Day 2 – Work experience with the WCIA

For today’s tasks, I concentrated on getting to understand the work of the United Nations Association. I began by having a discussion with the UNA intern, Hazel, who is currently working in the temple. She was able to give me insight into the aims and responsibilities of the UNA, and their work into involving our government and communities with the United Nations.

After I came to understand what the work of the UNA was, Hazel gave me an interesting piece of writing to have a look at, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the UNA. In this, I was able to read about the history of the UNA, dating back to the 1940s, when the United Nations Association became the successor to the League of Nations Union. Learning about their actions of supporting and acting with the United Nations on topics such as disarmament, education and human rights was fascinating. We then looked at specific sections of the organisation, understanding the work of UNA-Wales, UNA-UK and then finally the United Nations itself. It was astonishing to see not only the large amount of issues that the UN targets, but the large amount of positions and organisations within it. I was able to see what a vital role the UNA played in maintaining knowledge of and support for the UN. Yet I was also made aware of the issue we face in trying to get people to get involved in and develop and insight into global issues and the work of such organisations.

In the afternoon I was given the task of writing a piece for the UNA-Wales blog. I had the option to do it on any international issue that I was interested in. It didn’t take much time before I decided that I wanted to write on the current and shocking issue of forced marriage and FGM, exploring the consequences and solutions to the problem. I was shocked at some of the statistics I saw, but also comforted by the vast evidence of change that had been happening in recent years. It had been proven that by ending forced marriage and keeping young girls in education for longer, it would ultimately improve not only her own quality of life, but the health and economy of the country that she was based in. It’s an issue I feel really passionate about and it was a great opportunity to be able to write about it on the website!

It was another great day working with the WCIA, and I can’t wait to get started again tomorrow.

Alicia Cook is a student and volunteer at the WCIA