This past week

Bonjour!

The past week has been full of amazing opportunities. First of all, my host mom happens to work for UNESCO, and she invited our Earlham group to participate in the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris as organizers, assisting youth delegations and organizations from all over the world. The conference puts youth on the map as not only the leaders of the future, but also the voices of the present, and it precedes the UNESCO general conference, happening this coming week.

As volunteers we were assigned different tasks, anything from helping delegates to register, to helping the facilitators of the discussions and debates, to presenting on projects for organizations that couldn’t be present at the conference. We were honored to be a part of it, and to have the opportunity to meet people our age from all over the world. Taking part in the forum made me proud of our generation and made me feel, as cliché as it sounds, that there is hope for the world.

The UNESCO Forum ended on Thursday, and Friday afternoon we headed off to Avignon for the weekend. There we visited le Palais des Papes, le Pont d’Avignon, and other remarkable sites for our course in Art and Architecture. Avignon was the home of the Pope from the early 14th to early 15th centuries, and continued to be a main city for the Catholic Church until the French Revolution. The Palais was really incredible, and seeing the Alps from the top of it was an amazing moment. Getting away from Paris and reconnecting with the group for a few days was really nice, and the weather in the south of France was beautiful. Now we are preparing to head back to classes tomorrow and continue exploring Paris.

Here are some pictures from the UNESCO Forum:

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Preparing the stage after the first day of the conference.

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Helping to facilitate debate and discussion regarding youth organizations in Africa.

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Shatha (left) and I are very excited to be part of the UNESCO Youth Forum!

— Hope Safford

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