Human Rights and Healing, You Can Catch Both at GENEVA!
Kwon Sujin  |  ssu_gwon@naver.com
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승인 2014.03.10  00:40:29
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Reminiscing over the precious moments I had in Geneva last August, I suddenly felt as if I were still there.  The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) program, not only gave me the skills to love others and protect everyone’s rights as humans, but also the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sun and transparent lake in Geneva for one week.  With the intent of sharing this beautiful WFUNA memory, I start my writing.

Going to GENEVA Was Not Difficult At All!

As a student studying law, I have always been interested in human rights, so I immediately applied for the programme after spotting it on the notice board of the Sookmyung community webpage.  I was fortunate enough to have a valid TOEFL score that supplemented my motivational essay on my interest with human rights.  After a brief interview, I learnt that I was selected to join the program and became so excited that I could not concentrate on final exam preparation.  Before leaving for the UN, I hoped to learn the mindset of a person who desires to work as an activist or as a human rights professional in the future.  Even if one is unfamiliar with human rights issues, the programme offers enjoyable WFUNA lectures and operates various active visitations.  In addition, even though lectures are provided in English, they use a lot of devices such as drawing tools, power point slides, and work sheets, so it’s easy to understand.  Preparation for Geneva, therefore, only requires money.  Since Switzerland is one of the most expensive cities in the world, a well-planned budget is essential.  In addition, Bread and Breakfast accommodations offer breakfast and the UN provides lunch, so basically, you only need to cover your dinner expenses.  I recommend bringing a credit card and enough cash.


Getting Familiar with International Organizations

One of the many impressive memories I had at the UN was the experience of visiting different UN organizations.  Visiting the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was a new experience.  The ITU provides standards and rules for every communication tool all over the world and works to save the Earth at the same time.  To lessen the technological gap between developing and developed countries, it offers financial and technological aid.  At the ITU, I met two professionals who gave valuable advice on life in Switzerland and work at the UN.  Also, I visited the World Trade Organization (WTO) and listened to a lecture about international trade and protectionism.  When I visited the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), I was very impressed by its museum.  The museum included diverse activities that were full of vitality.  I also played a game called, Rescue the Island at the museum, which simulated the rescue of people from a tsunami by learning how to save people during a natural disaster.  The only area where I felt uncomfortable was with the grouping of Sookmyung Women's University students with other Korean groups because it made me feel overwhelmed by huge group when moving from place to place.  Every time we took a tram or bus, it took time to verify everyone had boarded since the group was so huge.  Nonetheless, I was impressed by the constructive and systematic programs at each organization.


Healed by a Festival and Mont-Salev

During my WFUNA training, the Geneva Festival was being held.  Although typical European culture at restaurants closed down because of the festival, many restaurants and shops stayed open during weekends and until late at night.  Also, on Saturday, I was given the day for sightseeing, so my friend and I visited Mont-Salev, which is located at the border of Switzerland and France.  On the cable car up the mountain, I saw the picturesque scenery of Geneva.  Personally, it was the most memorable moment in Switzerland.  I saw incredibly beautiful sights with shiny green trees, people enjoying paragliding, and Lake Leman, which looked like an oasis.  The last day of WFUNA training corresponded with the last day of the Geneva Festival, so I was able to watch magnificent fireworks at Lake Leman.

Broaden Your Perspective on the World

Many things have changed in my life after the WFUNA program.  I continue to study about human rights, but I now also participate in other programs such as the Global Youth Forum thanks to the WFUNA program.  If you are interested in human rights and interested in self-healing in the freshness of nature, the WFUNA program is for you.


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