Monday, October 10, 2011

Representing OYE at a UN Delegation

Justin representing OYE at the UN delegation
By Justin Eldridge-Otero

The United Nations general assembly met in New York last week and the city was especially vibrant with the hustle and bustle of foreign leaders and international convoys. My mother, Maria Otero, was an invited to participate and was staying at a hotel where it seemed the entire world had gathered for this event. Through a sea of important officials dressed in colorful and lively attires, a stroll through the hotel lobby felt like a journey around the globe. In the corner there were members from the Kenyan delegation laughing and carrying on in Swahili, not far from them a group from Senegal were having what sounded like a very stirring discussion in French. Needless to say, this was a big event and since everyone had travelled far and wide to be a part of the annual United Nations conference, there was a noticeable and contagious energy in the air.

Now at events like these I usually put my OYE hat on, and armed with OYE brochures, go to work trying to connect with others who may be interested in supporting our work in Honduras. To my great delight there was a panel sponsored by the United Nations called Youth Driving Change: Global Youth & Civic Engagement and I was being invited to participate! Sure enough I woke up early the next morning, put on my best suit and took the subway downtown to the United Nations buildings. 

At the United Nations event, I sat on a panel with a young man from Egypt, who has recently participated in his own country's revolution, a young woman from India, who worked with access to education, and four other young people who had been working on topics related to youth outreach throughout the world.

Everyone shared their experiences and encouraged other young audience members to always follow their passions. I spoke at length about the youth of Honduras, about how many obstacles they overcome on a daily basis and how passionate and committed they are to working towards making their country a better place. Change from within is never easy, if it were it would already be done.  Real change, change you can touch and feel, happens only when you begin your journey with an open mind, unite with your peers and strive to help one another grow. This is what we do at OYE, we support each other’s dreams, we push our friends to be better and know that they are there to do the same in return. On this sunny day in New York City, I remembered my OYE family and am thankful to be a part of it. 


carol said...

Fantastic! I'm glad you had the opportunity and that others learned about al you are doing in Honduras!

carol said...
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