Stefanie Machado was a youth delegate at the 6th Global Forum on Health Promotion. She is 21 years old and is currently completing her undergraduate degree in Health Promotion at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Below, she shares her experience of attending the Global Forum.

Health Promotion

Attending the Global Forum opened my eyes to a new, broader perspective of the field of Health Promotion. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Ottawa Charter among leading health promoters from all of the world – what an honor! We’ve progressed in shifting the mindset from “disease” to “health.” I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to share my voice & ideas in the writing of the PEI Declaration. The conference provided me with an opportunity to examine and critique the sustainable development goals as an avenue for new ways to strengthen and participate in health promotion. In the words of Bernard Kadasia, president of the Alliance for Health Promotion, “together we can create new energy and visions to drive health promotion forward.”


There were inspiring words shared about practicing health promotion and following your passion throughout the Global Forum. The panel on The New Leadership of Health Promotion was one of the highlights for me. Listening to these leading women in health promotion tell their stories & give advice to other emerging leaders… wow. “Be spontaneous and bold” – Paola Ardiles. “I didn’t see my potential, but they did” – Christina Murray. A few of the MANY inspiring words by these wonderful women. Imagine my shock when Rebecca Fortin identified me, Stefanie Machado, as an emerging leader she connected with at the conference! I couldn’t believe my ears! I can only hope to be as strong, empowering and accomplished as these ladies in the field one day.


The HPRO Society

As Co-President of the Health Promotion Society at Dalhousie, I had the pleasure of travelling to the 6th Global Forum with our amazing members! This trip would not have been possible without them. The Global Forum has shaped us into emerging leaders in the health promotion field, and we are so excited to share the knowledge we have gained. The participatory nature of the Forum allowed us to contribute to our full potential, and we are so grateful for that experience!

Dalhousie University

We were also lucky enough to present information on the only undergraduate Health Promotion program in Canada. We represented our program and the Healthy Populations Institute (HPI) with our Interim Director, Dr. Jacqueline Gahagan, who is a mentor to many of us. We’re enormously grateful to the organizers of the Global Forum for inviting those of us from Dalhousie to be an integral part of the event, and for providing us with an experience we will never forget.


Migration & Health

Led by Christina Murray & Dr. Carlos van der Laat, this concurrent session really resonated with me. As I am originally from India, and arrived to Canada from the United Arab Emirates, I fully connected with the importance of cultural appropriateness, inclusion, and supportive environments. We need to use an intercultural approach and community based practices to reduce vulnerabilities and injustices in migrant health.

The Global Forum had a bigger impact on me than I ever imagined it would. I feel very lucky to have been an attendee, an active volunteer, and also to gain an internship opportunity! Thanks to Rebecca Fortin, I will be helping build the BC Chapter of Health Promotion Canada from January – April 2017. Thanks to Paola Ardiles, I am also applying to the Master of Public Health program at Simon Fraser University this upcoming year. I am beyond grateful for all the opportunities this forum presented me with!


You can follow Stephanie’s journey on her blog.