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HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM 2018
The WHAO team recently attended the High-level Political Forum 2018(HLPF 2018) which took place at the United Nations Headquarters from July 9th to July 18th. This conference serves as a United Nations central platform to follow-up and track the progress of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. HLPF 2018 required full and committed participation from all States Members of the United Nations and States members of all specialized agencies. (The WHAO team attended the Local 2030 panel which discussed local government and their role in relief efforts.)(WHAO attended the Resilient Women panel event that touched on the rights of women, the state of various nations in regards to women's rights, and the future of women.)The week-long conference, themedTransformation towards sustainable and resilient societies,focused on specific Sustainable Development Goals. The discussions focused on the following goals:(goals provided by the United Nations official website)Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for allGoal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for allGoal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainableGoal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patternsGoal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that will be considered each year:
TORCH FESTIVAL IN LIANGSHAN
Liangshan Area of Sichuan Province is the largest settlement of the Yi people in China. On June 24th of the lunar calendar every year, the Liangshan Yi compatriots must wear festive costumes, sing, dance, and host large-scale beauty contests. This day holds plenty of activities from horse racing and wrestling, to archery and other competitions. The tradition includes igniting torches in the wilderness to commemorate their heroes. It is believed that ghosts protect the safety of people and animals. The Liangshan Yi Torch Festival is one of the first intangible cultural heritage lists published in China. It is one of China's top ten folk festivals. It has been included in the “2010 World Intangible Cultural Heritage Approval Project” held by UNESCO. The chairman of World Human Accountability Organization, Mr. Youyu Zhu, and the head of the Butuo County Health Center, Ms. Deng, launched the Liangshan Workstation. Through this workstation, several orphans and mountain children will receive financial support until they complete their university studies. The Liangshan adoption program is one of WHAO’s many ongoing programs. WHAO hopes to expand the project through cooperation and provide assistance to a larger number of children.On July 18, 2018, on the eve of the Torch Festival, Ms. Deng visited children who lived in the remote orphan school in Butuo County, Liangshan. Ms. Deng noted that she had seen so many of the same children since her last visit. "These are the children of Luogu Elementary School we visited last time. Orphans, they can't go home after a holiday, just at school,” she said.“When I arrived at the entrance of the orphanage, I saw a small figure standing in the darkness and waiting quietly. When I saw it, I saw a child who was long-term adopted by WHAO. His name is Ji Huocong, a 10-year-old boy. When he was 5 years old, he was unfortunate enough to experience the death of his parents’” Ms. Deng recalled. She shared how the boy lived independently since he was young due to losing his parents at five years old. He kept afloat by helping neighbors do farm work, assisting with cattle and sheep, and living alone in a small room in Butuo County. Many children between the ages of six and nine have been found living alone under similar conditions. Soon after meeting him, WHAO adopted him when he was nine years old. He is currently attending Liangshan Luogu Primary School.(WHAO sponsors Jihuo Zicong since 2017, a 10-year-old boy who lived independently for almost 4 years from 5-9 years old)(Children from the WHAO's Adoption Program)Ms. Deng brought and distributed new clothes, school uniforms, living and school supplies, and fresh food to the orphanage.The next day, the day of the Torch Festival, Ms. Deng took the children to the hospital for a health class and taught them essential hygiene and civility skills. The staff of the WHAO Liangshan Workstation then presented the donated materials which included stationery, clothes, shoes and much more to the children.Ms Deng invited the children to have a meal and celebrate the Yi Torch Festival. She is like a mother to the children at the orphanage. She brings the children warmth and care and she constantly plants seeds of love in the young hearts that have been hurt.Ms. Deng dresses the children with brand new clothes and brought them to the city center, waiting for the performance of the Torch Festival with all the villagers of Liangshan. WHAO helps children to build new experiences, and let them feel equal to other children, learn about the cultural heritage in a festive atmosphere, and to feel the love and warmth of people from all over the world.

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