Good evening! (Or morning or afternoon? Being in three different time zones in the last 10 hours has thrown me a little!) Mohammed and I have now landed in Ottawa and wifi permitting this will be posting as we travel to Andaz, our hotel. We are looking to explore the city a little this evening, hopefully find some good local food ahead of getting a solid rest in anticipation of both the Social Business forum and the Opening Ceremony to be healed on Parliament hill tomorrow evening.
The journey over has given me a good amount of time to reflect on what I wish to accomplish most from the summit. Before leaving my house this morning I saw a clip on BBC news which really struck me. In the middle of bomb stricken Aleppo, a large bomb crater had flooded with liquid from a burst pipe. The water was mucky, with many bits of litter floating in it amongst debris from the ongoing conflict. However, what caught me was that there were a a few young boys playing in this pool. They were flipping into it, and swimming and playing in the exact same way children do in the sea everyday in my hometown. The children were full of joy and happiness, but the backdrop to the scene was devastation. It was heartbreaking to see that this joy they shared was so fragile in the place they know as home, as minutes away hospitals are overflowing with the wounded and bodies lie in the streets. It made me more determined than ever to start conversations with anybody I can over the next few days so I can gain a better grasp on the scale of the refugee crisis facing this world.
I hope to leave the summit not only with a better understanding of this crisis, but through this understanding an action plan. I am fascinated by the 613 refugee initiative in Canada as well as Trudeau’s empowering attitude towards finding solutions. I have been before preoccupied with the lack of Education available for these young children and adults, but this clip has shown me that before that can even begin to be addressed much more basic needs need to be met. Safety and security being a priority.
We have tweeted a link to our Snapchat on the Twitter page, throughwhich we will be posting live photo and video updates of Keynote speakers, One Young World events and hopefully our individual internal and external outbreak sessions.
More updates coming soon!