Bradley Stoke resident Khushi Ashwin has recently achieved her dream of speaking at a special conference on global sustainable development which was held at the United Nations in New York at the end of January. After working towards her dream for many months, fourteen-year-old Khushi, who attends Abbeywood Community School, was given the opportunity to speak at the conference about her campaign for gender equality and reducing violence against women.
Khushi arrived in New York on Wednesday 30th January and enjoyed a guided tour of the UN Headquarters building as well as a tour of New York City in the middle of a snow storm with temperatures varying from -2 to -16 degrees Celsius! Describing her first experience of the UN, Khushi said
“We got to see four out of five major organs of the United Nations. The most memorable building was the ECOSOC as we were told that the unfinished ceiling at one end of the room symbolises the constant developments and changes the world will continue to have.”
As part of the 1 Million for 1 Billion (1M1B) Activate Impact Summit, Khushi had to compete against 50 students in the Future Leaders finals by pitching her project to the experts and senior delegates. After a long day of PowerPoint presentations and many rounds of competitions, Khushi qualified with 11 others for the finals, which gave her “a sense of satisfaction and pride”.
Friday 1st February saw the final event arrive as Khushi prepared herself to speak at the 1M1B Activate Impact Summit. The summit was headed by the Canadian ambassador Louise Blaze, who shared her valuable insights with those in attendance. Khushi had an audience of about 150 people, including eminent speakers, judges, guests, mentors and students. Speaking of her experience, Khushi said:
“Speaking at the UN was a different experience altogether: a tinge of nervousness mixed with a jolt of excitement and something I will never forget. To begin with, presenting in front of so many people gave me shivers, however, the smiles which arose from the audience gave me confidence and kept me going. The reaction and the look of joy on the faces of all the panellists at my presentation will be imprinted in my mind forever.”
Since returning from the USA only a few weeks ago, Khushi has continued to spread awareness of her campaign by meeting with local MP Jack Lopresti and home secretary Sajid Javid. The meeting was held to discuss Khushi’s recent visit to the UN and she received support for her project from them both.
Khushi has also made arrangements for the 13 disadvantaged children whom she taught karate to in India to continue their lessons so that they can achieve black belt grade and feel confident in self defence. She is also currently teaching karate to some children at a primary school in Bristol.
Photos: 1 Khushi in the chamber of the United Nations Trusteeship Council in New York. 2 Khushi meets with Jack Lopresti MP and home secretary Sajid Javid to discuss her trip to the UN and seek support for her campaign.
This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 9). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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