JCU Student Delegation Attends Conference on "Empowering Rural Women to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security"

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JCU students at the IFAD conference

JCU students at the IFAD conference

On March 6th, a group of four JCU students was invited to attend a conference on “Empowering Rural Women to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security” at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). They were invited by the United Nations Women’s Guild in collaboration with the JCU Community Service Program. Samantha Abear, (Treasurer of UFWH), Claudia Delicato (Events Coordinator of Grassroots), Chiara di Maio (President of WLI) and Emma Scruggs (Vice President of UFWH) served as representatives of several JCU Clubs and Organizations and sat in the front row amongst Sapienza and Tor Vergata International Masters students.

John Cabot University was acknowledged during the opening remarks of the Conference by Cassandra Waldon, the Director of the Communications Division at IFAD. The introduction was followed by a speech by Kanayo F. Nwanze, the President of IFAD, on the importance of female empowerment.

A panel of leading experts on innovative interventions regarding food and nutrition security, Britta Schumacher (Programme Policy Officer at WFP), Andrea Sànchez Enciso (Gender and Participatory Communication Specialist at FAO), Antonio Rota (Lead Technical Specialist on Livestock at IFAD), and Mino Ramaroson (Africa Regional Coordinator from International Land Coalition) presented a variety of testimonials from personal experiences on the field. Each expert shared stories regarding their travels to various parts of the under-developed world. They explained the difficulties they confronted in collaborating with diverse cultures and lack of education, which often lead to malnutrition and food insecurity.

Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Program, gave passionate closing remarks on the importance of awareness and collaboration to support women’s rights. She said, “Women have won many battles over the years but the war is not over yet, and men must work along with women to achieve true empowerment.”

After the Conference, students attended a fair where IFAD, WFP, FAO, as well as other organizations gave out information about their projects. JCU student Emma Scruggs said, “It was such a great opportunity to see so many people that I look up to talking so passionately about their jobs!” Chiara di Maio was very satisfied with the resources she obtained and said the conference was “truly motivational,” making her hopeful about her current and future line of work.

The Community Service Program would like to thank the United Nations Women’s Guild for this remarkable opportunity and invitation and looks forward to future collaborations.

Learn more about the Community Service Program at John Cabot University in Rome.

Learn more about Clubs and Organizations at John Cabot University in Rome.