June 26, 2010

 First exchange between Bario and Kyoto !

20100626_Bario.JPG The first Webcam Activities were performed between Kyoto university and Malaysia Bario today. Bario got in touch with Kyoto by use of a satellite circuit at the activity site in the interior of the Malaysian Borneo island.
A rehearsal took place the day before, so we already knew that the Internet connection was unstable and it failed several times during the activity. But the children understood the net situation of Bario, and remained focused and concentrated on the screen.

There were 2 items on the Menu, "koetsuna" and "Nazoren".
When we played "koetsuna" everyone yelled " Pangaea! "
After that, we played "Nazoren" which was more relaxed and everyone enjoyed. "Nazoren" is the association game in which Machine translation is used. While the teams were thinking, the activity was enjoyed.
Nazoren put it into effect the use of a system of Machine translation in Language Grid Toolbox of "Language Grid Project".


I was surprised this time.

One of the hints from Malaysia was "fruit". The Japanese children got the answer correct the first time with "pineapple", while thinking "because it is a hot country.." We were able to enjoy the activity while considering the teammates in the other country.

One of the returning Staff volunteers reported to me at the end of the activity that "it was neat to see that there was a child who had participated many times in Pangaea activities, who was taking care of the new and younger participant's".
It's not only an international exchange, but the feeling that one also sympathizes with the person sitting next to oneself needs is brought up. That's pangaea.

If you have an interest in what we are doing here at Pangaea and would like to participate in activities in any way, please contact us.

Takekazu Hanada
Administaration Manager

Posted by: kumakinoko | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

June 07, 2010

 June 2010 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

Hello Everybody!

This month started with Golden Week in Japan, which is the longest holiday. I visited Vietnam and met people whom I hope will work on our new project. I have spoken at two universities, Meiji Gakuin University and Kyoto University of Art and Design. One was with 300 students, taking a course about being a social entrepreneur, and the other was with a dozen students who are studying a children's art program. I was asked to speak about Pangaea, and I enjoyed doing so very much. Kyoto University of Art and Design is located near Kyoto University, near our regular activity location. I would very much like to see these art major students join as facilitators, and also hope to recruit some design volunteers to renew our Pictons, pictogram designs.

We had a trainee from Seoul last month, Mr. Hong. I wrote in last months newsletter about Mr. Hong. It was his first visit to Japan,

and his friends in Seoul gave him lots of advice about where to visit and eat. He got plenty of training from Toshi about Technical Leader training, and I gave him a detailed lesson about webcam menus. Hong is a very nice guy, who makes people around him relaxed. He participated in our Kyoto U. activity on Saturday and after the activity, young facilitators went to eat Okonomiyaki near our office. I heard that it was a very good experience for everyone to share information and ask questions about Korea and Seoul. Our Intern, Kim had a cold for almost 3 weeks. Change of weather for her must have been hard, but she was OK and participated in the activities last weekend.

I was watching an NHK program called Mission. It was about Cambodia. Then I saw Robib school, which Toshi and I visited 9 years ago when we were doing a feasibility study for our project, now known as Pangaea. Thero who drove us from Phnon Phen to Robib, on muddy roads, in the rainy season, was on the program. My friend, Bernard Krisher told me about his program which was starting at schools in Cambodia and also starting a distance medical service using the Internet. He told us it is a must to visit Robib, and we took his advice. It was the most inspiring experience. When the Internet is available, and communities learn the benefits of it, they can start marketing their own products directly, which provides necessary money to better community infrastructure, water, and sewage. The lesson Ilearned was, when there are lines of ICT, make the best use of it. After the program, I wrote Bernie an email, and we promised to have lunch together when I go to Tokyo next time, which should be soon.

Now, I introduce Prof. Norazila Abd Aziz at University Malaysia Sarawak, as a Pangaea Ring writer for this month.. She participates in the activity held at University Malaysia Sarawak as the researcher.


Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 June 2010 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Ms. Norazila Abd Aziz

I introduce Prof. Norazila Abd Aziz at University Malaysia Sarawak. She participates in the activity held at University Malaysia Sarawak as the researcher.

Kapah tiko' Pangaeans! That's 'How are you, Pangaeans!' in Kelabit,
the language spoken by the Kelabit people at the Bario Highlands, Sarawak.

My name is Norazila Abd Aziz and I am a member of COERI(Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics)'s Education Team, which have been given this wonderful opportunity to oversee the running of the Pangaea program in Sarawak.
Other members of this team are Fitri Suraya Mohamad (Head Coordinator for Pangaea Sarawak) and Soubakeavathi Rethinasamy (Head of the COERI's Education team). This year our Pangaean family has increased in number. We now have 30 school children and 34 facilitators at our Pangaea @ UNIMAS site and 20 school children and 20 facilitators at our Pangaea @ Bario site. We are proud to announce that our Bario site is the first remote location running this program. Bringing Pangaea to a remote site like Bario was indeed an excellent move as it provides the kids here with the invaluable opportunity to learn about the lives of children from different parts of the world.

To date, we have successfully run three Pangaea activity days at UNIMAS, one of them was the Webcam activity on the 6th of February with Mie University in Japan, and two activity days at Bario. The Webcam activity for our Bario kids is coming up in June and everyone is very excited about the event. I can't wait to see the reactions of the Bario kids when they take part in the exciting activities lined up for them that day.

Last April the COERI's Education team had the pleasure of visiting the NPO Pangaea Headquarter at the Cocon Karasuma Building in Kyoto. One of our most resourceful Pangaea facilitators, Jennifer Wilfred, and our key technical support member, Adam Francis, were also part of the entourage. Although the weather was a bit chilly when we arrived, the atmosphere at the NPO Pangaea Headquarters was electrifying! A BIG thanks to Yum-san, Toshi-san, Take-san and Kimberly-san for making the visit memorable.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu! (means 'Thank you!' in Japanese)

Norazila Abd Aziz
Research Fellow
Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics,
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

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