Yes …. It’s finally here … The moment has arrived and with less than one day to go, the #OYWOttawa Team has stepped into overdrive!
By now, many of the delegates have arrived in our beautiful city. Tonight, hundreds of global leaders will join Ottawa residents in the pre-summit Home Run, a 5K fun run organized in collaboration with One Young World to raise awareness and support for refugees and stateless people. A portion of the $40 registration fee will go to Refugee 613, which supports refugee settlement in Ottawa.
“I can’t imagine not belonging anywhere, not having a place to call home,” said Katie Dolan, who organized the event with Run Ottawa and her employer, Ottawa Tourism.
Katie attended the One Young World Summit in Bangkok in 2015 and was inspired by delegate and speaker Kamolnan Chearavanont who started the Voices Organisation when she was 14 in order to help orphans and abused women and children, specifically those who are stateless.
The Home Run will definitely be an ice-breaker for the summit which kicks off with the Opening Ceremonies on Sept. 28 on Parliament Hill. The Opening Ceremony will include a performance by Orkidstra, a children’s orchestra with a mission to empower children and build community through the universal language of music.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson will deliver a welcome address and One Young World Counsellors will be introduced as well as 196 members of the delegation, each bearing the national flag of their country.
Kofi Annan, Sir Bob Geldof, Professor Muhammad Yunus & Mary Robinson will deliver keynote speeches.
Sept. 29, bright and early, is when all the work begins! The key areas of focus at the 2016 Summit in Ottawa will include: Education – Global Business – Health – Human Rights – Peace and Security – Environment and Indigenous Reconciliation.
The One Young World Summit features Plenary Sessions, Internal and External Breakout Sessions, Delegate Speaker Sessions and an impressive line-up of world leaders from politics, entertainment, business and the community.
Personally, I can’t wait to host two One Young World Delegates at my home for a Home Dinner on Friday, Sept. 30. What an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal with our future leaders.
The Closing Ceremony on Saturday, will include a Colombian cultural performance, introducing One Young World to the next host city, Bogota, a Ribbon Tying Ceremony in which Summit Ambassadors write their personal commitments to action post Summit on individual ribbons that are then tied together to show unity.
Wow! All of this is happening in Ottawa over the next five days. Let’s all welcome One Young World to our home and native land.
Christine O’Grady is a Communications Professional and Lifestyle Consultant as well as the creator of ottawaboomers.com. Christine is also a One Young World Ottawa volunteer and Co-Chair of the #OYW Social Media Team.