A Youth Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, brings together 150+ participants to promote peace amid rising human rights challenges. During the summit, former Bonnyville woman Blaise Hunter was selected to represent Canada and speak on her advocacy work for women’s reproductive health rights.
The US Institute of Diplomacy and Human Rights hosted a global Youth Summit in Istanbul on April 1-4 to bring peace through education. The Youth Summit had representatives from over 50 countries in attendance, including young leaders selected among thousands to
represent their nation. The most awaited event of the year, the USIDHR Youth Summit 2022, held in the heart of Istanbul, did not disappoint, with over 150 participants coming to share their passion for human rights advocacy and diplomacy.
The Summit program opened with a welcoming session featuring international guests such as the Queen Mother, the Ambassador of Goodwill for Africa at the United Nations, Hon. Gentiny Ngobila Mbaka, Governor of Kinshasa – Democratic Republic of Congo, Sheikh Kasem Bader, President of the Universal Peace Council, H.E. Hussain Ismail, Minister for Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment from the Maldives, UNICEF representatives, and diplomats. They were joined by Av. Turan Hançerli, Mayor of Avcilar Municipality, who welcomed the distinguished guests and the initiative by the US Institute to host the Youth Summit in the Avcilar area.
The guest speakers were followed by an introductory session led by the founder of USIDHR and international human rights law specialist, Ms. Isabelle Vladoiu, who presented a summary of the non-profit’s past successful events and charity programs to inspire young leaders into future action.
“When USIDHR was founded, my goal was to make human rights education increasingly accessible to all. Education is the most sustainable means of developing societies and creating long-lasting peace,” said the Founder of USIDHR, Isabelle Vladoiu.
Over two days, one by one, youth delegates then took the stage to present their work in the human rights field and their impact on the community, followed by panel discussions moderated by the USIDHR Board of Directors, which gave attendees a further opportunity to introduce themselves on an international stage. In addition to the opportunity created for young people from over 50 countries to share their voices on the international stage, the uniqueness of this summit was in training these young people to become Human Rights Leaders. During the two days, various experts from the USIDHR founder, diplomats, human rights specialists, lawyers, and businesspeople trained the
participants. All those present received the Human Rights Leader certificate from the US Institute of Diplomacy Human Rights. These training sessions aimed to give future leaders the tools and knowledge to go back into their communities and promote human rights education.
It was an incredible honuor to represent my country and highlight my work with my non-profit group: Footprints. My mission is to bring awareness to the mental health effects of infertility and pregnancy loss and make a positive impact. Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.
Blaise is an author, copywriter, multi-award-winning humanitarian, international speaker, fertility expert, certified human rights advocate, Mother of Purpose, and Breaker of Chains. She is a change agent for women’s rights. Blaise’s mission is to shake up the status quo and right
the wrongs of this world. Her “disruption leads to inclusion” approach makes an impact wherever she goes. Blaise founded the Heroine movement to compel women to draw their swords and breathe fire on this world. She also established the non-profit organization Footprints Infertility & Pregnancy Loss Support Initiative. After experiencing three miscarriages, she decided to bring awareness to this taboo topic and inject more empathy into the frontlines. She hand-makes mental health support bags for grieving parents the moment their trauma happens. Blaise is on a crusade to change the medical system one hospital at a time and put the care back into healthcare.
“It was a surreal experience to break the silence barriers on women’s reproductive health rights, and it is so well received,” stated Hunter. “Men and women connected with my story, and they entered a portal of empathy to a vital issue globally. When we can connect to the hearts of humanity, we become united. Meeting other advocates and learning about all the meaningful social justice projects around the world inspired me to do more, be more, and become more. We all play an essential role in moving the needle for positive change.”
Blaise plans to leverage her training and certification to further her efforts in bringing awareness and healing to grieving parents. She is meeting with various groups around Vancouver Island on possible collaborations and is hopeful of expanding her mandate with Footprints.
Blaise also offers human rights consulting to businesses and groups wanting to improve gender issues in the workplace. She holds educational workshops to teach employers how to create women’s rights policies and procedures within their companies. Blaise also brings awareness to the staff on their rights regarding mental health, pay gap issues, infertility, miscarriage, and loss.
Blaise is a bridge between employer and employee. A better informed and functional business creates a better working environment. It’s a win-win.