Saturday, December 5, 2009

Conference of Youth--Day 1

Today was our first day at the Conference of Youth. It was empowering to discuss climate change with many youth from around the world. My patrol group's duty today was to write the blog entry on the WAGGGS website. It gives a good overview of our day!

“My day was fantabulus!” Miriam exclaimed when she arrived back at the Holmen Scout Center in Copenhagen after a full day of workshops and seminars at the Conference of Youth. About 400 youth from around the world participated. Climate change is a concern for every youth in the world. It was very impressive to engage in the conversation with over 400 youth to discuss strategies to address climate change.

We began the conference with activities to meet other youth. We learned what it feels like to be a leader and a follower.

In the morning, four members of our delegation, Fred, Prisca, Luiza, and Gabi, also took the challenge of holding workshops. They discussed the topic of effective group facilitating with other youth delegates as part of the preparation and empowerment for the UN Climate Change Conference. During this time the other young women took part in other workshops about varying issues, including youth and media, Reduction of Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and social justice, the process of the UN Framework for Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and activism.

In the open space sessions, we formed small groups with the other youth and discussed our goals for COP15, what we want to learn from the conference, and how to take advantage of the opportunities and failures at COP15. We also shared what we want to do after the conference in our own countries. The primary goal discussed was to form one strong and unified youth voice to take a stand on climate change at the conference and communicate the importance of change to the political leaders of our countries.

“I got amazingly emotional to hear the inspirational stories of two young women on how they started to work on the issue of climate change and involving other youth in the movement,” said Prisca. Hearing the personal stories reminded us that many youth, including ourselves make an impact through our work all over the world.

This evening, we celebrated our diversity with an international dessert exchange. It was tasty to try desserts from around the world.

Tomorrow we will continue to participate in the Conference of Youth. We look forward to another day of learning, networking, and collaborating with other youth on a united message to present at COP15.

Thanks for reading,


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