We held our Annual Membership Meeting on May 18, 2018, which was followed by lunch in the Delegates Dining Room at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
PPSEAWA USA is deeply involved with UN initiatives regarding education, health, and gender-based violence.
PPSEAWA USA is focused on SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing. We co-sponsored two events on women’s health held at the United Nations in 2017:
1. “Universal Healthcare: Integration of Physical and Mental Healthcare for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases” took place in Conference Room 8 at United Nations Headquarters in New York on November 9, 2017. Other partners were the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the UN; Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN; World Health Organization Office at the UN, New York; UN NGO Committee on Mental Health; International Council of Women (ICW-CIF), and the Communications Coordination Committee for the United Nations (CCCUN).
2. “Using Media to Promote Health, Well-being, and Social Change” took place at the United Nations Church Center in New York on December 6, 2017. This was our second event at the UN with the Communications Coordination Committee for the United Nations (CCCUN). Projects utilizing media to promote health, wellbeing, and social change were highlighted by experts from agencies and civil society. For example, a radio soap opera program for UNICEF Mozambique, which is carried on 70 radio stations, was developed to improve sexual and maternal health. The focus of the radio program is shifting public knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors around key health and education issues, such as girls’ primary education, antenatal care, nutrition, child protection and HIV prevention.
PPSEAWA USA remains focused on SDG Goal 4 Quality Education. Generous donations to the PPSEAWA USA Education Scholarship Fund enabled a scholarship for a senior high school student at Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart in Chicago for the academic year 2017-18. In addition, the Chicago Chapter covered the annual tuition, room and board for a hearing-impaired girl at the Jyoti School for the Deaf in Kanpur, India, which was founded by their members.
PPSEAWA USA held a few programs on SDG Goal 5 Gender Equality. For example, two of our local chapters have projects to support women in difficult situations. The Chicago Chapter collected in-kind donations to help equip families living in Bridges, the transitional housing unit for domestic violence survivors and their children operated by the YWCA Evanston/North Shore in December 2017. The Toledo Chapter gathered needed items for impoverished women in rural Guatemala through their local organization, SewHope, in March 2018.
PPSEAWA USA also supports the United Nations TOGETHER global campaign to promote respect, safety and dignity for migrants and refugees. One example is the community talk sponsored by the Chicago Chapter at the public library on October 17, 2017 entitled “A Refugee Woman’s Journey to Freedom”. The keynote speaker was Yman Vien, is a leader in Chicago’s immigrant and refugee community. Yman has been recognized by the American Bankers Association for her efforts in executing outreach on financial matters to the immigrant community in Chicago.
Our Asia-Pacific region is prone to many natural disasters. PPSEAWA has ongoing projects to strengthen resilience and help women and children recover. For example, the New York Chapter donated funds for relief efforts to PPSEAWA Japan following the 2016 Kyushu Earthquake, and to the Taiwan Center following the 2018 Earthquake in Hualien City, Taiwan.
Our Annual Review for the United Nations was successful and we were approved for four UN grounds passes for 2018. Our UN Representatives kept us updated on initiatives and events throughout the year, and we print their detailed reports in the national newsletters.
PPSEAWA USA representatives attended the Sixty-Second Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) at the UN Headquarters in New York from March 12-23, 2018. PPSEAWA held six side events this year, covering a variety of topics including anti-trafficking measures, educational opportunities and challenges for migrants and refugees, and women’s mental health and non-communicable diseases. USA President Akari Yamada had the privilege of speaking at a CSW62 Parallel Event on March 13, 2018, entitled “Education and Sustainable Development: A Tool to Empower Rural Women and Girls.”Building schools and counting attendance in the classroom does not mean that girls are actually learning, or have the right life skills to thrive. Her talk highlighted four community-led programs for adolescent girls established by PPSEAWAs in Fiji, Thailand, Indonesia, and USA. Fellow panelists included Emilie McGlone of the Peace Boat, Lily Gray of UNESCO, CoNGO President Liberato Bautista, and Saionara König-Reis of Dianova International. We were honored that Youth Representative Pempho Chikondenji was chosen to attend the Youth Dialogue at CSW62.
The Youth Representatives Pempho Chikondenji and Keji Kujjo participated in the UN DPI Program during Africa Week 2017 on “Regional and Economic Integration in Africa: How to Involve Africa’s Youth across National Borders”,in October 2017. They attended the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2018, held at the United Nations Head quarters in New York from January 30-31, 2018. The Youth Forum was established in 2012 by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), to bring youth into discussions on the Millennium Development Goals, and now, the post-2015 development agenda.
PPSEAWA USA is ably represented at the international organization. As the Second VP on the International Council, Akari Yamada attended the PPSEAWA International Council Midterm Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, from August 7-9, 2017, along with three other USA members: Teresa Hintzke (Immediate Past International President), Mei Chuan Chao (International Secretary), and Amy Banker (International Representative to the UN in New York). We all enjoyed the gracious and warm hospitality of PPSEAWA Thailand!
PPSEAWA USA in turn hosted PPSEAWA’s 90th Anniversary Celebration with a dinner and program in the Grand Ballroom of the 3 West Club in New York on March 16, 2018. Our sisters from Canada, Fiji, Japan, Hawaii, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand joined us for a memorable evening.New York Chapter members Yasuko Kawamoto and Lady Francesca Todd received “PPSEAWA Golden Service Awards” to recognize a half-century of service and contributions to PPSEAWA.
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