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Young Nelson women turned student activists head to UN

Maddy Murphy spent a Saturday earlier this month outside the Kootenay Co-op with the goal of raising funds for her upcoming trip to the United Nations.  - Kirsten Hildebrand photo
Maddy Murphy spent a Saturday earlier this month outside the Kootenay Co-op with the goal of raising funds for her upcoming trip to the United Nations.
— image credit: Kirsten Hildebrand photo

Two young L.V. Rogers students are about to take their desire to make a difference to the next level.

Early next month, Maddy Murphy and Lara VonMaydell will attend the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

To raise funds for their trip and awareness for the One Billion Rising event held on Valentine’s Day, Murphy spent last Saturday outside Kootenay Co-op. She told the Star violence against women and girls is a huge concern.

“There are a lot of problems with how we treat women in our society. I think it’s good to start making a change when you are young,” said the 15-year-old.

Having attended a Young Women Peace Making Camp led by Madelyn MacKay last summer, Murphy became aware of ways she could start being more proactive in the cause.

Her volunteerism has continued and this latest opportunity will take her ability to contribute to the next level. Murphy and VonMaydell will learn from speakers, attend workshops within their organization — the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.

Murphy is excited for the chance to learn from people more experienced in activism about what young women can do.

“It’s kind of hard to know where to start,” she said.

Travelling to New York City is an experience in itself and attending the United Nations is above and beyond a simple trip to the bustling American city.

“It’s overwhelming,” she said, “in a good way.”

To help the students fund their trip, contact them personally or donate through L.V. Rogers high school.

The 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women takes place at United Nations headquarters in New York from March 4 to 15.

Upon their return, Murphy and VonMaydell will give a presentation at the United Church’s Peace Festival held in April.

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