The Upper School Chapter of Girls Learn International attended the Commission on the Status of Women conference in New York until March 2. GLI is a non-profit organization with chapters throughout middle, high schools, and colleges dedicated to empowering students and encouraging leadership and dedication.
English teacher Malina Mamigonian, who oversees the club established by Kacey Wilson ’13, was the chaperone of trip.
While in New York, GLI members blogged their experiences at the conference.
GLI attendee Tiggy Menkir ’14 wrote the following blog post.
Going to the “Food Security and Global Change” was surely a good decision I made today. I rushed in to the meeting a tad bit late, but I was able to catch the ending of the speech made by the first panelist. She talked about ensuring food security globally. I learned that famine is suffered doubly in Southeast Asia than in Africa, a fact that smushed the assumption that all most Africans are poor. She also brought forth the concept that when women are brought into the paradigm of leadership, the lives for everyone else around them are improved.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s saying “It takes a village to raise a child” was slightly modified to “It takes a cluster,” in that a cluster of villages who make a collaborative effort is more effective than singly independent working villages. She finally stressed that patience (something I all too often lack), is vital for leaders to possess.
A solar-cooker foundation leader also spoke. Before this speech, the only thing I knew about solar cookers were that they were expensive. But, I came out of it knowing sufficient information of solar cookers.
Now, an astonishing fact that I learned from her is that more children die in Africa from breathing in cooking smoke, than they die from HIV/AIDS and malaria. During her speech, she elaborated on the process of creating solar cookers in rural areas, and the diversity of all the solar cookers that are made. She told us that in one of the places she worked, while their husbands were out herding, many of the women stayed at home and built and used a large amount of solar cookers.
She showed us a picture of a strip of desert land lined with so many of these solar cookers. The men, who were used to tea, decided to take the job in their own hands, and one man decided to use a solar oven to boil some tea. Then I (and so it seemed, many other people) thought, what if it isn’t sunny, does that mean no food? She answered our ponderings by saying that families can use Cheflers, or a solar oven that can be used inside.
From the third speaker, I learned that a handful of rice (containing 1,534 rice grains), can feed a four-person family. An alarming statistic I heard was that 1/3 of entire food production is going to waste.
She also said that when her organization went to North Korea, they were initially rejected by the government to go in and help, but then after a while, the government sought out their help. This was the method they advised for organizations who wanted to go in and help countries with hostile governments. One last thing, the panelist on solar cookers told us that next time we see a picture taken in a desert or sunny area, we should immediately go ahead and think, “This is a good place and source of sun to set up a solar cooker.” That is it for all, have a wonderful and sunny day!