited but nervous. I have always thought New York as a beautiful, rich, shopping paradise, and an extraordinary city. I dreamt of seeing the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, Metropolitan Museum Art, and the Fifth Avenue.
It is an almost 18-hour flight from the Philippines to the other side of the world. On the plane, I met a very wonderful woman named Tita Fe, who has been very friendly and helpful during the entire flight from Manila to New York. She guided me where to get a ride to the hotel. The shuttle ride from the airport to One UN New York Hotel lasted for forty five minutes and it was amazing because I met two young women, whom were also travelling to New York City for the first time too.
The first day of the conference was exciting and full of learning experience. The moment I was waiting for had finally arrived – to enter the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It is just unfortunate that I wasn’t able to attend the opening ceremony of the conference and attended the afternoon session instead. It is a wonderful day to start my American experience together with other YWCA sisters and beautiful people working on a common purpose and interest from around the world.
I am also very happy and privileged to meet, for the second time Saba Haile, General Secretary of YWCA Ethiopia and Nelly Lukale, Youth Coordinator from YWCA of Kenya. We enjoyed our fellowship together and the discussions on the YWCA initiated programmes and activities to change the lives of our young women and girls around the world. We are also thankful to Hendrica Okondo, World YWCA Global Programme Manager SRHR and HIV and AIDS – Focal Point Africa, for the inspiration, support and mentorship.
Attending the 48th CPD session as part of the World YWCA Delegation was a great learning experience and a life changing experience for a young woman like me. It helped me to appreciate and understand the issues affecting people around the world in a broader and deeper perspective.
Thank you to the YWCA Philippines and World YWCA for always giving me and other young women opportunities to participate in such a high-level of training aimed at developing us as future leaders who respect human rights and who embrace Christ’s values of love, peace, justice and compassion for others. I am truly blessed with the YWCA.
To God be the glory!
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