Getting a spot on the United Nations Youth New Zealand’s Global Development Tour for 2019 has been “four years in the making” for Jolenna Deo.
The Year 13 student from St Dominic’s Catholic College in West Auckland is one of 22 students across the country to be selected for next year’s tour. The youth ambassador has attended the youth delegation meetings, New Zealand Youth Parliament and has taken part in the New Zealand Model United Nations.
And now she gets to participate in the month-long study tour of the cities at the forefront of sustainable development around the world.
The global development tour will visit cities chosen for their relation or significance to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome and Hong Kong.
Its purpose is to showcase the need for multi-dimensional, global effort to achieve the United Nations’ 17 SDGs, by meeting with a range of individuals and organisations working to achieve the SDGs.
Some of the issues they will look into include waste management in London, food and agriculture in Rome and urban innovation in Vienna.
Deo dreams of one day working with United Nations’ delegates on important issues, such as gender equality.
But for now the 17-year-old is just hoping to show other West Auckland students, especially girls, of what they are capable of achieving.
“Gender equality is really important. Providing education for young girls and focusing on women in power will have a positive affect for our world,” she says.
“We are all capable of achieving the same things and I want to inspire other students here to achieve their goals.
“I’ve always dreamed of travelling but I never imagined being able to go to Europe. It’s an amazing opportunity.”
“The tour will offer an opportunity to understand how nations work together to achieve common goals and I will experience real world learning,” she says.
“I’ve always been interested in how the world works and politics.”
Deo was also recently awarded a Caring Award by Catholic Bishop Patrick Dunn at the Catholic Caring Foundation’s Caring Mass for her outstanding care and commitment to caring for others in the community.
The tour is self-funded and Deo is looking to raise $8000 to go on the month-long tour either through sponsorships or donations, via givealittle.co.nz.