One minute I was saying goodbye to my warden – the next minute I was standing behind the Crown Princess Mary of Demark

The ‘Women Deliver Conference’ 2016 was the largest conference, focusing on girls and women, in the past decade. It was hosted in the beautiful city of Copenhagen, Denmark from May 16th-19th. From around 6000 applicants who applied to attend this prestigious conference, 200 were selected to receive a Full Youth Scholarship. I was one of them. 

From the moment I stepped on the plane, I knew it would be a life-changing experience.

There were only 3 three things in life that I used to be terribly afraid of:

  1. Travelling solo

  2. People giving me directions

  3. Heights

And this trip helped me conquer all three. Now I jump at any opportunity to travel overseas on my own. There is a lot travelling solo does for your soul – you soak in extensive knowledge about the world, the people in it, and most importantly, yourself.

Denmark is deemed ‘The Happiest Country In The World’ and indeed, it’s a country that joyfully lives up to its fame. It is also the safest country in the world for girls/women, which is why the Women Deliver Conference was hosted there. The whole city was decked in ‘Women Deliver’ posters and slogans – it was beautiful. 

At the conference, I attended many amazing workshops conducted by none other than the Danish Prime Minister, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Melinda Gates, Jessica Biel (Hollywood Actress, wife of Justin Timberlake), Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah Zaid of Jordan, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Jim Yong Kim (President of the World Bank Group), and many other big names. Being a Youth Scholarship recipient, I had the unique opportunity to interact with these prestigious people on how they’re investing in girls and women. It was an experience I could never forget. 

It is my vow to the world that I will devote the rest of my life to work for women’s rights and well-being. After all, I am empowered by the biggest Feminist I know, my father Tadesse Deribe. 

Shortly after the conference, I travelled to 3 other European countries before returning to India. Sweden was my favorite. While I was there, I got to see and feel the ocean for the first time in my life. For a nature-lover like myself who was born and raised in a landlocked country, this was a pretty miraculous experience. I also spent a fun cultural evening in the oldest amusement park in the world.

As a proud verto representing LPU and my country, I couldn’t be happier doing what I love: showcasing my passion and commitment for humanitarian work. I simply can’t put the whole experience into words – I met countless youth leaders from all over the globe and learnt about the remarkable work they’re doing to advance the health and rights of girls in their communities. Thanks to this conference, I’ve now made friends with leaders from 20+ countries. In short, it was enlightening, inspiring and phenomenal! 

A quote from the conference I’ll never forget: “Women DO deliver more than babies – they deliver BUSINESSES, INNOVATION AND EXCELLENCE!”

For more inspiration, go here and check out another ~amazing~ women-focused conference I attended: http://www.aworldatschool.org/global-youth-ambassadors/entry/Youngest-delegate-tells-world-summit-about-value-of-education-1835