February 05, 2013

 Pangaea Newsletter - Feburary 2013

Hello, everyone!
Last month, we had webcam activity and our activity were taken up for an article in Asahi-Shinbun, one of the three major newspapers in Japan!
(Please check out by clicking URL listed below.)
We were very excited and our activity are held with children's smiles and enthusiasm.


We like to inform you that this newsletter will be distributed on every 1st Tuesday of the month from this issue. If you were wondering why you did not receive our NL this month, we apoligize for a delay in notification.
+Please click "LIKE!" :Clothes for Smiles
+Yumi's report for Official Trips in Vietnam, Kenya and Korea
+Activity Report for January 2013: Webcam Activity

Please click "LIKE!" :Clothes for Smiles
Hello. My name is Kiwamu Kabata and I am a Pangaea intern.

I introduced Pangaea to “Clothes for Smiles" project that UNIQLO promotes, and I am making the proposal now.
I hope you click "LIKE!" on Twitter or Facebook here:
(You can enter the page from below URL).


If our project is accepted, UNIQLO will support us and our activity will be in progress much faster.

Let's make Pangaea move on together!!

Yumi's report for Official Trips in Vietnam, Kenya and Korea
Month of January opened as Rocket Start. Toshi and I traveled to Ho-Chi-Ming, Vietnam on January 2nd, and had meeting with Vietnam National University, HCM Professor Quan Vu to prepare for the 2nd Vietnam-Japan YMC Workshop. We had 15 guests joined from overseas. It was a pleasure to have site visit to show YMC in operation at Tien My Community in Vinh Long Province, little over 4 hours by car from HCM. For those of us who had been working on this project, site visit was a great joy to see participating youths, then visited their houses and interviewed parents, as well as visiting paddy. I and another person, a professor, fell in deep mud. I was lucky to wear my slippers which were easy to wash as kind stranger family nearby let me wash my feet and slippers at the back of their house. But a professor wearing sneakers and jeans were not so lucky, as it was very difficult to wash them. Workshop at HCM focused on “Sustainability” and “Scalability”. There were about 50 people including Mekong Area's local government, not only Vinh Long, but 4 other province joined the workshop. At academic side, Prof. Ishida led the afternoon session, Prof. Ninomiya presented agriculture perspective of YMC,
Prof. Morikawa gave a invited speech. Workshop challenged to find ways and discuss the direction for YMC in 2013. What is good, and what seems difficult in YMC as we are running this second season. We felt this workshop was very serious but open, and it gave everyone an opportunity to think about each responsibility and tasks for coming season.

I report you about Kenya and UNESCO Kenya as Toshi will write about Webcam later. We have been coming Kenya many times in last 10 years. Rapid development of infrastructure is amazing. Every time we visit Kenya, internet is getting faster, more people using mobile, roads have less bumps and garbage, cars in city are getting cleaner. Many new business buildings are built even around the area we stay which is nearby National Museum of Kenya. Kenya will have Presidential Election this March. Every five years, they have the election, and the last time, it ended up with many lost lives and refuges due to after election riots. During this visit, as I spoke to many Kenyans, everyone mentioned that they really wish things go peacefully this time, yet they will watch out carefully to protect their family for safety. Pangaea planned to have next webcam in April or May. Youths who have connected with Kenyan youths and who are waiting to connect both are wishing that no one gets hurt. Kenya has many wonderful resources, as the world knows its national park with full of animals. Also beautiful landscapes, and unique cultural heritages from such a diversified tribal groups offers travelers to eyewitness and experience memorable trips. If security for travelers is improved, Kenya will be enjoy lots of incoming travelers from all over the world.
Visiting UNESCO Kenya, we had a meeting with ICT Director and his staff who happened to be Japanese. We did have very close contacts with former ICT Director, and we intend to keep a good relationship with new Director, Mr. Jaco.
He mentioned about International Democratic Day cerebration taking a place in Kenya this year. We discussed that Pangaea activity taking some part this year.

Visiting Seoul, after warm Vietnam and Kenya, we suddenly experienced 40 degree difference in temperature, and felt very cold. Yet Mizy Center's warm welcome kept us in good conditions. Mizy Center and NPO Pangaea now signed MOU at this visit. Mizy will now take a role as Pangaea Korea Branch. Mizy has been with us almost 8 years, and had been an excellent partners, had great facilitator training courses which had given trainings to Korean Pangaea Volunteers and numbers are over 150 members. Mizy always provided excellent project managers, and I keep close contact with her. Toshi does the same with TL, and he provided training for Technical volunteers at this visit.


+Activity Report for January 2013: Webcam Activity
We had a Webcam Activity between children in Kenya and Japan on January 12th. The venue in Kenya was "NMK Village", National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi.
And the venue in Japan was "OK Village" in Ebisu, Tokyo. OK Village is in a building of OKWave Corporation where we have conducted monthly Pangaea Activity for two years. Kenya and Japan has 6 hours difference in time zone. Japan side started at 3PM whereas Kenya side started at 9AM.
Japanese participants learned greetings in Swahili language, and Kenyan participants learned greetings in Japanese language. Those two languages have similar pronunciation system. So, the participants were so surprised that the counterparts pronounced greeting words very fluently.

They played Koetsuna, Color Matching Game, and Q&A session.
At the local preparation session for Color Matching Game before the real-time webcam connection, Kenyan participants were asked "What do you associate with
the color of 'red'?" And all children answered "red" reminds me of "blood." (Not
only children but adults in Kenya answered "blood" for red color.) In Color Matching Game, participants need to consider what their counterpart teammates will draw for each theme color. When a drawing of a Kenyan participant and a drawing of Japanese participant match, their team gets score points. In the end, there were no "blood" in the Kenyan drawings and they drew other things such as chili and tomato. They said it is because they didn't think the association between red color and blood is familiar to Japanese children. In general, children are facilitated to think of others and feel empathy in Pangaea activity.
At Q&A session, they use multilingual text chat system. When they exchanged questions about food, Kenyan participants were very surprised when they got to know that Japanese people eat RAW fish. One of the girls shouted "You eat raw fish? Unbelievable!!" It was one of the impressive moments.

By the way, we tried to webcast the Webcam activity by "Ustream" for the first time. It is one of the Pangaea 10th anniversary campaigns. The audiences of the webcast were not only from Japan but also from international viewers such as Korea, Austria, and the U.S. One of the Japanese audiences watched the webcast clearly when he was on Shinkansen, a bullet train that run over 250Km/h. I felt the further possibilities of the borderless and scalable Internet. Lastly, we would like to thank "Ogya", a technical volunteer staff in Tokyo. In the last more than two onths, he worked very hard in technical survey, connection test and implementation, and website production. Thanks a lot, Ogya!

Please check out the following photos of the Webcam event!

Posted by: kyotohq | 3. Newsletter | Permalink