It's been a month since we started our search for new activity
fields in both Denmark and Sweden. I have been traveling in
the Scandinavian countries again. I had some meetings and
presentations there last week. In Copenhagen, I met with the former
teacher, who has promoted many IT projects in education. He now
works for the City of Copenhagen to contribute his skills,
experiences, and knowledge. The first question he put to me was
whether Pangaea is the type of organization, supported by or tied to
religious or political organizations. "Absolutely not," I replied to
him. "We have been recruiting children from diverse religious
backgrounds, including Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Confucianism,
and Hinduism," I added. He appeared to be relieved to hear my answers.
So he said, "That's great!"
The Scandinavian countries are well known as the safest places
in the world. Those countries have the best-designed social security
systems. In Sweden, no one has to spend more than 30,000 yen per year
on medical expenses. Recently, the number of immigrants has increased
in the Scandinavian countries: many people have fled into those countries
to escape from unstable political situation in their homelands,
as well as to seek jobs to gain financial stability. In Sweden, I had
a chance to talk with the chief officer of the Board of Education and
school principal in one district where nearly 100% of community members
They touched on some emerging issues in the community:
The area is considered unsafe to live, and the unemployment rate is very
high among young and middle adults. Both the chief officer and school
principal have tried to find out the effective ways of communication
among the community members and how to enable them to live together in
harmony. During our presentation, I introduced them our virtual
communities: "House" (an individual identity), "Village" (an activity field),
"Country," and "Earth." I explained them that it takes only four clicks
to visit House to Earth. They showed their interest in our simple, but
fundamental ideas. I confirmed their willingness to launch our activities
as we implement our projects in Europe. I believe the Scandinavians tend
to be meticulous. Most Scandinavians whom I know usually visualize
the proposed project before discussing further details about the project plan.
In fact, it seemed the school principal has already mapped out our project
plan and listed some future facilitators in his/her mind. My friend, Cecilia,
lives about a 20-min-drive from the community; she is willing to help us in
order to put our project plan into operation.
Due to my hectic schedule, I set up one of my meetings at Cecilia's house,
where I was staying. I asked Simon to come and join the meeting from Amsterdam.
So, Simon, Cecilia, and I could discuss our project plan in Sweden.
By the way, I am now writing this newsletter in London. I am here to have
the first session with staff members of the new community center. I am going to
Amsterdam this weekend to meet with staff from community centers and the largest
nonprofit organization in Amsterdam.
I have some great news to share. During my business trip, one of our staff
members, Mr. Hanada (we call him "Hana-pooh."), made his debut as a lecturer of
our facilitator training sessions. And we are opening our new activity site at
Kyoto University; we are going to launch our activities there this week.
Because we have major upcoming events, we have reconfirmed our commitment to
respect children and provide them with a lot of fun during our activities.
To achieve our goals, we need your continued support.
This month I will introduce Mr. Hayato Sagawa as a writer of Pangaea Ring.
He is one of our technical volunteers in Kyoto and works for the company,
Global Developers Japan. He developed an effective online interaction tool,
Pangaea Community Site, for our volunteers. We have currently utilized
the system at our activity sites. Thanks to Mr. Sagawa, we will be able to
offer a social networking platform to Pangaeans from every corner of the globe!
Well, goodbye then!