June 29, 2011

 Comment from Ms. Joohee Park, MIZY Center, Korea

Last saturday we had webcam activity with Kenya, it was my first time but it was amazing! Before we start webcam, I could see many participants are biased against Kenyan but after webcam most of the participants cast away a prejudice and realized we are all same. I think this is the reason why pangaea for being.

Posted by: ayako | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

June 27, 2011

 June 25th Webcam Activity in Kenya

The first Pangaea Webcam activity was held in Africa.
When children sat together in the circle at the beginning of the activity, we looked at Seoul on GoogleEarth (digital globe) from Nairobi. Then a boy said "Oh, when we look at Korea, Kenya is in the back of the earth and we cannot see it!", which left me an impression.

Also, I was surprised by the improvements in the net infrastructure since the time when we visited 4 years ago.
Back then there was a delay of one minute. This time, it was improved to the extent that we could communicate. Children could enjoy webcam activity without the interruption by disconnection.

The difference in culture was interesting in color matching game.
The sun is yellow in Kenya whereas it is red in Korea. When asked "What is brown?", many Kenyan children answered "Soil". There are items that match between Kenya and Korea: for example, "What is violet" was "Grape" and "What is green" was "Leaves". Also, in the past Pangaea Webcam activity, when asked "What is red?", many children answered "Apple" in Korea, Japan and Malaysia, whereas in Kenya, most of the answers were "Flower" or "Rose", which I found interesting.

Finally, I was surprised that Kenyan children remembered the Korean greeting phrases that we used this time very well even afterwards.
The boy that I mentioned earlier talking about the "back of the earth" (who came all the way to the activity by traveling one whole day by bus from 300 km away) happily repeated the Korean greeting and self introduction phrases as he was going home, which stands out in my memory.

Posted by: toshi | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

 June Pangaea Activity at Kyoto Univ., Japan

Kyodai (or Kyoto Univ.) village children planned a short excursion to take pictures within Kyoto city so that they will be able to introduce their daily lives by preparing Pangaea Playing Cards.

Rikkun, who participate in the activity for the 2nd time drew a house with power generation and fire extinction facilities.

At the end of the activity, each group presented their plan for the short excursion. Those who forgot what to say in the middle of the presentation got help from other group members. Everybody is looking forward to it next month!

Posted by: ayako | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

June 23, 2011

 Kenya-Korea Webcam

Pangaea will hold Webcam event on Saturday June 25th, 2011 connecting Nairobi, Kenya and Seoul, Korea. Children in both countries will meet and play games together through web cameras.


Pangaea is aiming to start its activities in multiple countries in East Africa going forward with this event as a kick-off. There is a Kenyan child who travels 600 km to Nairobi to join this event. Children both in Kenya and Korea are looking forward to it. The event will be reported at a later date on this blog.

Please click here to see the press release of this webcam event.

Posted by: ayako | 6. Press Release | Permalink

June 21, 2011

 Kyoto International School (KIS), Japan

The last activity of this term was held on Monday June 20th at Kyoto International School (KIS). IMG_0453.JPG

"Nacchan", who is going to move to another school after this term, completed the cover of her portfolio. IMG_0450.JPG

Children sent messages on PangaeaNet and prepared the message to Mr. Ammon, who is going to leave KIS at the end of this term to go back to collage. IMG_0455.JPG

KIS activity will re-start when the new term starts in September, welcoming new members.

Posted by: ayako | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

June 06, 2011

 2011 Activity Has Started in Mie, Japan

Pangaea activity in school year 2011 has started at Mie University, Japan, as well.
As this was the beginning of the new year, total 4-hour facilitator training was held for two days on Fri June 3rd and on Sat June 4th, spending 2 hours each, with the participation by as many as 12 volunteers.

In the training, the fundamentals such as how Pangaea has started, Pangaea Charter and the only one rule Pangaea has, "You should not do things that disturbs others" were discussed. Then volunteers tried TAKO introduction that they are going to do with children the following day by themselves. Mie facilitators include some TA's (Teaching Assistants) who are assigned to the citi of Tsu from overseas and the foreign students studying at Mie Univ., which added color to their TAKO introduction.

On the second day of the training, how to work with children was discussed.
You can find out if children are focused or not by looking at their eyes. The ones who is looking at one point is thinking, so you do not need to talk to them even if their hands are not doing anything particularly. On the other hand, the ones who are looking at here and there are giving out the sign to say they do not know what to do, so you should talk to them to help.

The ones who are good at drawings draw pictures with great care, but the ones who is not good at it would just draw something and that's it. However, it is unlikely for them to be receiving any feedback from other kids unless they pay attention to what they draw. You should ask children "To which house would you like to send message?" so they would think by themselves. Then help them by saying "Let's do something together", or "Would you like me to help?".

