Sunday, March 20th commenced the 2016 Annual Kentucky United Nation Assembly (KUNA) Conference where the 64 student delegation composed of grades 6th-8th from Notre Dame Academy (NDA) represented the three Central American countries of Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. For each country represented, the NDA students became ambassadors and prepared resolutions to present to the assembly of 1,200 delegates. Each student delegate embraces the countries and dives into the culture of another nation, encouraged to examine the world from a different perspective.
For months leading up to the conference the students worked tirelessly preparing their global village, creating resolutions for each country, developing effective debate skills, learning folk dances, and preparing office election speeches.
Honduras, sponsored by Sam H, D.K. S, Addie D, and Wesley C, presented the resolution to provide kitchens with solar panels for energy. The purpose was to decrease deforestation, as wood burning stoves are the primary means for preparing food for families in Honduras.
Alyssa A, Grace V, Nolan C, and Trevor O, volunteered to sponsor Belize and presented their resolution to the assembly. The resolution for Belize proposed portable waste collection trailers. Belize’s water supplies in parts of the country are significantly polluted. This proposal would help to keep waste out of the water and dispose of the waste properly.
Guatemala was sponsored and presented by Gavin A, Mason G, Garrett K, and Allie S. This resolution proposed to build more and better equipped schools in rural areas. Each school will have a special vocational program for children starting at the age of 11. This is to help the population receive a better education, more opportunities for jobs, and in doing so help to end the cycle of poverty in Guatemala.
Each group presented their resolutions to their assigned Summit which is comprised of approximately 100 delegates. If a resolution is passed through Summit, the country’s sponsors then have the opportunity to present the resolution to the KUNA Secretary General. The resolution for Guatemala passed in Summit and the sponsors then met with the KUNA Secretary General to answer questions and provide additional support for their resolution. Out of 70 country’s resolutions, typically the Secretary General will endorse approximately 10 resolutions and the resolution for Guatemala was endorsed. The sponsors accepted a certificate for their excellent resolution.
Having a resolution endorsed is just the beginning of the awards and leadership roles that NDA delegates received. Three students, Caleb W, Gracie S, and Chris N were chosen by NDA Teachers because of their school leadership to participate in the Security Council to debate global issues of security. NDA’s Media Corp representative, Eleine R, took amazing photos of the event that could be used by KY YMCA for advertisement. Kaden H and Josh S were selected to be chairpersons of small committee to guide and orchestrate the debate of approximately 50 delegates, while Sam D assisted as Clerk to ensure the schedule and time limits. Josh S showed great leadership and was then selected by advisors to be a Summit chairperson to guide parliamentary procedures and debates of over 100 delegates.
In addition to these leadership roles, Karly M ran for Secretary General. She had to prepare a poster, write and present a speech delivered in front of all 1,200 delegates. Of the 10 delegates that ran for office, Karly M was elected by her peers for Secretary General for Middle School KUNA 3. This is the highest leadership role a student can receive. She will preside over as acting Secretary General for the 2017 Middle School KUNA 3 Conference.
NDA received the award of Delegation of Excellence which is presented to delegations that exhibit excellence in areas of participation. This delegation’s work embodies the spirit and purpose of the conference and the students show respect for themselves, others and their environment. An NDA delegate that showed this and more was Maddie C. She received the Outstanding Ambassador award for her presence and performance in Committees, Summits, and General Assembly as well as behaviors exemplifying the YMCA’s four core values. Notre Dame continues to be well represented at KUNA. This is the 4th student elected into leadership roles in the last 5 years. This is in addition to many consecutive years of receiving the Delegation of Excellence and Outstanding Ambassador awards.
Great job, to all the 64 NDA delegates for your hard work, research, debates, tri-folds, worry dolls, global village, folk dancing, speeches and more! However, it is not only about the awards, NDA’s KUNA Delegation is also known for its philanthropic work. Due to their fundraising efforts, generous donations of families, local Daisy Troop 773 and students of NDA, the NDA delegation donated 60 pairs of shoes and a cash donation to Waterstep. Waterstep is a non-profit that sells the donated shoes and uses the profit to provide clean water to counties around the world. Also through the sale of Candy Grams and Soda Cart, the NDA Delegation made a $600.00 donation to the KY YMCA Global Initiative. NDA gives a special thank you to the volunteers and donors who made this all possible.