00:00 – Hello! My name is Andrew Macdonald and I’m the new Executive Director at the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation. I’m truly very excited to be part of this wonderful organization with a history that spans over 50 years.
00:14 – But first, let me thank many of you for the warm welcome that I’ve received since I’ve started. I’ve been here just over 6 weeks and I already feel very much part of this community.
00:26 – I’m finding out how very rich our history is, which makes me even more excited about our future. FAF has played a noteworthy role in bringing the world together since our beginnings. Through cultural exchange, musical choirs, and now coming on our 23rd Youth Assembly, we’ve been connecting people around the world for decades.
00:52 – So in joining the organization, I feel like I’m inheriting such a tremendous Foundation, and I’m very keen to expand and advance our mission. I look forward to sharing some thoughts on that in the near future.
01:05 – And speaking about the future, I should tell you, I’m an optimist. For me, the journey of humanity is just beginning. As we learn more about ourselves, our planet, our universe. It’s truly a special time.
01:22 – However, I’m also a realist; I also recognize the challenges that we face. Poverty, war, oppression, and a fragile environment are serious challenges.
01:39 – We have to address this head-on and everyone can help. And you have my promise, as an organization, we will do all we can to help contribute in solving these issues.
01:50 – In that regard, we will focus on three areas: Connecting and engaging, education and development, and action and impact. Through this framework, we will strive as we always have to bring people together in meaningful ways, to grow and learn together with purpose, so that we can ultimately make a positive impact in this world.
02:17 – The key word here is “we”. I believe that our greatest asset is in the individuals that have participated in our programs through our long history. There are literally thousands of like-minded individuals who are willing to contribute to creating a better world.
02:39 – That’s why I wanted to focus on the community aspect, and harness that passion by creating a sense of community amongst all what we’d like to call “Ambassadors of Friendship” in this world. We can help each other, or as we like to say, “I Act, We Impact.” We can do this together.
03:01 – So I’ll end on that and thank you all again for the warm welcome that I’ve received and look forward to meeting some of you at our next Youth Assembly in February. It’s my first as it is for many of you, so you can imagine my excitement. Again, thank you for sharing these few moments.