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From Manurewa to the United Nations

2 August 2013

From Manurewa to the United Nations

In early July, Wellington has seen major turnouts of young leaders and students from all over New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific. These turnouts follow two distinct events that was held in New Zealand’s capital; the Aspiring Leaders Forum and the Asia-Pacific Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC) of 2013.

Manurewa resident Jephtah Coe was one of the fortunate young people to make it to both of these conferences and now urges all young people to take ownership of these opportunities. He says both these events sets a strong platform leadership that expands a quality insight of leadership on both a national and global level. Despite the unique experience, Jephtah expresses a big concern about the awareness of these opportunities in the grassroots level, particularly in local South-Auckland communities like Manurewa.

“Clichéd as it sounds; the lack of awareness is definitely a problem” says Jephtah. “Heaps of young people and leaders don’t always know that there are these great events out there that they can take part in and I personally feel that’s something that hasn’t been addressed”.

Jephtah was first nominated for the Aspiring Leaders Forum earlier this year and he applied for AMUNC separately after finding out at a pacific orientation meeting at the University of Auckland. Before his two week trip to Wellington, Jephtah explains the challenges he faced in preparing for these events as well as finding them.

One of those challenges was finding some financial support to cover the cost requirements. He managed to secure some support from the Human Rights Commission through the Taku Manawa Human Rights community initiative, the Clendon Resident’s Group and also Manurewa list-MP Dr. Cam Calder who nominated Jephtah for the Aspiring Leaders Forum.

The reflection of these challenges entails what young people already face in local communities, and that’s young people not knowing about these opportunities that they’re able to participate in for their own self-development. The basic concern that Jephtah highlights is that these opportunities are not always promoted in local communities, but environments like university and regional-based events where many people already invested interest in these events and developing those pursued interests in further events.

Jephtah has been a youth and community volunteer for 4 years and he’s very proud as a community leader to attend the Aspiring Leaders Forum and AMUNC. Much to his experience, he managed to pursue these events without compromising his personal priorities like his obligations to his family and studying at university. Now, he updates everyone to encourage more local young people to pursue these events for their own benefit and not restrict themselves in that grassroots level.

“I can imagine how hard it is for young people in grassroots communities to find these opportunities and I’ve already witnessed the same thing with some colleagues I've met at these very conferences, but they've come from the Pacific Islands”. Mr. Coe continues. "Overall, I loved my experience to these two events. But I'd like to see more of our grassroots leaders make an impact on a national and global scale".

Jephtah concludes by calling all community leaders and advocates to raise the awareness of these opportunities that empower our young people in the grassroots level.

For more information on:
Aspiring Leaders Forum: http://aspiringleaders.org.nz/
AMUNC: http://amunc.net/


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