Ambassador for a Day at UNICEF Thailand Office
UNICEF Thailand was delighted to welcome Sirisopha Ekarattanawong to our team on International Women’s Day
In commemoration of International Women’s Day, Sirisopha (Ping) Ekarattanawong was selected from over 130 applicants for the “Ambassador for a Day” contest to shadow female Ambassadors and the United Nations’ heads of agencies for a day. Winning applicants were selected from two-minute video applications, which showcased their achievements in climate action, gender equality and sustainability.
“Young people are increasingly aware of the challenges and risks from the climate crisis and their unprecedented mobilization around the world shows the massive power young people have to hold decision-makers accountable. Young people are valuable contributors to climate action and act as agents of change. The transformative power of women’s equal participation is essential in driving positive changes whether through innovation, education or using their skills to accelerate climate action. It is time to build an inclusive and equal future, where young people from all walks of life can participate in building a better future for their generation” said UNICEF Representative for Thailand, Kyungsun Kim. “We are never too senior to learn or too junior to contribute and this is the reason why today we welcomed Ping to UNICEF to learn about what we can do to promote young people’s participation and sustainable changes for every child in Thailand.”
On March 7, women Ambassadors together with women leaders from the United Nations in Thailand met with Ping and 29 other winners of the Ambassador for a Day competition at the Canadian Official Residence. The welcoming reception provided an opportunity for women leaders to meet with the young faces of Thailand before they shadowed them on International Women’s Day.
Like many young people in her generation, Ping is passionate about promoting awareness on the climate crisis. As the impacts of climate change intensify with each passing year, more and more young people are joining the movement for positive change. Believing that climate change impacts everyone, especially vulnerable groups including women and children, Ping has set up an Instagram account and website dedicated to spreading awareness of climate change to her friends and community. It also provides channels for individuals to take action, as said in her application video.
“On this International Women’s Day, I hope everyone knows that they have the right to speak up to any unfair treatment and that women are capable of doing anything. With the opportunity to shadow the UNICEF Representative today, I would like to learn more about the qualities a leader should have and how can I deal with gender inequalities in my own community,” said Ping.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is “Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow,” recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. At the Asia-Pacific Regional Commemoration of International Women’s Day, Ping learned how women and girls around the world are mobilizing action for climate adaption and mitigation and met with other young changemakers who are working to create positive change in Thailand.
Afterwards Ping toured around the UNICEF premises and learned about the history of UNICEF Thailand. Ping was introduced to UNICEF’s areas of work and programmes to promote child rights and development, including in the areas of education, adolescent health and participation, early childhood development and the protection of every child.
Ping shadowed UNICEF Representative for Thailand Kyungsun Kim in a meeting on Climate Change Debrief to learn about the situation analysis of climate change in Thailand and current initiatives UNICEF is working on to promote climate change discourse and climate action. Ping also joined in various meetings with UNICEF teams where she had the opportunity to ask more in-depth questions and meet with staff who are leading on various programmes of her interest. Ping showed special interest in the work of the organization, particularly regarding education, climate change, and adolescent participation.
At the end of the day, the Representative and Ping’s conversation drifted to the personal challenges faced by women in leadership. Kyungsun Kim shared her personal life story on how she has become passionate about child rights promotion and her journey in becoming a part of the international civil service.
“I’m very glad to be part of the contest. I am inspired by the conversations I had with Kyungsun Kim and UNICEF colleagues, learning about their life stories, what drove their passion and how they got to where they are today. I feel like I’m ready to begin making bigger changes and empowering others,” said Ping.
This year, the 2022 edition of the Ambassador for a Day competition was joined by 10 women Ambassadors together with 12 women leaders from the United Nations in Thailand. The initiative provided a full-day opportunity for young people to shadow female leaders on International Women’s Day and to present their vision and influence ideas on upcoming activities and plans.
For more information on the Ambassador for a Day contest, please see below: