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PIA Press Release

Northern Samar high school student represents Plan Philippines at UN convention in New York

By Teresita B. Cardenas

Catarman, Northern Samar (10 March) -- A student from Lope de Vega National High School was chosen to represent Plan Philippines at the 54th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York last March 3, 2010. This was learned from Ms. Corazon Obra, Area Supervisor, District I, Northern Samar Program Unit.

According to Ms. Obra, Donnady Coquila Lao will be in New York from March 2 to 15 to address the international gathering about her experiences as a girl and as a young person who actively engaged in promoting girls' right in her community. Likewise, she will talk about the impact of financial crisis on girls and briefly shared her thoughts about being a girl delegate at Commission on Status of Women at UN Convention. With her in the panel were former Ireland President Mary Robinson, Norwegian minister for Children and Equality Audun Lysbakken, and American Activist Charlotte Bunch.

She said, Lao did wonderfully in all three occasions. Speaking after four technical presentations at the Because I am a Girl (BIG) event, an international program for girl children of PLAN and sharing her personal account of how she and her friends experience poverty has generated a resounding round of applause. The girl cried a little as she left the podium because of her personal circumstance that she related, and also because of the very positive response from the audience.

Lao will also give a two-minute speech at the UN reception on how additional resources being allocated by the UN Foundation for adolescent girls can impact on them and her thoughts on her participation as an adolescent to a meeting such as the Commission on the Status of Women, Obra said.

On March 14 she will be at the Daily Beast Summit, an online magazine where she will be interviewed by Queen Rania, wife of King Abdullah of Jordan. On the same event, a "Girlafesto" will be read from a group of girls from New York and Lao will be reading the last important line of the manifesto, she added.

Lao is a sponsored child of Plan Philippines wherein she receives educational supply and her tuition fees are being paid by their office. Plan is an international, humanitarian, child-centered development organization without religious, political or governmental affiliation. It envisioned a world in which all children realize their full potential in societies that respect people's right and dignity.

Plan also seeks to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life of the deprived children in developing countries through a process that unites people across cultures and adds meaning and values to their lives by enabling deprived children, their families and their communities to meet their basic needs and to increase their ability to participate in and benefit from their societies.

Likewise, it builds relationships to increase understanding and unity among people of different cultures and promoting the rights and interests of the world's children. Part of their goals for the next five years, is to work with various partners including families and children and seek to reverse the situation in their areas and see children acquire appropriate learning and developmental competencies and life skills; reduced incidence of preventable diseases and psycho-social stresses.

Children should live in environment where proper hygiene and sanitation practices are adopted and where sustainable water and environmental systems are accessible; reduced incidence of abuse, neglect and exploitation of children; children live in households with greater economic stability and capacity to survive financial shocks; strengthened child-friendly governance at the barangay and municipal levels, and common agenda for child-centered development are shared among sponsors, children and other development stakeholders.

Plan operates in the Philippines with seven (7) program units in Masbate, Mindoro, Southern Leyte, Camotes Island, Western Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar. (PIA Northern Samar) [top]

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