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US Embassy extends support for glbti youth

Thu 13 Feb 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News

Conference delegates being led onto Unitec Marae The US Embassy has stumped up with $10,000 for two projects to benefit glbti New Zealand youth. A Rainbow Youth initiative to support transgender and intersex youth in the rural areas of New Zealand has been awarded $3,000, while UniQ has been given $7,000 to kickstart its national UniQ Hui. The grants were announced at the NXT:14 Youth Leaders Conference at Unitec in Auckland over the weekend, a Auckland Pride Festival gathering which was a legacy project of the most recent US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, gay diplomat David Heubner. “Despite the already overwhelming generosity of the American Embassy they awarded funding for a project, or projects, post conference,” NXT:14 Coordinator Robbie van Dijk tells Daily News. “The youth were asked to form groups with like-minded peers and come up with, and present, their idea or project.” US Consul General Jim Donegan say the Embassy was very pleased to support the conference, which he says was a tremendous success. “We continue to be staunch supporters lgbtiq persons worldwide, and this conference is another example of the US Government’s efforts to help lgbtiq persons fully realise their amazing potential. “This was recently highlighted by President Obama’s decision to send American Olympic legends Brian Boitano and Caitlin Cahow, both proud members of the global rainbow community, to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as his personal representatives.” Conference a resounding success More than 70 young people from all around New Zealand and the Pacific Islands including Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands took part in NXT:14. They enjoyed three days of intensive workshops and guest speakers from New Zealand and abroad. “It's hard to single out any particular highlights of the weekend as everything had merits for different reasons,” Robbie van Dijk says. “For me the highlight was watching such inspirational and driven individuals arrive on Friday and leave as a united collective on Sunday. “It was such a privilege for me to be a part of the conference and especially being so actively involved in creating the opportunity for these amazing current and future leaders to come together.”      

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 13th February 2014 - 11:31am

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