To create a sustainable society together with NGOs from each country

The 68th UN Civil Society Conference on “building a tolerant and sustainable city and regional community” was held in Salt Lake City in the state of Utah, U.S. on August 26–28. Representatives from civil societies, government institutions, and academic world, including UN officials, gathered together to discuss global issues and establish a network; it was the largest scale civil event held by the UN.

The 68th conference was co-hosted by the UN, NGO executive committee, and Salt Lake City; it was attended by 5,000 representatives from 700 civil societies from 120 countries. They put their heads together to find the ways of creating a sustainable society. In the second and the third exhibition hall of Convention Center at Salt Lake City where the conference was held, there were 200 exhibition booths arranged by each organization.

WeLoveU attended the conference as an NGO associated with the UN DGC. About 30 members from Korea and 10 other WeLoveU branches in the U.S. ran three exhibition booths, where they informed people of the activities WeLoveU had carried out to accomplish the SDGs.

In the first booth, there was a small replica house for “Bright Haiti” experience of using solar powered lanterns. WeLoveU has been helping students in Haiti, who have difficulties due to lack of electricity supply, through “Bright Haiti” project. In July 2018, it brightened the lives of students and their families as well by donating 3,000 solar powered lanterns to Wharf Jeremie Vocational and Technical Training Institute in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The visitors, who experienced using the lanterns and candle lights, deeply felt the necessity of the project. They nodded their heads, reading the experience reviews from Haiti. Selina Nkoile, a representative of a civil society from Kenya, said, “The exhibition booth was very impressive. The students now have the opportunity to do what they want to do under the solar powered lanterns. It’s also an effective way of saving energy.”

#Bright Haiti Project exhibition booth, where the environment of Haiti is reproduced; students have difficulties due to lack of electricity supply.

In the second and the third booths, there were exhibition panels introducing the activities of WeLoveU and “StartDoingGood” cartoon made by the WeLoveU members. The visitors learned about sustainable development goals through plain and easy cartoon, and willingly gave support signatures for accomplishing the goals.

#StartDoingGood exhibition booth: Cartoon that shows the values and activities of WeLoveU that aims to accomplish the SDGs.

Exhibition booth that introduces the activities of WeLoveU (left), and sticker panel for pledging to accomplish the SDGs (right)

WeLoveU held a workshop on the theme of “strengthening the capacity of youths” on the 27th. In order to create a sustainable society, the role of youths, who have unlimited potential and have the capacity to encourage other generations to work together, is important. On the day, John Power the deputy head of the WeLoveU branch in the Eastern U.S., Sherri Van Bibber the representative of the American Red Cross, and Cassandra Todd a young adult member of the WeLoveU were the panelists for discussing the issue with 100 other participants.

WeLoveU held a workshop on the theme of “strengthening the capacity of youths;” the members are sharing expertise and discussing various case studies.

In a pleasant atmosphere, the members shared expertise and various opinions in regard to the topic. Sherri Van Bibber mentioned the case of some young adults who created a positive impact on society. She emphasized that many more young adults can participate in saving lives as the age restriction for donating blood has been lowered to 17. Cassandra Todd, a member of WeLoveU, explained that the future generations, too, would greatly be encouraged to regularly participate in volunteer services for society, if young adults recognize the importance of volunteer services and participate in them.

During the three-day conference, WeLoveU members broadened their perspective, sharing expertise with various civil societies from all around the world; they thought about the direction of their activities in order to create a sustainable community. Furthermore, they made a resolution to embrace all the global villagers with the heart of a mother who dearly takes care of her children.