Fernanda Winter, 17 years old, will be the first Brazilian to participate in the Junior 8 Summit (J8), held in the sidelines of the G8, a meeting of leaders of the wealthiest countries in the world, to take place in Germany from June 1st to 8th.
During the event, 74 adolescents from many different countries will discuss proposals and solutions to problems that affect and violate the rights of children and adolescents throughout the world.
Each of the G8 countries – which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – will be represented in the summit by eight youths, totaling 64 people.
The developing countries will be represented by ten youths who work directly with programs supported by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) or by partnering institutions of the fund.
In addition to the Brazilian girl, the summit will also count on the presence of adolescents from Algeria, Cameroon, China, Ethiopia, India, Moldavia, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania.
Fernanda will fly today to Germany. From the city of Belo Horizonte, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, she told what she expects of the meeting. "It will be a wonderful experience. I will represent not just the movement, but the entire Brazilian youth.
"I want to make full use of all workshops and debates to show our experiences, and also to learn from other youths from all over the world. It will be a unique opportunity for this exchange of ideas and knowledge between adolescents from rich and developing countries," she said.
Fernanda is in the last year of secondary school in the city of Lavras, in the interior of Minas Gerais. She was chosen by the UNICEF to participate in the J8 for her work in the managerial board at the Brazilian Adolescent Movement (MAB), in the Movement For Exchange of Adolescents from Lavras (MIAL) and the advisory committee for the Health and Prevention Program in Schools (SPE).
The SPE is an initiative of the Ministry of Health, by means of the National Program of STDs and AIDS, of the Ministry of Education, of the UNICEF, of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The Program promotes integration between municipal and state-level health and education services, and favors school as a space for articulating prevention policies to adolescents and youths. The goal is to reach seven million secondary school students.
"We are extremely excited about Fernanda representing us in the Junior 8 Summit. She has been a multiplier for this awareness and prevention work in our city since she was 13," said Daniela Ligiero, projects officer at UNICEF.
Another determining factor for the choice of Fernanda, according to Daniela, was the fact that the work developed by her is in line with one of the main subjects of the summit: STDs and Aids. "To have someone discuss the issue with all the knowledge that she possesses will make all the difference," Daniela claimed.
Fernanda will travel to Germany accompanied by another young volunteer. Carolina Rezende, 23 years old, from the AIDS Prevention Support Group (Gapa) in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. "Carolina was chosen to accompany me because of her involvement in social work, and due to the fact that she speaks fluent English," said the girl from Lavras.
Four themes will be discussed in this year's edition of the J8: perspectives for economic development in Africa; STDs and AIDS; climate changes and sources of energy, and new challenges facing the global economy; intellectual property rights, and corporate social responsibility.
At the end of the J8, a select group will meet the leaders of the G8 to present a document to the heads of state of Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Russia.
Further information about the J8 Summit can be found at
Anba – www.anba.com.br