Dollis Hill schoolgirl represents the UK at youth summit in Germany
- Credit: Archant
A 14-year-old schoolgirl activist from Dollis Hill was chosen to represent the UK at a youth summit in Germany.
Stella Berenyi, from Normanby Road, and a pupil at Hampstead School in Cricklewood, beat more than 3000 hopefuls to become one of six young people from the UK who attended the J7 Youth Summit in Berlin, last week.
Co-organised by Unicef, the summit provides 54 young people with a unique opportunity to have their voices heard and to shape opinions at the G7 Leaders Summit in June, where governments and heads of state of the G7 nations will discuss global political issues.
Stella, who met Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel at the event, said: “I wanted to get involved because I felt really passionate about some of the topics, especially women empowerment and protecting our planet. I also had a lot of experience in the areas they said you needed to apply. A few years ago I was involved in the campaign to save Willesden Library. A lot of people in our area got together, campaigned, canvassed and marched outside it to try and keep it.”
Over eight days the delegates created a simulation of what an actual G7 debates looks like and in groups, wrote a position paper (a political report), on the topics they were most interested in including climate change, global health, creation of a fairer society and empowerment of women and girls, the group Stella worked with.
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“We wrote our position paper on what we wanted to do, for example break down gender barriers from nursery age and offer women to women support. One of the problems we realised was that some of our website ideas would be difficult to access in countries where there is a lot of censorship.”
The Year nine pupil who would like to become an activist in the future said the highlight of her eight-day trip included meeting Ms Merkel to ask her to support their campaigns.
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She said: “I was a bit scared but she was really friendly, really nice.“The people I met were amazing. It was really nice to see people who had the same interests and had similar problems.”
Andrew Duncan, an English teacher who runs Model United Nations trips at the school, said: “Stella was an excellent delegate for the UK team; not only did she did work collaboratively on proposals to empower women and tackle environmental issues, she demonstrated some powerful communication skills. In particular, she debated with the British Ambassador to Germany about the need for young people to get their voice heard on global issues.”
G7 countries consist of UK, Germany, France, Italy, USA, Canada and Japan