Erika Williams' Story

Erika Williams, Mother of Kathrine Williams

I was quite surprised when my daughter asked me to pay for a trip to Geneva to give a speech at the UN. At first - quite frankly - I thought she was pulling my leg. Yeah sure, I thought, speak at the UN, is probably just another term for ‘let's go to Geneva for a bit of fun’. However, she kept on and threw all these abbreviations at me, like the UN, NGO, CSW  and NAWO. I am not good with abbreviations so I confess I had no idea what NAWO stood for. 

As she was not letting go about this UN trip, I looked more into it and went to the information evening lead by Zarin from Impact Travels. And the whole Geneva trip became more realistic and serious. 

My daughter was really excited about it and was quite talkative when it came to this topic, which is, for her, not very typical. So I thought, this might be a very good opportunity for her -  to push her out of her comfort zone, when it comes to speaking to people she does not know. Also, being half Swiss herself and familiar with the Swiss way of life, the opportunity to actually walk into the UN building in Geneva, let alone giving a speech there and then, is pretty slim and a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

My daughter was one of the lucky ones of being able to go on the Geneva UN trip. She spent hours writing her speech, re-writing it, filled it with something better here and there and read it out to us. She did a lot of research on her topic of the speech (child’s rights), looked for inspiration by talking to so many other people. Her heart and soul went into this speech and kept her excited and kept her going until the day of the speech came. It seemed to me that my daughter changed in front of me and her confidence increased dramatically.

We are thankful to Impact Travels for the opportunity given to my daughter and the chance of being part of something very special, that she can carry in her heart for a lifetime. 

To close my testimony, I would like to thank Impact Travels, Zarin and Soroush and last but not least NAWO (which I now know stands for the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations) for the opportunities they create for young women, to give them a voice in a world, where their voices might never have been heard otherwise.

Thank you.