Meera Gandhi & Giving Back

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Campaign Night

Wednesday night marked the beginning of  the special events of the YA for those who purchased travel packages. Campaign night is when the participants joined leading NGOs to learn about how to help the world achieve the MDGs. Here are some of the featured NGOs from last night! is an international campaign that’s building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis. As explained during campaign night, there are many reasons why the organization is named 350 is a roman numeral, so it comes first alphabetically and everyone understands it no matter what language they speak, 350 brings people together, and 350 as in parts per million CO2; the safe number for humanity. Their mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of climate change. is doing so by getting to work on climate solutions all over the world, and celebrating while doing it! On 10/10/10, everyone can join in the Global Work Party, by doing anything that will help deal with global warming in your community. For more information on 350. org, visit their website!

Community Lab-One World Rising

At Community Lab they feel change is driven by the community itself, so they are empowering communities to take action. The mission of One World Rising, which will be launching soon is to advocate, educate, and of course, celebrate. On One World Rising, you can upload your name and location to a profile, then share your message of change. People from all over the world can come to the website to hear other people’s stories about how they are working with the MDG’s. It will raise awareness in your community, ideas can be posted online to inspire others. One World Rising hopes to energize communities, help users set up local events and come together on the weekend of September 25th- for a weekend of Global Celebration. Click here for more information!

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The End of Poverty

The End of Poverty produced by Matthew Stillman

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Opening Session

This morning kicked off the start of YA programs! Patrick Sciarratta, the executive director of The Friendship Ambassadors Foundation welcomed everyone to the 7th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations. Conference room 1 was filled with global youth leaders from all over the world who have come together in hope of changing the future.

Now, a Japanese soloist beautifully sang Sam Cook’s Change is Gonna Come. Ramu Damodaran, the Deputy Direct for Partnerships and Public Engagement read a welcome speech by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Ramu read a passage about a 19-year old prisoner in India, and questioned the youth delegates, how you they write their stories at age 19. Janne Talas, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Finland also spoke to the global leaders about the importance of the MDG’s.

The YA was honored to welcome Gillian Sorensen, Former Assistant Secretary General and current Senior Advisor to the United Nations Foundation. Ms. Sorensen offered advice for the delegates. She encouraged them to “become a future citizen that embodies change”. Furthermore, she offered some advice for them to take action, reminding delegates to think active, seek to join foreign diplomatic service and inform yourself now.

Joanna Sherman, from the Bond Street Theatre Company of New York, shared her work with the arts and the MDG’s. She told the audience the secrets to becoming the “essence of the real deal”.  She views arts as communication and a way to teach collaboration. “Life is something you experience, trust your instincts”, she spoke. Joanna told delegates lessons from well-know author J.K Rowling; the benefit of failure and the importance of imagination. She ended her presentation by advising the audience to “imagine the world you want to live in”.

Francisco Eguiguren, the YA 2010 Program Director, told the participants a story about Maria Mandova, the former YA Project Director who used what she learned at the YA to make a difference in Venezuela and currently in Colombia.

We’re looking forward to the afternoon sessions!

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YA Has Begun!

So today kicked off the YA! Pre-registration occurred tonight, and was a success. We were able to register many of the groups, including delegates from China, Ghana and Nigeria! We are looking forward to tomorrow when everyone will have arrived and we will begin our programs!

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8 Goals for Africa

Angelique Kidjo from 8 Goals for Africa– to present at the YA- 5 DAYS TO GO!

Lyrics here!

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Maggie Doyne at the YA!

Maggie Doyne winner of the Do Something! Award will be speaking at the 7th Annual Youth Assembly.  While most high school graduates set off for college, Maggie Doyne set off on a solo journey. She ended up in Nepal, staring into the bright eyes of worn-torn, hungry orphans. Inspired by their smiles, Maggie and 250 local community people started building Kopila Valley Children’s Home. It opened in 2008 and since then has changed the lives of almost 100 children in the community. Maggie has an inspiring story and message about making a difference in the world. Kopila Valley Children’s Project

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