MAHLULI DUBE’S WYA INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE

Hailing from that wonderful land south of Nairobi, Kenya called Bulawayo, Zimbabwe…. I have had the amazing opportunity to join the World Youth Alliance as a spring intern from January 25 to May 7th 2010. So far the experience has been simply stellar. I live in a house with seven other interns who are as remarkable as any I have ever met. I have made new friends from Mexico, India, the United States and Canada. In many ways they draw me out from my *sometimes* too introspective way of looking at the world, and things around me. Yes, they challenge me to engage New York City and the world on different terms-it is an education. This has been exciting and I have learnt a lot about myself through the experience. I have dignity!!—as do you.

Now let me catch you up on what I have been doing so far here as an intern…First, the task that I have been most immediately involved in- The Commission on Social Development (CSocD) held at the United Nations.

The Commission on Social Development held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City marked the 15th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen in 1995 (the largest gathering of world leaders at that time). During the Copenhagen conference world governments reached the consensus that it was essential to put people at the center of development. The governments pledged to make the conquest of poverty, the goal of full employment, and the fostering of social integration overriding objectives of development.

The priority theme for the 2010 conference was “Social Integration.” The World Youth Alliance presented an oral statement that touched on solidarity, disabled families, youth, and families. As is always the case with the work that we do here, human dignity took “front and center” in our discussions, networking and the friendships…(lets hear a hearty old African cheer for that amazing spirit of Ubuntu!!!!!)

So what’s next?

As the Commission on Social Development ends, I will be switching my gaze from the United Nations building and focusing more of my time on organizing cultural activities in New York. These will probably include things such as film nights for interns and all the other young people here the World Youth Alliance house.