The Fukushima Youth Ambassadors, 12 junior high school students (ages 13-14) from Minamisoma City, are departing for Australia today! The 12 youth will visit Melbourne for a programme of educational and cultural exchange with local students and citizen’s groups. This will be an opportunity to experience intercultural understanding workshops, learn about environmental issues through outdoor activities, and practise English. In this healthy, dynamic and creative environment they will learn new skills, enjoy new experiences and gain a fresh perspective on the future, invaluable to them as they struggle to consider the future of their disaster-affected community.
2013 has begun Peace Boat’s Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre’s respective projects are well underway. These projects all correspond to disaster relief, meaning that the project plan is being constantly reconsidered and revised as it is being implemented. It is important for our volunteers and also the organisation itself to remember to “think flexibly, and move according to the circumstances.” This report gives an overview of the main ongoing activities for 2013, including those which are now accepting volunteers, donations and other support.
Peace Boat has organised programmes for youth from Fukushima to experience international exchange in Asia in 2011 and in North and Central America in 2012. In 2013, the third recreation project will take place in Spring in Australia. This programme will bring junior high school students from Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture to Melbourne, Australia during their March-April vacation, to experience international exchange and learn about environmental issues.
The final performance of Fukushima & Venezuela Music Youth Ambassadors was held on August 18 at Tsuda Hall in Tokyo. Approximately 450 people, including family members and other guests of the Fukushima TV Junior Orchestra, people connected to the Venezuelan Embassy, and evacuees from Fukushima who live in the Tokyo area, participated to see the children perform.
A very special concert to welcome back the youth from Fukushima and to welcome to Japan the Venezual youth participating in the “Fukushima & Venezuela Music Youth Ambassadors – Widened Horizons: Opening the World’s Door for Fukushima’s Youth” will be held on Saturday August 18 in Tokyo!
As part of a recreation project for children in Fukushima, Peace Boat planned a mountain climbing trip to Mt Fuji from July 21-23, 2012. This post is based on the diary of Takeda Nobuhiro, a Peace Boat Disaster Volunteer Center Staff member himself from Koriyama, Fukushima.
Fukushima & Venezuela Music Youth Ambassadors – Widened Horizons: Opening the World’s Door for Fukushima’s Youth
FUKUSHIMA & VENEZUELA MUSIC YOUTH AMBASSADORS:
Delegates from the Fukushima Television Junior Orchestra will join Peace Boat’s 76th Global Voyage together with delegates from the world renowned The Simón Bolívar Music Foundation (also known as “El Sistema,” providing free music education to 350,000 children in an effort to discourage them from crime and develop a culturally rich society), following music exchanges with the Gustavo Dudamel Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) program, the El Sistema Los Angeles group which provides programs for under-privileged young people.
Peace Boat is this year carrying out its 50th voyage around the world, having also conducted many voyages throughout Asia and the Pacific. During Peace Boat’s 73rd Global Voyage, which departed Japan shortly after the disaster last year, a photo exhibition was held at each port of call to communicate the damage in Ishinomaki and surrounding area, and the activities of volunteer. This report shares some of the disaster relief related activities carried out together with partners in ports around the world – here in Barcelona, Spain.
After going to Ishinomaki as a member of Peace Boat’s advance team in March 2011, then working as a volunteer coordinator in Tokyo, Takeda Nobuhiro is now working to coordinate support for Fukushima. He himself is also from Fukushima – from Koriyama City, also deeply affected by the 3.11 disaster. This interview tells of his activities in Ishinomaki, coordinating in Tokyo, and planning ongoing support for Fukushima including youth temporary evacuation projects and opportunities for dialogue amongst citizens.
Between July 23 – August 4, 49 Junior High School students from six different schools in Minamisoma participated in the Fukushima Youth Voyage which traveled to Viet Nam, Singapore and Sri Lanka onboard Peace Boat. The students enjoyed participating in activities onboard and in the ports of call. For some of them it was their first time to travel overseas and they all gained a lot from the international exchange and learning opportunities. This is an interview with accompanying staff member Ms Yasuhara Hazuki about her experience and thoughts on the project.