October 10, 2008

 Announcement: Vote for the Pangaea Drawing Contest

The First Pangaea Drawing Contest is Open!

Please click on the web address below to visit our online gallery and cast your vote for your favorite drawings. We welcome anyone who wants to vote.


This is the landmark project for us: we invited not only our activity participants, but also non-participants of the Pangaea Activity, including those who have received pediatric inpatient care, to this contest.

We simply asked the contest participants – where do you want to visit? And then, they openly drew their pictures using their imagination.
So, please take a look every piece of artwork and find your favorite ones.

You can cast your vote between now and October 31, 2008. You can vote for as many drawings as you'd like. However, you may only vote for each drawing once. The contest participants with the highest number of online votes will receive prizes.

This contest is proudly supported by the UBS "Kids in the Arts" Grant Program, run by UBS and Social Innovation Japan.
We are currently developing new programs to enable the hospitalized children to participate in our activities.

We deeply appreciate your continuing support and understanding.

Posted by: kumakinoko | 8. General | Permalink

October 05, 2008

 Oct 2008 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

Hello, everyone!

September is a back-to-school month. Our children came back to the activities after summer break with suntan and healthy smiles. During the activities, I had many touching moments. One of elementary school boys apparently grew taller. Additionally, I had a huge reunion with a boy who used to come and join our activities. I hadn't seen him for a year and a half since he moved to another town right after he finished 6th grade. He is now in 8th grade and visited us by train. It was a very heartfelt moment for me. Watching the growth of participants always makes me feel honored.

Although I was rejuvenated with attending the activities, don't assume that I have been slowing down or relaxing. Interacting with the children was just one of my September To-Dos. Indeed, I have been extremely busy juggling several projects: evaluating and reshaping the Pangaea Camp, applying for grants, attending the business matchmaking sessions organized by the Social Innovation Japan, promoting the Pangaea Project to raise more funds, and etc., etc.

And then,

we marked another anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Every September 11th is a day of remembering the tragic events I experienced, as well as of reminding me of the reason why I started the Pangaea Project. It is also a day of knowing where I was, where I am, and where I am heading to with our Pangaea to renew my mind and let my spirit soar.

Recently, I have gotten a speculation that our newsletter subscribers must be great "publicists" or "educators" because the well-educated individuals regarding our project - including the presidents of a private corporation, the heads of institution, and event planners - have contacted us through our subscribers. I have had smooth and productive first meetings with those who have the pre-knowledge. Thanks a million for the increasingly supportive atmosphere!

Our project has been moving into a new phase: the Pangaea Pack is fully developed, and we are ready to open more activity sites. That is, we need your support now more than ever. Please help us to get more people who are interested to join our project.

Today (September 23), I am leaving for South Korea with some projects. In addition to work with the Pangaea staff in South Korea, I will attend business meetings to promote our project. This is because we have been taking a giant step toward launching new activity sites in South Korea. To support us, the MIZY center has agreed to play a core role in operating our facilitator training sessions. Furthermore, at the MIZY center activity site, our facilitator leaders have put enormous amounts of time and energy into our project. They have superbly set up meetings and planed meeting agendas.

It's been seven years since the idea for the Pangaea Project emerged from the 9/11 tragedy. We still have a long way to go, but finally developed our own framework to implement our project. I never thought pursuing this project would be a very lengthy endeavor. If I knew it, I probably would not have tried... But I am more determined than ever to fulfill this project. I say to myself - Yes, I Can Do It - whenever our children and facilitators boost my self-assurance by sharing their smiles, growth, and rapport. Okay, I am gearing up for October to push myself even further.

Mr. Takaharu Kameoka, a professor of bioresources at Mie University, is the Pangaea Ring Writer of the month. He is one of active supporters of Pangaea who laid the foundation for the Pangaea playground at Mie University.


Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Oct 2008 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Mr. Takaharu Kameoka

During my appointment as a vise president/board member of Mie University which has terminated last March, I had planned and executed a project called "Local community initiated Internationl Environmental Information Education Project" in cooperation with Mr. Shimamura of E-labo Experience Co. Ltd, where the member children attended the "squeak" class held by Mr. Alan Kay at Expo 2005 Aichi. It was during the process of planning this project when I first met Ms. Mori of Pangaea through Mr. Shimamura. Time does go by fast and it has been over two years since then.

I was refreshingly impressed and amazed by Ms. Mori's approach toward the children including her ideas and passion which were reflected in her actions. It has become my sincere hope to let the children of Mie prefecture experience Pangaea Activities. A project under International Education Promotion Plan 2006 initiated by MEXT has thus kicked off in collaboration among the elementary schools and junior high schools of Tsu-city of Mie prefecture, the school board of Mie prefecture, Mie University and NPO Pangaea. On August 31, 2006, an event was held to officially kick off the promotion event and 44 members concerned gathered together all looking cautious wondering what was really going to happen. This may sound unbelievable now when Pangaea Activities are so well-practiced at Media Hall of Mie University. I do believe today's success is a fruit of the high quality of Pangaea Activity itself, the passionate leadership of Ms. Mori, Mr. Takasaki, Mr. Hanada and other Pangaea staff members and strong interest and efforts made by the teachers at elementary and junior high schools of Mie prefecture and I am personally very impressed to see that.

I have also founded ALFAE (Area Wide e-Laboratory for Food, Agriculture and Environment) on July 31st 2007, with Ms. Mori's cooperation. We enjoyed a huge success at ALFAE workshop held in June this year, where we tried to introduce the excellent concept of Pangaea into ALFAE by working with Pangaea. It is the last year for us to hold Pangaea Activities at Mie University according to the contract. However, I do wish to look for a way to continue Pangaea Activities in collaboration with Mie University and ALFAE.

Takaharu Kameoka
Professor, Division of Sustainable Resource Sciences, Graduate School
of Bioresources, Mie University /
Chairperson, ALFAE

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter , 4. Pangaea Ring | Permalink