Report on “Friends of Northeast Asia” – Cultural Exchange Children’s Art Exhibition in Saitama

[Original by Ikuru HORIUCHI, an intern on the “Korea Children Campaign” (the Relief Campaign Committee for Children, Japan), (April 28, 2022); Translated by E. Miyazaki /E. Yocom] Hello! こんにちは (Konnichiwa) ! 안녕 (Anyon) ! 你好 (Nihao) ! My name is Ikuru, and I am an intern at the Korea Children Campaign. I would like to report on the Friends of Northeast Asia exhibition that was held in Saitama, which I visited on December 25, 2021. About the Friends of Northeast Asia Exhibition This art exhibition was first held in 2001 with the hope that the 21st century will be a century of peace between the countries of the Northeast Asia…

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What changes did JVC’s vocational training make? (Part 2)

[Original by Yuta HASHIGUCHI, Sudan Project (April 18, 2022); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/A. Taguchi] In my last blog, I introduced how trainees and instructors were feeling after the whole vocational training program ended. This time, I interviewed two other welding trainees. Please find out what kind of changes they have experienced through JVC’s vocational training. Mr. Fatah (18 years old) “I came from Katcha in the rebel territory. I went up to the second grade of elementary school, but because of a family finance issue, I quit and was taken care of in my relative’s shop for a while in Hersana, West Kordofan. Later on, when I came to Kaduqli…

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What changes did JVC’s vocational training make? (Part 1)

[Original by Yuta HASHIGUCHI, Sudan Project (April 4, 2022); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/A. Taguchi] JVC’s vocational training project that began in 2021 ended last February. After finishing lectures and on-the-job trainings, almost all graduates got jobs at factories in the town and other places. From now on, they will start work supported by related institutions, community leaders, and youth leaders. Let’s hear from the trainees who have finished the welding training courses about their impressions and feelings. Mr. Murtada (23 years old) “I moved to Kaduqli from a rebel territory several years ago. I don’t want to talk about the past because I had terrible experiences before I came here.…

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Community forest to protect natural resources

[Original (March 29, 2022); Translated by E. Miyazaki /A. Taguchi] In the rural areas of Laos, people have been taking food and timber from rich forests as much as they need for their daily lives. However, as the economy rapidly developed in recent years, plantations and dams were constructed and deforestation increased. People faced conflicts about unfair land expropriation and deforestation due to ambiguous boundaries of villages and forests. To prevent such conflicts, we created “community forests” in two villages. We chose an area in the forest that the villagers wanted to preserve and registered it as a conservation forest at the public administration office. We also placed signboards showing…

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We provided legal training to protect villagers’ rights

[Original (March 9, 2022); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/A. Taguchi] In Laos, the lands of villagers in rural areas, which they use for daily life, are often grabbed and destroyed by developers without any sufficient compensation. In addition, excessive production of cash crops and woodcutting, including those done by the villagers themselves, cause unnoticed deforestation. To improve this situation, the villagers need a guide to lead a stable life by preserving natural resources and the lands which are the basis of their livelihood as well as to be able to protect their own rights. Therefore, we implemented legal training on land use and other important legal information they need. From 2018…

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Now is the Time to Stop Dividing the World: The Situation in Ukraine

I am truly heartbroken by the news that comes in every day about Ukraine. Among anything else, all armed attacks must be stopped, and people’s lives must be prioritized. But in reality, this is not happening. What should we focus on? What can we do? I am pondering these questions as I watch the news and social networking sites. The military invasion by Russia is unacceptable and cannot be justified in any way. They should immediately stop the attack and withdraw from the region. At the same time, however, I feel that the news reports we see and what is conveyed as claims of the Western-centered “international community” are too…

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Reports from Sudan

[Original (October 27, 2021); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/A. Taguchi] Background of the coup in Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan On October 25, 2021, military forces detained Prime Minister Hamdok along with several other ministers, gaining power in the coup. In Sudan, after the political change in 2019, the military and civilians agreed to share power for the transition to civilian rule. But due to a slumping economy with an inflation rate of 300%, it prompted complaints and people criticized the current transitional government. The political situation got worse in September. Because of the alleged attempt of a coup, the government detained about 40 military officials and civilians who had…

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Video completed: JVC’s 40-year history in Cambodia

[Original by Mariko OMURA, Cambodia Project (September 18, 2021); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/M. Olagoke] Hello. I am Omura, in charge of the Cambodia Project. A video that summarizes the 40-year history of JVC’s activities in Cambodia has now been completed, thanks to our volunteers! We could successfully cover the production expenses (¥ 1,627,280) through donations from many people, which was more than what we had expected. All the production committee members truly appreciate your support. We were encouraged enormously by the amount of money and felt sympathy from many people. Thank you very much indeed. The excess budget is intended for producing an English version, Khmer version, and a DVD…

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Our Vocational Training Program Begins

[Original by Ko IMANAKA, Sudan Project (September 15, 2021); Translated by C. Rosenberg] In South Kordofan, Sudan, there are many young people who have been unable to get an education or learn skills that will help them find work due to conflict in the region. In addition, it is not easy to find a job in Kaduqli, where there are few job opportunities for people who need to support their families because their parents have passed away or live in rebel-controlled areas. Because of this, many people work in agriculture during the rainy season, and charcoal-making during the dry season. However, such a lifestyle is very difficult in Sudan, where…

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Limited sale! Bring smiles to children by supporting the 2022 International Cooperation Calendar!

[Original by Mai NAMIKI, Public Relations/Fundraising Manager (September 14, 2021); Translated by E. Miyazaki /A. Taguchi] The 2022 JVC International Cooperation Calendar is on sale from September 1. The calendar has been sold for 35 years through the support of many fans. Let the smiles of children from all over the world warm your heart by hanging a calendar on your wall. This year’s photographer is Mr. Masashi MITSUI. He has been taking pictures in Asian frontiers while traveling by motorcycle. He has been taking pictures guided by the theme of smiles and working people and was awarded the 2018 Grand Prix of Nikkei National Geographic Photography Award. The theme…

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