WYA Emerging Leaders Canadian Policy Seminar

As it is my first post I will introduce myself briefly 🙂

My name is Kate and I’m from Poland. I have been in WYA since fall 2006. I was doing my Track A training in the Krakow Chapter. For a half of year I was a secretary of the chapter. In fall 2007, after finishing my studies, I went to Brussels to do an internship in World Youth Alliance European Regional Office. And then here I am in New York City!

The first big event I participated in was the Emerging Leaders Canadian Policy Conference called Dignity as the Basis for Public Policy and it took place from January 31st to Sunday February 3rd in Ottawa, Canada.

Shannon, our North American Director, prepared everything well. The schedule was very comprehensive but also very interesting. We had time to listen to the lectures and to do some language exercises on UN documents but we also had time simply to talk with participants and have a little bit of fun.

In my opinion, most of the speakers really knew what they were talking about, which I find very important because it doesn’t happen very often 🙂

I liked these 4 speeches the most:

  • Dignity and the Academy: The Role of Education in Integral Development (David Novak)
  • Understanding the International AIDS Crisis (Tim Flanigan)
  • WYA and its Human Dignity Project (Anna Halpine)
  • The Role of Young People in Influencing Canadian Policy (Pierre Lemieux)


Our language exercises:

Yes, you can see we were working very hard 🙂

Fortunately we also had time to know each other better during the dinner on Saturday:

What I can say more – Canada is beautiful (yes, I know I can’t be objective because I always wanted to go there :)). Even that it is very cold and a lot of snow (I’m from Poland, I’m used to it :)) it is really amazing.

Ottawa seems to be very peaceful and even maybe too small as a capital. But it was the ambience which made me feel great there, I could say even “like at home”.



Montreal
is different. On the one hand, it is much more modern, on the other hand, there are still lots of older beautiful buildings. After being in New York for around 2-3 weeks I have a feeling that Canadian cities are calmer. I didn’t see the huge rush and crowds which is in NY.

I am very happy I went to Canada. It is great that we could go there all together – most of staff members and all interns. It was a good chance to know each other better at the very beginning of the internship. It will help in a good way in our work later.

Finishing this too long post I can say I’m still dreaming about Great Lakes and Vancouver 🙂