March 2 – 5, 2020 NEW YORK CITY – World Youth Alliance recently concluded its 17th International Solidarity Forum on Reproductive Health at the World Youth Alliance and United Nations Headquarters.
The International Solidarity Forum (ISF) is WYA’s annual training event. The ISF brought together 30 World Youth Alliance members from Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, and North America. The 2020 theme “Reproductive Health” opened discussions on the Foundations of reproductive health, the science of hormonal health, and international development policy related to reproductive health. Featuring experts in policy and medicine, attendees learned how to bring person-centered reproductive healthcare to their regions. After listening to the experts, WYA delegates then negotiated an outcome document articulating WYA’s views on the topics mentioned above.
Anna Halpine is the founder of the World Youth Alliance and was the WYA president from 1999 to the spring of 2007. She has her Masters in Philosophy of Religion from Yale University Divinity School (2009), and a Bachelor of Music from Mt. Allison University in Canada (1999). She is the current CEO of the FEMM Foundation, a research and evidence based program committed to improving women’s health. She lives and works in New York City.
Kelly Ryan joined CAIS as Senior Advisor in October 2019. She had just fnished a 6-year international organization secondment as Coordinator of the Intergovernmental Consultations on Refugees, Asylum and Migration (IGC.) Before heading to Switzerland, she was Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Immigration in the DHS Ofce of Policy from 2010-2013 and was responsible for DHS immigration policy oversight and development. From 2002-2009, she was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Ms. Ryan has led U.S. delegations at numerous international meetings and events, including the United Nations Economic and Social Council; the UN Commission on Population; the UN Population Fund; and the 2006 High Level Dialogue on Migration. She has presented US positions at various fora, including the United Kingdom’s House of Lords; Heritage Foundation; American Enterprise Institute, Migration Policy Institute; Faireld, Fordham, Georgetown, Harvard, New York, and Tulane, George Washington and American University. Ms. Ryan was appointed by the President and conrmed by the United States Senate on March 29, 2012 to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation.
Nadja Wolfe joined WYA as Director of Advocacy in 2015. She oversees the organization’s advocacy efforts and serves as the main representative to the United Nations. She is a graduate of Washington and Lee University, where she majored in Russian Area Studies and Theatre Arts, and William and Mary Law School. She is a native of Massachusetts and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Sunni Burnett, APRN, FNP-BC, MSN Ed., CCRN, BSN, ADN, RN earned an Associate Degree in Nursing and went to work directly in critical care after graduating. During the next 18 years, she continued to work as a critical care and OBGYN nurse, winning Nurse of the Year twice in one hospital and once in another. She continued her education and obtained a BSN, then an MSN in Education and as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She eventually accepted a job as a Graduate Nursing Professor at Franciscan University and is now the Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program there. Additionally, she works as a Nurse Practitioner on campus in their Wellness Center. In November 2019, she got an amazing offer to work for FEMM as a FEMM Medical Provider via telemedicine. She has been married for 31 years to Ken, and they have two grown children, a daughter Kassi (27) and a son Bryce (24). Her current goals is to continue helping women through FEMM in Ohio (via telemedicine), and all over the United States via the Wellness Center (on campus). Lastly, she loves to teach and inspire young minds through Christ, and she’s grateful for everyday that is afforded for her to do so.
Aliah Cimafranca joined the New York Internship at the World Youth Alliance Headquarters in 2008 and became the International Director of Operations from 2008 to 2010. She served briefly as the Executive Director of WYA Foundation before returning to the Philippines to assume her election as the 2nd District Representative of the Province of Lanao del Norte in the House of Representatives. Aliah is proud of her Mindanaoan heritage and is a member of an indigenous tribe called the Maranao. She presented a new voice in congress for Mindanao and its people and remained a staunch opponent of the Reproductive Health Bill. Throughout her work, Aliah diligently upheld the WYA mission in solidarity with young people around the world in policy making and various humanitarian efforts.
Cassondra Moriarty is a Fertility Awareness Educator and Lactation Consultant based in the New York City metro area, where she manages a private practice for maternal and reproductive health. She accredited with La Leche League in 2017 and leads monthly lactation support meetings in both New York and New Jersey. She trained with DONA’s postpartum program in 2018 and began serving families in their home. She certified with Empire Lactation’s Breastfeeding Counselor program in Brooklyn, NY in the spring of 2019. She is constantly keeping up to date with the rapid changes in lactation science and is honored to serve families during the often intimate struggles of breastfeeding. Before lactation, Cassondra’s first love was reproductive health. Soon after ditching hormonal birth control in 2012, she became a fertility awareness enthusiast. She has trained in Billings, Marquette and Sympto-thermal through the Couple to Couple League and certified with FEMM in 2017. As a fertility practitioner, she teaches women and teens how to chart their cycles. She lives in Montclair with her husband and daughter where she attempts gardening and loves reading a good espionage novel.
Experts in the field of the theme, including activists, professionals, researchers, and scholastics, presented global issues to the participants. The positions expressed by the lecturers in the ISF greatly influenced the declaration made. Hosting the ISF at United Nations Headquarters allowed participants to learn about and witness the UN system in action. As a diverse group of people from different parts of the world, delegates experienced different cultures and shared a part of themselves at the negotiations. The discussions tackled topics reflecting insights from their respective regions.
The Declaration on Reproductive Health is now available on WYA’s Declarations page.