July 24, 2021 – This summer, the WYA regional offices of North and Latin America collaborated on an incredible International Summer Camp (ISC). From July 19-24, over a dozen young people from through North and Latin America gathered each morning via Zoom to learn about human dignity and its role in international policy and development. The Summer Camp also aimed at teaching students how to lead human dignity initiatives within their own communities, giving them the tools they needed in order to be successful leaders.
In years past, the ISC has been held in person, either at WYA Headquarters in New York or elsewhere in the US. This year, international travel remained out of reach for many, due to the pandemic, so the WYA staff opted to host the event online for the first time ever. While we certainly missed meeting our members in person and look forward to doing so again in the future, this was a memorable and exciting experience for all involved.
The program was organized by a team who worked tirelessly to ensure the camp would be suitable for both North and Latin American audiences. Leading the project were: Siobhan Heekin-Canedy Regional Director, WYA North America, Paula Lopez, Regional Director, WYA Latin America, and the WYALA program assistants, Lorena Puicon and Filippo Zanazzo. WYA North America members Caitlin Banez and Teddy-Ann Quamina, along with WYA Latin America member Adriana Arriaza, volunteered as camp counselors and led various group activities that allowed students to get to know one another and share in leadership skill development. With Siobhan Heekin-Canedy, WYA Latin America intern Brigitte Hidalgo Soriano led the human dignity workshops, which were based on the content of the Grade 12 Human Dignity Curriculum. These workshops included discussions on dignity and human rights, placing the person at the center of development, advocacy issues, WYA’s voice in the international arena, and how to become champions of human dignity.
We cannot wait to see what more is to come from the collaboration between the two regional offices!