If you need to deal with 40 to 50 children, it is difficult to enforce discipline without teacher saying "you should do this". But the role of Pangaea facilitators is different. If a child is not good at drawing, then facilitators help. If a child is good at it, then facilitators do not need to do anything just because they are facilitators. They are there to help children so they can have imagination for others to think how they would feel if they were in the other children's position.

In the afternoon of the 2nd day of the session on Sat June 4th, the 1st activity of the year was held.
Two children made pair for TAKO introduction, as half of the children participated Pangaea for the firs time. First, they are to ask a series of questions to find out their three favorite things, as if they became news reporters. Then they introduce their partners in front of all participants in the way everybody would be interested.

There are the ones who were a bit shy as they made presentation for the first time. But other children listened to even the ones with low voices attentively.

All facilitators including the ones who just finished their training on the day of the activity showed the great teamwork with the leadership of "Spike", Mie facilitator leader. Ms. Park, Associate Chancellor of Mie University, who came to see the activity praised their work and said that she thought they were "professionals" in dealing with children.

According to Yumi, President of Pangaea, to have more options is to be given power to live.
Children at Mie site are lucky to be given opportunities to interact not only with their peers from various schools and Japanese facilitators, but also with TA's (Teaching Assistants) from overseas and foreign students studying at Mie Univ., to know that there are many countries in the world and different ways of thinking.

Posted by: ayako | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

June 01, 2011

 June 2011 Newsletter:

Dear Pangaea Supporters,
How do you do to many of you.
My name is Ayako Edahiro, Pangaea staff who joined in April this year. I will be writing Pangaea's monthly newsletters going forward. Should you have any comment or feedback, I hope you would let me know by writing to: info@pangaean.org

About Myself...
It's been two months since I moved from Tokyo to Kyoto and started working for Pangaea. A few months ago, I was working for Citibank in Tokyo, but it feels like it is a long time ago. Kyoto is a beautiful city and I feel like being at my real home to be here.

In fact, this is not the first Pangaea Newsletter that I have ever written. I was requested to write "Pangaea Ring" in July 2009 as a volunteer. At the closing of the article, I wrote: "As for my wishes for the Pangaea's future, I hope Pangaea will continue its operation for a long time and the activity sites would increase from points to lines, eventually to cover the surface of the world. I will be really happy if I can be of any help for this purpose." I never imagined that I would become Pangaea staff someday when I wrote it, but this was the truthful description of how I felt about Pangaea. So I did not need to think much to decide to leave Citi and work for Pangaea, when Yumi said that she wanted me to help Pangaea's global implementation at the end of last year. Still, my decision surprised many people around me, as they felt working for non-profit organization was totally different from working for Citi.

Going forward, I will be working on the communication with Pangaea supporters, creating volunteer community and media relations. I too am now widely aware each and every day that I do not have any experience either in working for small non-profit organization or in the area of public relations. But I have already decided that I will not worry about my limitations and do what I can do for Pangaea, looking to people around me to help...

2011 Pangaea Activity Has Started
This school years' activity at "OK Village" in Tokyo has finally started on Saturday May 28th with the sponsorship of OKWave, after a pause in March and April due to the impact of the earthquake.

Children in Tokyo received the message from the ones in Korea and Kyoto to cheer them up after the quake.

In return, Tokyo kids prepared thank you message this time.

Tokyo site was also connected with "Kyodai Village" in Kyoto with web camera, and children introduced themselves to each other and asked questions.

Tokyo children discussed how Kyoto would be like to decide on the questions they ask. After the webcam, they found Kyoto kids a lot of fun to be with, and all children gave feedback by circling the biggest smile mark in the activity report, which all Kyoto kids echoed in their reports as well.

Pangaea is recruiting volunteers who would participate in our activity. Please see our 2011 posters and flyers from the link below, and share them with those who may take interest:

Pangaea's Agricultural Assistance Project in Vietnam
"YMC-Viet", or Pangea's project to improve agricultural productivity in Vietnam, held between Feb and Mar 2011 was on TV news "World Wave Tonight" on BS1, NHK on Wed May 18th.

YMC-Viet was funded by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, as a part of its Ubiquitous Alliance Project, and was conducted as a field test. As a result of the survey held after the project, it was found that children enjoyed using mobile phones and PC's, became interested in farming, while their parents could obtain helpful information from their sons and daughters. As children became interested in farming, there were more conversation between parents and children, which improved their relationship. Overall, the expectation is high for the continuation of the project in Vietnam.

To promote rural development in Vietnam further, Pangaea organized 3-day YMC academic workshop for three days from Friday May 20th to Sunday May 22nd in Vietnam to initiate the Vietnam-Japan interdisciplinary academic group, inviting researchers in informatics, agriculture and education. At the field trip, workshop participants could confirm the active participation to the project by local children. Vietnamese government officials and Japanese researchers has confirmed their commitment to the further development of YMC.

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Posted by: ayako | 3. Newsletter | Permalink