DCI Holds 5th Conference on Child Rights & Sight at Yale University

Senator Richard Blumenthal with DCI Leadership and members of DCI Stony Brook University Chapter
Senator Richard Blumenthal with DCI Leadership and members of DCI Stony Brook University Chapter at the 2015 Conference on Child Rights & Sight at Yale University

Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI), an international non-profit child rights organization (headquartered in Connecticut and established at Yale University in 2003), hosted its 5th International Conference on Child Rights & Sight on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at Yale University.

The biennial Conference on Child Rights & Sight is part of DCI’s global initiative to raise awareness of children’s rights and blindness prevention. One of Connecticut’s largest international gatherings in the non-profit sector, it brings together diplomats, non-profit leaders, and academics from around the world to share successes in promoting the rights and wellness of children, discuss current challenges, and promote solutions.

This year over 300 people joined DCI at Yale’s Anlyan Center for Medical Research for an inspiring and educational day of lectures and networking. The 150 seat auditorium remained filled to capacity throughout the day, with participants even filling the stairways during the plenary session for a chance to hear speeches from ambassadors and leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations.

Participants heard from over 30 distinguished speakers including H.E. Ambassador Mohammad Ziauddin (Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States), H.E. Ambassador Edita Hrda (Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Nations), H.E. Ambassador Dr. Rohan Perera (Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United Nations), Nancy Donaldson (Director, International Labor Organization), and Gopal Mitra (Program Specialist, UNICEF).

DCI and its guests were also very fortunate to be joined by Connecticut’s Senator Richard Blumenthal, who attended the conference as a special guest and addressed the delegates after lunch. Senator Blumenthal thanked DCI and all of the conference participants for their contributions to the defense of child rights and spoke of his own efforts in the United States Senate to combat human trafficking. He stressed the importance of the work DCI and similar organizations are doing for children and encouraged everyone to continue their efforts.

The conference was attended by delegations from many local colleges and universities, and offered an opportunity for students and volunteers to discuss their experiences participating in DCI projects. DCI’s Executive Director Dr. Ehsan Hoque noted how the presence of so many young people indicated DCI’s success in recruiting and training the next generation of humanitarian leaders. He also commented that DCI, in its twelve years of existence, has worked steadfastly to build a sustainable and transparent system of support that has lifted thousands of vulnerable children and their families out of crippling poverty, disability and disease. Dr. Hoque thanked the conference organizers, volunteers, and all other participants “for making this initiative such a resounding success.”

The 2015 International Conference on Child Rights & Sight was organized in partnership with Yale University, Yale UNICEF, Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart University, Western Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Wesleyan University, University of Saint Joseph, and several local community colleges.

To learn more about DCI’s fight against poverty, child labor, and preventable blindness, contact DCI at 1-203-376-6351 or dci[at]distressedchildren.org.