24 January 2017
Christian teen representing the UK at the UN
Teenager Alison Greaves will be the UK's sole delegate to the United Nations' 2017 winter assembly for young leaders in February.
The teenager attends Bamford Chapel and Norden United Reformed Church in Rochdale.
She has chosen good health and wellbeing as her personal focus.
Alison said: "Personally I feel this is how I am going to let Jesus shine in my life.
"My role now is to educate people, in particular young people, about the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"These aim to improve 17 aspects of life in both the developing and developed world. The goals include: no poverty, zero hunger, and quality education."
Alison, from Passmonds near Rochdale, applied to be a UK delegate for the Youth Assembly after a family holiday to New York last year and after using the UN as research for a church home group.
She said: "As a result of this opportunity, and telling others about how they can make a difference through the development goals, I'm potentially changing people's lives for the better.
"Ultimately I think that's what God wants me to do."
Alison is speaking to the United Reformed Church youth assembly in Staffordshire about the task ahead and is also interested in the URC's involvement in the joint public issues team; a venture of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland which works on issues of justice and inequality.
Alison says: "I became aware that JPIT targets similar areas to those encompassed by the UN's sustainable development goals.
"I would love to work in partnership and see what can be done as a joint team to benefit all organisations and to further the work of God in the world."
Launched in 2004, the youth assembly takes place at the UN headquarters twice a year and gathers the brightest and most active youth leaders from across the globe. The Youth Assembly is recognised as the largest youth conference at the UN; it involves 13,000 young people and adults (aged 16 to 28) from six continents and more than 100 countries take part in 18 sessions.
You can read more about Alison's trip on her blog: www.seeingtheworldfromanaeroplanewindow.wordpress.com