Michael

The first time that I heard about MMSY program was when I was waiting for my mom to pick me up from school when I saw a sheet of paper of the program on the main office desk.  When I read the paper at first I was really curious to what this program can actually do.  I was interested in what does the UN actually do and why it doesn’t get involved in world conflicts as much as people think they should.  Another thing that caught my eye was that the program would be visiting other religious places.  As a Catholic I barely knew other religions such as Islam and Judaism so I was really interested in learning if those religions are similar to my own or are really different.  Soon enough my mother agreed with me to sign up for the program. 

 

After school ended and summer vacation began I started to do my volunteering at Cohen Children’s Medical Center at LIJ Hospital which I enjoyed mainly because of the people that I worked with were so nice.  Then when I had nothing to do all day I just went to the city and went music shopping.

 After that I was preparing the program studying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and I was analyzing the booklet and I find the booklet very informative of what basic human rights a person should have. 

I learned a lot from my experiences in MMSY program and the first thing that I learned is how the UN actually works.  It is made up of six different sections: Security Council, the general assembly, economic and social council, trust ship council, International Court of Justice or ICJ, and the secretariat.  The purpose of the UN is help developing countries; help people have human rights, and having peace and security.   

One of the days I liked a lot was visiting the Museum of Tolerance which I didn’t even know existed.  One thing that I shockingly learned in this museum is that there are hate websites on the internet.  I know that people can remain anonymous on the internet and say hurtful things to people but I never knew that racist and hateful websites existed which absolutely disgusts me.  Also I saw a documentary called Peace One Day of how one guy named Jeremy Gilley had a goal to make a global day of peace which got me motivated to make a difference and was unlike anything I ever seen before.   When I was watching the documentary I thought to myself “This guy is meeting obstacles in every corner yet he never gives up.  How on earth can he keep going?” seriously this guy had the worst luck ever like how his day of peace got held up with 9/11, and the Middle East not approving his idea. I’m thinking to myself “maybe if I had the motivation, patience, and effort I can actually accomplish something similar that Jeremy did.” 

One of the most memorable days to me was when the group visited the religious sites such as the mosque and I was shocked to what I saw.  The huge carpet that was in the room was unlike anything I had ever seen before because I mainly go to a Catholic church with chairs but it was such magnificent structure that I was in total aw.  One thing that I learned when visiting the religious sites was how similar the principles of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian culture were.  Basically they care for the poor, have good values, and believe in one God.  This made me wonder why we have religious conflicts in the first place if what we believe in is similar. 

Another thing that I learned in MMSY program is UNICEF or United Nation International Children Fund is that the United States stopped funding the program when the United Nations recognized Palestine as a state which made me shake my head back and forth for the United States being so ignorant.  Seriously this program helps the development of kids from around the world and giving those kids rights and United States is so ignorant that they don’t want to fund the program because the rest of the world recognizes Palestine as a state.  Anyway I learned about the millennium goals which are basically guidelines or goals that must be reached in 15 years for the United Nations.  For example in 2000, the United Nations set goals for lowering the spread of HIV and AIDS and lowering poverty rates.  Then I was interested in participating in this website/survey called World We Want.  It’s a survey where you choose six important issues that you want the United Nations to look into and want the United Nations to set as millennium goals.  I find it interesting to know what people from around the world think of what the United Nations should pay attention to.  Another section of the United Nations that I learned from was UNAOC which was the most diverse program; they basically focus on the cultural aspects around the world and want to help the cultures with focus on migration, youth, freedom of media, and education.   One of my favorite days that I learned a lot about was Multicultural Day where everybody would share their culture traditions, food, and history.  It was real enjoyable experience how everybody including myself would present about their culture and I learned things that I would’ve never known if I was in high school or maybe even in college.  I think this is because I’m actually learning from people that came from their culture and not reading some textbook that might have one or two facts about it.

In the end MMSY program has taught me a lot and I will benefit from it a lot in the future, that anybody no matter what your background or where you come from, you can make a difference in this world.  MMSY program helped me a lot to not judge a person based on what they looked like because my parents would sneak in these terrible comments about other cultures and I wonder if they are correct or do they misjudge them. 

However from what I learned from MMSY program is that a person that has been raised in a different culture, religion, and traditions is still a human being just like me and I shouldn’t judge them until I have a conversation with them.  Also MMSY program helped me how to start making a difference in this world from starting from an idea to getting support for your idea and actually executing your idea and sharing it to the world.  I also learned from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that each human being has a basic set of human rights and no one should get rid or restrict their rights in any way, shape, or form. 

In addition, I was honored to win the first prize for memorizing the 30 articles of UDHR as the mission of the MMSY program.

I learned to be more open with myself to others because not all people are trying to bully or harass me.  You may come across people who had similar or worse situations that you can relate to so you can help and comfort them.  In the end I enjoyed MMSY program a lot and it was better than I expected and I went to see things that I have never seen and I can’t wait to put this new knowledge to my future.   

 

 

ALL human beings are born FREE and EQUAL in dignity and rights. 

-Universal Declaration of Human Rights