We are excited to share that our International Programme volunteer Henrietta McNeill has been appointed as a policy advisor to the Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters.
Henrietta plays a significant role in running our Programme, and also led our delegation to the Small Island Developing States Conference in Apia in 2014.
We're really excited to share that one of our delegates to SIDS 2014, Ripeka Reiri, has been named one of UNICEF New Zealand's Youth Ambassadors for 2015.
I had a friend the other day ask me: “How do I find my niche to make the world a better place?”. While this is somewhat of an existential question, it got me thinking to how to I got where I am, and I found the simple answer - I do what I love.
Prior to attending the UN Small Island Developing States conference in Samoa, I had not put much thought into what happens to animals in disasters. Like many of us in New Zealand, I keep cat food in my emergency survival kit, but had never considered the effects of disasters on animals other than the family pet. However, in vulnerable communities disasters can cause widespread loss of animals, which then devastates the communities and their livelihoods.
Our SIDS 2014 Head Delegate Henrietta McNeill has written a guest post for Oxfam New Zealand about her experience of the launch of the Samoan solar photovoltaic array this week, and her thoughts on sustainable energy in the Pacific. Read it in full here!
I haven't looked at the official figures, but I can imagine the economic benefit for Samoa of the SIDS conference will be significant for the country. Not only in the infrastructure spending creating employment and flow of money, and the revenue generated by all the foreign delegations coming to Samoa and needing accommodation, food, taxis and possibly a souvenir or two, but it is also generating a lot of advertising for the country as a friendly and beautiful tourist destination for delegates to return to. I have already heard people talking about returning for a holiday in the near future, or people they have talked to about being in Samoa are now interested in coming. This is great for a small island developing state that has recently graduated from the Least Developed Countries group.
The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the UN Volunteers (UNV) ran a fullday workshop for myself and a dozen other young people involved in disaster management on Mobilizing Youth Volunteerism for Disaster Risk Reduction. This workshop was designed to bring together interested youth to explore new and strengthen existing partnership between young people and stakeholders, discuss increasing acknowledgment of young volunteers in DRR, and provide a space to create innovative ideas.
Tomorrow, the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference starts. As an activist for climate action and sustainable development, I am excited that the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute has sent seven awesome young New Zealanders to be there.
SIDS 2014 is important.