Sister Ana Maria Bonny Hernandez has recently been called as the new representative of the Church to the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in Geneva, Switzerland. Ana Bonny, who is a native from Spain, is the first European member of the Church to hold this assignment and will be replacing Sister Carol McConkie, who served in that capacity for many years. Sister Ana Bonny will begin working in this new responsibility immediately.
Sister McConkie, who is now being released, said that “serving as a representative of Latter-day Saint Charities as Vice President of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in Geneva, I rejoiced in the sweet association of remarkable women who represent a variety of non-governmental organizations, and who advocate for the physical, social, emotional and spiritual well-being and advancement of women and girls.”
The Committee on the Status of Women group promotes gender equality and the empowerment and defense of the rights of women and girls across the globe. NGO CSW Geneva comprises representatives from some 40 UN-accredited nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) who have consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The Church is one of those organizations, through Latter-day Saints Charities.
Ana Bonny was born in Madrid, Spain. Her parents were pioneers in the Church there, having joined in 1976. Her mother taught both Ana and her sibling, Silvia, to always serve the Lord despite all the difficulties of life. “We were greatly blessed with having the gospel of Jesus Christ from an early age,” she recalls. The family moved to Geneva, Switzerland in the summer of 1982.
Ana Bonny married her husband, Martin Bonny, who is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1997. They have four children —three boys and a girl. Their son Luis already passed away. Pondering on what that meant for her and her family, she says, “It was a very special experience that allowed us to feel a deep love from our Heavenly Father, learn and feel how the veil that separates this mortal realm from heaven thinned, leaving us indelible emotions for all eternity.” Their oldest son, Adam, is married, and the two other children, Beatriz and David, continue to live with them at home.
The special assignment came as a total surprise to the family. “I feel very grateful to feel the love of our Savior Jesus Christ and to be able to serve Him, with all my love and desire,” she ponders. And she feels her life has prepared her to better understand the new responsibility. “My role as wife and mother has been, is and will always be the one that will teach me the most about the perfect and deep love Heavenly Father has for each of his children”, she concludes.
Ryan Koch, who directs United Nations engagement on behalf of the Church, explains the importance of the work Sister Ana Bonny will be involved with. “As global organizations, the United Nations and the Church benefit from having a multitude of voices from around the world. Sister Ana Bonny has the perfect combination of faith, gospel knowledge, and community engagement to connect and network on behalf of the Church, and elevate the role of women and girls worldwide.”
Reflecting on the responsibility she now has, Sister Ana Bonny confirms that searching for the divine value of each human being on this earth and especially of His special daughters, is an extraordinary and profound spiritual adventure. “My wish is to be able to support all the women in this world and contribute with all my love for the well-being of each one of them.”