With the financial support from the Global Industrial & Social Progress Research Institute (GISPRI), OISCA carried out the CFP Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors program two times in September and October 2014. From October 1 to 10, Indonesian and Myanmar children came over to Japan for presentation meetings and exchange programs in Tokyo, Kagawa and Ehime. On October 4, they participated in the “Global Festa 2014” held at Hibiya Park in Tokyo, and socializing with Japanese children coming from different parts of the country, taught each other cultures of their respective countries and communities, and together made a “Promise for the Earth 10 years later”
Mr. Htet Phyo Lwin from Myanmar told that in his village, it rains in only about 40 days a year and so, only those crops such as peas resistant to dry can grow; in the dry season, there is no water even in rivers, and they get a small amount of water digging the sand, but it is very hard to carry water. He added that although it is tough to raise trees under this environment, the shade provided by the grown forest is cool and pleasant.
At an event commemorating Japan’s International Cooperation Day held on October 6, 2014, Indonesian and Myanmar children who were visiting Japan as Children’s Forest Program (CFP) Goodwill Ambassadors presented a theme song for CFP entitled “Mori no Ibuki” together with Ms. Kazuyo Kuriya, a flutist and the theme song lyric writer and composer.
Ms. Putri Oktaviani Rachman and Ms. Maharani Dean Pramudita from Indonesia received intensive Japanese language lessons before coming over to Japan. They made all presentations in Japanese and surprised the Japanese participants. The Japanese supporters who participated in the presentation meeting in Tokyo commented: “looking at the children speaking with lively facial expressions, we could feel that the CFP activities are really enjoyable and that forests are developed with the hands of these children”.
On the other hand, children from Sri Lanka and Thailand visited Japan from September 4 to 15 and conducted programs in Aichi, Gifu, Chiba and Tokyo. In the exchange meeting held at Aichi Prefectural Toyota Higashi Senior High School which is expected to take part as the representative of the Chubu region in the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development being held in Japan this November, the Sri Lankan and Thai children reported that the forests in their communities have been lost due to the rapid developments and wildfire causing serious problems such as landslides and water shortage and that they are carrying out tree-planting activities so as to lessen these problems. The students of Toyota Higashi Senior High School made a presentation about their studies and research on living creatures in Yahagi River and forests and also activities to protect the environment.
This year falls on the 60th anniversary of Japan’s international cooperation and also the last year of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) which was proposed by Japan and has been promoted by the international community.
In the future, we intend to improve through this sort of projects mutual understanding of respective environments and cultures beyond the country and also foster children who can act together.