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Douglas High student tours U.S. Capitol, U.N.

Staff Reports

Douglas High School senior Selena Kaffer recently visited the United Nations headquarters and Washington D.C. as a delegate to the 2010 Odd Fellows and Rebekahs “United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth.”

Kaffer and Carson High student Victor Favero flew to Philadelphia where they joined 150 other youth delegates from other states and countries. In New York, the delegates learned about the history, purpose and functioning of the United Nations.

Kaffer said she was impressed by the U.N.’s Millennium Goals which includes eradicating poverty and extreme hunger, along with seven other goals. “I was shocked by the exhibit on land mines. There was a wall of photos of teenagers who had lost one or more limbs in land mine explosions. Explosives that were buried during wars many years ago are still maiming and killing people,” she said.

Each of the student delegates prepared a speech on how he or she would prepare a community response to help the children of Haiti in the recovery from the earthquake. The best speech was awarded a scholarship from the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs. While in New York, they were treated to the Broadway show “Mamma Mia!”, and visited the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center and Liberty Island.

The tour continued on to Niagara Falls, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. where they visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum and Smithsonian. Along the way, the group enjoyed the hospitality of local Odd Fellows and Rebekahs lodges. Kaffer met new friends from all across the country and “by the end of the 12-day trip, my bus group was like a family,” she said.

Kaffer and Favero were selected to participate in the program by completing an application and writing a short essay to the Nevada Odd Fellows and Rebekahs in November 2009.

Kaffer described the trip as “one of the best experiences of my life,” and said that she is “grateful to the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs for this amazing opportunity.”

The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs is an international fraternal Order whose charitable work includes programs for veterans, seniors, orphans and youth. More information is available at http://www.unpilgrimage.org. The local contacts are Dorothy Knight and Bill Knight at 887-8944.

Kaffer is the daughter of Minden residents Dan Kaffer and Dianne Jennings.