by Paige LaCombe & Alvany Santiago
After the four-day UN Commission on the Status of Women CSW67 conference in NYC, see OD article, Paige LaCombe (US Servas), and Alvany Santiago (Servas Brazil) flew to Santiago to share their experience with women attending the XIII Congreso Latinoamericano de Investigación sobre la Paz (CLAIP), i.e., Latin American Peace Conference.It was held at the University Alberto Furtado in Santiago, Chile from April 18 to 24, 2023. Attendees were thrilled to have these two powerful women make their conference presentation, “UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW): The Experience of Servas Representatives”.
Paige LaCombe is the former peace secretary for Servas International. She holds a BA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, California.She’s taught in Los Angeles for more than twenty-five years to maximize opportunities for migrant children and their families. She also has a keen interest in gender issues, particularly the rights of girls to participate in sports, as well as supporting equal opportunities for education and wages for women. She served as the Servas International Peace Secretary from 2019 to 2023 and focused on organizing the attendance of Servas International Women at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and developing partnerships with men’s group that support gender equality.
Alvany Santiago is a Servas Brazil member, a founder of SantiagoEcoAmigas, and a member of the Conflict Resolution Team for Servas International. She is a professor in the postgraduate program in Development Dynamics of Semi-arid Regions and Public Administration at the Federal University of Sao Francisco Valley, Brazil. She is the leader of the research group Laboratory of Career and Competences Development (LCDC) and a member of the research group Governance for Sustainability and Carbon Market Management at Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. She was a visiting fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK and at the University of Tampere, Finland. Her studies revolve around the contribution of people and organizations to sustainable development, including gender equality, circular economy and business ethics.
Like the New York CSW, the Chile conference included people from diverse groups within Latin America, not just Servas members. Their first objective was to inform attendees about Servas and describe efforts to address gender and diversity issues within an international peace organization. To achieve this, they introduced Servas International, described the strategy of action, and analyzed Servas International’s participation in CSW. Their presentation conveyed the energy and relevance of the CSW as they shared some of the key sessions and presentations from the UN conference, including the presentation hosted by Servas Canada member, Julie Cormak, entitled Women and Girl's Access to Education in Afghanistan, and Türkiye Servas International Peace School. See video.
During their time in Santiago, they stayed with wonderful Servas hosts Javier Heusseur, National Secretary Servas Chile, and family, and with Emilio Caicedo, Peace Secretary, Servas Chile. Many thanks for their hospitality, conversations, meals, and true Servas camaraderie!
Paige Lacombe, Alvany Sanitago and Javier Heusser attending Servas SYLE online
L-R - Christine, Javier, Emilio and Alvany (Servas hosts and traveler)
Emilio Caicedo and Paige Lacombe