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A French victim of terrorism attended the 4th edition of Young Ambassadors Program (YAP), a gathering dedicated to young victims of terrorism from April 24 to May 1, 2014.
Built as a support program, YAP’s participants were mentored by therapists and professional workers from victims’ organisations.
Hosted by the Strength To Strength NGO, a member of The International Federation of Association of Victims of Terrorism (IFAVT), the 2014 edition brought together 15 participants aged 13-20, from England, France, Northern Ireland, Spain and the United States to participate in therapeutic and empowering programs while touring New York City together.
Everyone had its own story to share : all participants and staff members left the program with a sense of unity and hope.
Two key words leads the YAP : Hope & Unity.
The group met with community leaders :
– His Excellence, Sir Mark LYALL GRANT, United Kingdom representative to the United Nations.
– His Excellence, Mr Juan Pablo de LAIGLESIA, Spain representative to the United Nations.
– The Senator, Mr Robert SINGER*, senator of New Jersey.
– Mr Gil Lainer, consul for Public Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York.
The group had the opportunity to visit many meaningful places in New York, emblematic of spirit of defense symbols, like the USS Intrepid. This aircraft Carier was active during the Second World War. Since then, it has been transformed into a museum.
The Young Ambassadors also visited NYPD General Quarter, 9/11 memorial and New York City Fire Museum, Central Park and Times Square.
They toured the World Trade Center led by Mr. Lee IELPI, former firefighter, President of the Center and father of Jonathan IELPI, FDNY Squad 288 on 9/11, died in service during World Trade Center attacks.
Active members of Strength To Strength, Sarri SINGER and Wendy LANSKI, who both participated at the AfVT.org‘s program, The Victim’s Counterterrorism Gathering in March 2014, joined the YAP delegation for the entire tour.
Interreligious dialogue was in honor during a meeting between Christian, Jewish, Muslim religious leaders and Young Ambassadors Program participants.
In 2011, the French Association of Victims of Terrorism (AfVT.org) sent two French victims with a supervisor for the YAP’s first edition.
This year, the program proved his benefits again to another young French victim, Anaële. Close links and beautiful friendships grown between those young people from many countries.
Furthermore, this program put the accent on the specific solidarity that characterises New York City towards victims of terrorism.
* The Young Ambassadors could visit the New Jersey State House thanks to the support of Mr. Robert SINGER, Senator of New Jersey.