Our peoples, Our world – By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman


Work in the office has become more intense. While I was on vacation, I was appointed to be the head director/facilitator of all evening events during the Youth Assembly as well as spearhead a team of photographers to cover everything. Next week, myself and the other six interns will be taken on our first actual trip to the UN where we will be given tours and an overall run-down of what is where and where certain events during our program will be happening. I’m so excited I can hardly wait. After the tour and time at the UN, I’ll be meeting with Livia Vanaver, my old dance teacher, whom I’ve scheduled to perform for our opening Gala with the rest of the The Vanaver Caravan World Dance Institute, showcasing their dedication to culture exchange, performing arts for peace and life’s work as a citizen and diplomat for peace. She and I will brainstorm and decide how to most beneficially start off the weekend’s events.

Our evening program is filled with events that unite Youth through arts, culture, sports, and travel for the development of peace. The Opening Welcome Gala event will occur on Wednesday, August 6th at Columbia University, with a dinner, presentations by the Vanaver Caravan, Shani Perez (an Israeli musician) and Patrick sciaratta, the Project Director and CEO of FAF.

Night two will be followed by a Culture Night, also occurring at Columbia, with various dance and music groups coming to perform, some performers will even include the YA delegates themselves which will be awesome! Some ice-breaker activities will be conducted by myself and the other interns as well, such as the human knot and entourage. One of my colleague interns, Eliza, came up with the idea to create a banner with all of the delegates in which we would all share ideas and phrases of what peace meant interculturally for all of them, either through word or image, so this exercise will follow.

The following, and final evening of the YA, will take place on a cruise ship that will embark on the Hudson River with all 300 or so delegates! Ambassador Miculescu (of the Permanent Mission of Romania), Ambassador Toriello (of the Permanent Mission of Tomé) and Ahmad Alhendawi (United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth) will all be in attendance and speakers for the attending delegates, followed by an awards ceremony and a youth dance.

During this time, myself and the other interns will be living in downtown Manhattan at Pace University, helping to move and guide the delegates involved from place to place and from the conferences taking place at the UN each day from 9am-5pm and then to the evening events, etc. I’m so nervous to be in charge of maneuvering the schedules and experiences of so many international young people when I’m already so helpless in this big city just navigating for myself- but it will definitely be quite the experience nonetheless.

The parts of my job that fascinate me the most are beginning to finally arise, the actual contact and connection of people from around the world gathering with the same goals and interests of non-violently fighting for peace and expressing themselves through the arts. Anyone can sit where I am and do the logistical desk work to which I seem to have been tethered to all summer- but if I can take control of directing these individuals and events into co-creating an unforgettable pro-peace experience, then I will be legitimately following my passions and contributing to change within the lives of others and the world at large. As a person living within this world, we have a natural desire to contribute positively while we’re here- but generally the only thing that comes from this feeling is stress and feelings of worthlessness when something isn’t able to be achieved in one’s most desired way—all of this makes us forget that changing the world doesn’t come from living with the same status of Martin Luther King Dr., but by sitting down with others and speaking about change and spreading those feelings around the world one small social community at a time, especially as young people.

At this time, 3 serious plane crashes have occurred in the world just this past week in Algeria, Taiwan, and Malaysia – all carrying over a hundred serious businesspeople and researchers. Was this intentional like so many think? There’s no way of knowing, but I do know that our acceptance of these occurences is what is intentional and should be questioned. When people we love are being taken advantage of, either in a plane or by being arrested for protesting the use of drones when they are accidentally killing so many- this is what needs to be stopped. This change within our world can only occur if all of the peoples in the world are trying to work together and stop fighting each other, this is what I am trying to do by working with the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation and as an anthropologist/sociologist in general. 


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