On 19th March three Year 11 students had the opportunity to attend the World Vision Youth Conference along with students from other schools around Auckland. The conference was focused mainly around humanity and leadership and featured a special guest, invited following the terrible events in Christchurch just days before the Conference. The speakers were Chris Jupp, Jenna Harris, Abe Nouk and Julie Zhu.
This is what they discovered:
From Gil Selem
At the World Vision Youth Conference one of the ideas I found very interesting was that anybody willing to help share the idea of humanity, first needs to choose which area of this wide topic they want to focus on and then do their research. This means looking at whether someone is already working on this topic and if they are, then try to partner with them rather than create something else and compete. I believe this is really important, because we usually tend to get caught up in our own ideas and not actually consider if it is the best way to achieve our goal. By completing rather than competing, we make better use of our energy, and our commitment is more effective. From now on, I have decided to weigh my actions in the light of the negative impact they can have on others, and try to find solutions. It was a great day. I would really love to go back next year and I think anybody that gets the opportunity to attend, should definitely take it.
From Stella Mares
The conference included speakers on social justice, a workshop on the 40hr Famine and a discussion on how to change the world. It was attended by many schools from all around New Zealand, and I was able to have amazing conversations with extremely interesting people. As the Christchurch attack was less than a week beforehand, the organisers changed the program to address this serious issue. The first speaker was an incredible young Muslim woman, whose speech on the Muslim community’s reaction to the attack completely changed my mindset, even inspiring me to write my English speech on how the terrorist attack should not have come as a surprise. The second speaker was a woman, who worked with refugee teenagers on Nauru. She empowered us to believe that we are never too young to change the world, and our generation can achieve great things. The third speaker was an incredible refugee, who recounted his life and demonstrated that social media can be one of the best forms of activism. The final speaker was a woman who makes films designed to integrate the Maori and Asian communities. The speakers, the staff, and the many activities we did inspired, and empowered me. After going to this conference I feel that I too could change the world.
From Alex Taylor
The World Vision Youth Conference was a great experience for all of us. The speakers in the Conference were very talented and inspirational, speaking from both their hearts and minds. The way they changed 50% of the schedule and plan to incorporate the incident in Christchurch was exceptional, and the conference itself was mostly about how young people like ourselves can make a difference, a change, without waiting until we’re older.