Imogen Smith

Geneva was an experience I will never forget. My keen interest in human rights and hope to pursue a career specializing in this are meant this was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.

My time at the United Nations has taught me many things; it has taught me of the importance of education and awareness, it has shown me the need for an international community where countries work together to help each other, it has taught me many life skills including networking, time keeping and organisation, it has increased my confidence and most importantly it has made me aware. It’s made me aware of my privileged position in the world and the effect that I, even as an individual, can have. It’s opened my eyes to practices, beliefs and traditions all over the world, some which should be celebrated and others which should not. I have learnt more about situations that I used to disregard, thinking that ‘it doesn’t affect me’ or ‘it doesn’t happen in the UK’, but it does and we are some of the very few that can have an effect on changing it. The three most shocking cases included FGM, enforce disappearances and the Rohingya crisis.

One of the most memorable experiences of our trip to Geneva was meeting the members of the FGM panel. Experts, survivors, advisors, doctors and film-makers came to share their story of FGM, one of the most powerful and moving events we attended. They were so open in sharing their story and keen to inspire change, it was such an honour to be able to be a part of this.

Travelling as a youth delegate representing NAWO, an official NGO was a huge privilege. Serene Communications gave us access to places and opportunities we wouldn’t have gained we would never have experienced otherwise. Two of the best examples of this was being allowed into the Human Rights Chamber and being able to give a speech inside the United Nations building. I must thank Serene Communications greatly for this incredible opportunity and I encourage anyone considering this to definitely apply!

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