There’s a feeling of excitement for Abby Wong to be accepted for an international Youth United Nations assignment.
The Year 13 student of Botany Downs Secondary College is one of 10 New Zealand high-school pupils heading to Perth and Vanuatu in July for an 18-day cultural exchange and volunteering experience.
They spend their first week for the Pacific Project in the Western Australia capital with more than 100 young people from the Asia-Pacific region, engaging in workshops, forums and debates on pressing global issues.
On the Vanuatu leg, they will learn about sustainable development, volunteer for projects, speak to schools and experience the culture.
“This trip will be of significant educational value. In Australia and Vanuatu, the delegation will be representing NZ and showing the role NZ plays in the Pacific,” Abby says.
“I’ll be empowered with skills to bring back to NZ, thus enabling myself to enact positive change in my own community.”
She has the desire to use her experience to connect and hear from people she would not often meet, challenging her “narrow world views” and recognising “our equal humanity”.
The 17-year-old is planning a school sausage sizzle, chocolate sales and movie nights to raise funds for her trip, and has yet to raise $3700 out of the $5200 needed to cover her travel expenses by late June.
To assist Abby get a step closer to her trip, go to givealittle.co.nz/cause/abbypacificproject.
˜ stuff.co.nz / Liu Chen