My name is Sam, and I recently had the privilege of being asked by HFA to attend a youth leadership workshop being held by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) to provide an Australian perspective on youth leadership to a group of youth leaders from various haemophilia organisations located around the world.
The workshop was to be held in Panama City, Panama, a short hop, skip and 22hrs of flying away!
After making my arrangements with HFA & WFH to attend, arranging flights and letters from my HTC to take my factor out of Australia, I was finally away!
I had also sort of signed myself up to take part as a presenter on a panel for a Facebook live event that was being held. The panel was about different countries’ haemophilia organisations, and their treatment situations, along with information about the youth programs which each country has in place. Thanks to the help of the HFA staff, Sharon, Suzanne & Hannah, I managed to put together a brief presentation.
If you would like to see more of the presentation, you can find the entire event on the WFH Facebook page (http://tinyurl.com/wfh-video-youth), and if you have some spare time, I would recommend having a look, as it gives a bit of perspective as to how lucky we are to have access to free treatment in Australia, but at the same time we obviously can't sit on our hands with the changes that are coming.
The workshop also involved several sessions over 2 days ranging from youth engagement, and how to build engagement, social media training and techniques, planning and managing events, advocacy techniques, and also some sessions on communication, relationships, and challenges of being a young adult with a bleeding disorder.
The workshop was filled with some lovely young leaders from around the world, from places like Nicaragua, Morocco, Saudi Arabi, Korea, Panama, Venezuela, Honduras, Brazil, Georgia, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic. With presenters from the United States, Canada, Brazil and New Zealand.
Youth leaders at the WFH workshop, Panama City
It was a full-on and informative experience. And obviously seeing that for most attendees English was not their first language, it was great to see everyone communicating so well together. Regardless of where we all come from, we still share many of the same day to day issues of life with a bleeding disorder.
As a final note to everyone who has taken the time to read this short article, I would encourage you to continue to be involved and connected to the bleeding disorder community and do be afraid to take part in the different events which are held.
Find out more on the WFH website: https://www.wfh.org/
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