STUDENT INVOLVEMENT: BRINGING THE UN TO SCHOOL

Leah Bury & Juliana Lamond

Leah Bury &
Juliana Lamond

Leah Bury, a senior at Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Villanova, PA, just south of New York City, became intrigued when she learned about the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur’s presence at the United Nations. Along with her friend Juliana Lamond, Leah founded a school club to raise awareness about various global issues such as poverty, homelessness, disease, education (or lack thereof), working conditions, and fair trade in their Notre Dame community and beyond. In Leah’s words, “the Global Awareness Club encourages our students to be passionate about helping others and becoming responsible, globally aware citizens.” At their last club meeting they focused on hunger and food security around the world, providing statistics and facts as well as revealing myths and misconceptions about the global hunger crisis. They talked about real causes and solutions to the hunger crisis and showed some videos as well. To view their presentation with embedded videos, go to: http://prezi.com/jbjhht7rejbg/untitled-prezi/ (English only)

Rioux1

Elizabeth Rioux

Meanwhile, north of New York in Boston, MA, more than 3,000 delegates from 48 countries attended the 59th session of the Harvard National Model UN Conference. Emmanuel College participates in this annual event and this year one of Emmanuel’s delegates, Elizabeth Rioux, represented the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur NGO. Elizabeth shares her experience: “I had such a good time representing the SND NGO at Harvard! Going into it from a school with an SND tradition made a lot of what I’ve learned about the SNDs come full circle. For example, the Commission on the Status of Women discussed the feminization of poverty, so in my presentation to the CSW I was able to provide real examples of what SNDs are doing in their ministries, like the African photovoltaic project. Committee delegates included the work of the SNDs in a draft resolution which ended up being passed. I also spoke to the Commission on Sustainable Development and gave them recommendations on small-scale sustainable agriculture, using the work of Sister Dorothy Stang in Brazil as a model. Leading up to the conference, I spent a lot of time doing research and combing through SND policy papers from the UN, but it really paid off because a lot of my policy recommendations were included in draft resolutions that were ultimately approved.”

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