Upon an invitation of the United Nations Women’s Guild, the Community Service Program Coordinator and four John Cabot University students attended a conference entitled “Empower Rural Women to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security” at the International Fund for Agricultural Development Agency (IFAD) on Friday, March 6th.
Samantha Abear, Claudia Delicato, Chiara Di Maio and Em ma Scruggs participated as representatives of some JCU Clubs and Organizations and sat in the front row amongst other Sapienza and Tor Vergata International Masters students.
John Cabot University was acknowledged during the opening remarks of the Conference by Cassandra Waldon, the Director of the Communications Division at IFAD. The introduction was followed by a speech by Kanayo F. Nwanze, the President of IFAD, on the importance of the empowerment of women.
A panel of leading experts on innovative interventions regarding food and nutrition security, Britta Schumacher (Programme Policy Officer at WFP), Andrea Sànchez Enciso (Gender and Participatory Communication Specialist at FAO), Antonio Rota (Lead Technical Specialist on Livestock at IFAD), and Mino Ramaroson (Africa Regional Coordinator from International Land Coalition) presented a variety of testimonials from personal experiences on the field. Each expert shared stories regarding their travels to various parts of the under-developed world, and being confronted with the difficulties of collaborating with diverse cultures and lack of education that often leads to malnutrition and food insecurity.
Erthain Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Program, gave very passionate closing remarks on the importance of awareness and collaboration to support women’s rights. She said “women have won many battles over the years but the war is not over yet, and men must work along with women to achieve true empowerment.”
After the Conference, students attended a fair where IFAD, WFP, FAO, as well as other organizations gave out information about their projects.
Samantha Abear, (President of the Theater Society and Treasurer of UFWH), Claudia Delicato (Events Coordinator of Grassroots), Chiara di Maio (President of WLI) and Emma Scruggs (Vice President of UFWH) were very inspired by the conference. Emma said “It was such a great opportunity to see so many people that I look up to talking so passionately about their jobs!” Chiara was extremely happy about all the resources she obtained and said the conference was truly “motivational” and gave her hope to keep doing what she is doing.
The Community Service Program would like to thank the United Nations Women’s Guild for this remarkable opportunity and invitation and looks forward to future collaborations.