Students from Forest Heights Academy visited the United Nations (UN) in New York in September along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fred Mitchell, as a part of the reward for winning the Model United Nations (MUN) debate on climate change in April this year.
Cole Albury and Donte Richard along with their teacher Nadira Kawalram travelled to the New York to sit in on a session of the UN and hear the Minister Mitchell speak on Behalf of the Bahamas.
Donte and Cole both said that the trip was fantastic and wonderful. After a two-and-a-half hour flight hey were greeted at the airport by Bahamian delegates who carried them to their hotel.
They were given a tour of the city, including Grand Central Station and Times Square which Cole said was “absolutely amazing; pictures don’t do it justice.”
“It was a breath taking to see all different kinds of people and hear all the different sounds. There where street performers trying to earn an honest living,” Cole said.
They began their second day meeting with Bahamian officials and guests in The Bahama House after which they took a short walk to the UN where they were searched and given identifications before entering.
Once inside, Donte and Cole were guided to their seats where they listened to the Speaker for Bahrain and India.
Cole said “what filled me with the most pride was watching Fred Mitchell get up and Address the world on behalf of the Bahamas. Hearing him speak to the world really made me realize that though we are a small country, we matter to the world. They care just like they care about America or any other country in the UN. It filled me with pride and love for this little country of ours.”
Donte said that Mr. Mitchell referenced them (Cole and himself) during his speech and noted that young men in The Bahamas are not meeting their potential and that it was refreshing to have two young men win this competition.
Cole said that after leaving the UN they explored New York City’s famous China Town which he said was fun, and Donte added that they also had a dinner reception with the Bahamian delegates and had light conversation before heading back to the hotel to prepare for their journey home the next day.
He said that “this trip was a blessing and I’m so thankful for Interact and Bahamian Foreign Affairs for making this possible. I’m also grateful for the teacher, Mrs. Nadira Kawalram for giving her time to train us for the competition which allowed us to receive this amazing opportunity.”