The first week in Bangkok has certainly delivered! The hustle and bustle is quite an experience. I am loving my apartment, which is in a gated community. There are multiple security points before entry into my apartment complex – which allows my family and boyfriend to feel at ease! Across the road is a mall for the residents in the community, it has everything you can think of; grocery store, food outlets, pharmacy, book nook, bank and coffee (which is the most important in my opinion!). It even has a ball-pit!
We have received an intensive 3-day training at the UN Asia Headquarters, the experience has been phenomenal. Training was conducted in many areas such as communication and leadership. I received my UN badge, however approached the photo as I did with my drivers licence – not the most flattering, but I’ve got my badge! The highlight of day 1 was presenting a motivational introduction about myself (a little nerve wracking!) and the Regional Project Manager of the UNDP spoke to us about the activities of the UNDP. His specific project is on Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I asked what challenges the UNDP had in connecting with young people. In summation the challenge is connecting the policy which UNDP creates to a practical avenue in which young people can engage. That is where Humanitarian Affairs Asia comes in, UNDP views the University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) (run by Humanitarian Affairs Asia) as a conduit to young people. UNDP attended the 8th USLS in 2017 and sought to gain the opinions of young people and how they can transform those opinions into practical ideas.
Day 2 was equally as exciting, there was more training and a private tour of the UN Asia Headquarters by the Conference Centre Manager. We went into the Conference Rooms and ESCAR Hall. One of the Conference Rooms was set up for a UN meeting in the coming week, country placards were placed on each desk. I found the placards for Australia & Greece and took photos – this will be something that I will never forget. There is also a UN Library, my inner nerd came out and melted a little at seeing it. The UN also has a section outside of the library where publications are given out freely. I chose “Arrow” which is about ‘women’s, gender; and rights perspective in health policies and programmes.’
Day 3 provided more training and understanding of what a main part of the role will be, sourcing emerging global leaders around the world for the 9th USLS at the UN Asia Headquarters in Bangkok from 2 to 6 August 2018. I have been allocated 5 main countries, this means I will be the main point of contact for these countries. Exciting stuff! Each Youth Advocate is also eligible for the Global Youth Award 2018 presented by the United Nations at the closing ceremony of the USLS in the ESCAP Hall. That will be an unforgettable moment. We also ate at the UN International Restaurant for lunch every day, there was a vast array of food from different parts of the world! For anyone that knows me, I genuinely love eating, so i was in food heaven!
Tonight we are all going out to China town for dinner, I’ll be sure to mention what that is like in my next post. All of the Youth Advocates are really incredible young women, each has something unique to offer, we will make a great team.
I have also recorded a little video about the last few days. As time progresses, hopefully the videos will too! You can find that here.
From yours in Bangkok,