December 02, 2014

 Pangaea Newsletter for December

Hello, this is newsletter editor Jyoko.
It’s become quite cold lately. I was worried that it would badly affect the children who participate in our activities.
So for this month, the Kyoto Journal, a publication which distributes information about Asia, wrote an article about Pangaea. As I read the article, I truly felt honoured to be a part of this organisation.
Also, we welcome Ayako Edahiro, as the new Director of Pangaea. We look forward to hearing a lot about her in the future.
Finally, onto this month’s activities. It was the Pangaea Vegetalia Mie Univ. Village field trip - it looked like a lot of fun! Thanks to volunteer Reiyan for organising this.

1. The Kyoto Journal wrote an article about Pangaea!!
2. Pangaea Ring - Ayako Edahiro
3. Activity report about the Vegetalia Mie Univ. Village

1. Kyoto Journal posted an article about Pangaea!!
On 16 November, the Kyoto Journal, which reports information about Asia and encourages understanding of cultural differences, published an article about Pangaea.
They wrote about the organisation's beginnings, how the founder, Yumi, was moved by the tragic events of 9/11 and the spread of prejudice caused by ignorance in society. Pangaea was started as a way to help children overcome the barriers of language and distance through the webcam activities in the classroom. They also wrote about the summer school (KISSY) which started this August!

Article is here

2. Pangaea Ring - Ayako Edahiro
My name is Ayako Edahiro, and I am the new Director of Pangaea, which was decided the other day during our board meeting. I look forward to working with everyone here.

I have been volunteering for Pangaea since about 2006, in particular helping with the PR side of things. In 2011, I worked in the main office in Kyoto for a year as a Communication/PR Director. Except for the year I lived in Kyoto, I have been working for the past ten years as the Head of Human Resources for an international company in Tokyo.

My hope for Pangaea is that it will continue its good work for years to come, and through this, make its presence greater in the world.

During the board meeting this year, we talked about what would be the best way for Pangaea to achieve this. Someone brought up that the financial statements need attention, and I have to agree with this. One issue is that Pangaea is an NPO, and not a profit-making company, but if we wish to continue with our work we need to secure some kind of steady income. The best way forward would be to strengthen our reputation and then ensuring that all accounts would be kept transparent and sound, and like it would be in a company.

On the commercial side of the organisation, Pangaea currently runs under the concept of “settlement of accounts”, where any outstanding payments will be settled through the money earned via the sponsorship of goods or services. I feel that having a system where there is a flow of money would possibly be better for us.

Currently our volunteers in general work one Saturday a month, which means that we are limited to that one day. This summer, we held the KISSY (Kyoto Intercultural Summer School for Youths) summer school. To do this, volunteers were required to take time off work, those students who did not live in Kyoto had to pay travel expenses as well as paying for accommodation, even taking time off myself was a great difficulty. Plus, To achieve the success to the so difficult, creative activities between the children from the various countries, who speak different languages, volunteers worked all free of charge, living with the children together for several days. This is the kind of system we should be aiming to have.

I think that this would be a good way to invest in the future. I think to create the future we wish for, we need to invest time and think how to make participants feel valued, then more volunteers to would want to get involved.

At the moment, we still don’t have enough resources to do this. One of my roles at Pangaea will be to bring back the focus on the core mission of the organisation; our focus should be on our future, the children. One way to create a strong future with them is through the development of the “Universal Playground” which will teach them to understand and respect cultural diversity. In order to increase our resources, we need to work together, across various professional fields and contribute to our activities in interesting ways.

To conclude, lately key phrases – respect for cultural diversity, the Universal Playground, Peace Engineering – have got lost at Pangaea. However, I truly believe that if we jump in head first and get involved with our activities, we can create a sense of accomplishment and it can be fun for everyone. It won’t be easy, but if we can help the children and our younger volunteers mature into adults, I am certain it will all seem worthwhile. Whether it’s one person or many, I want their time at Pangaea to be something they will keep with them for their life.

Thank you for reading.

3. Activity report about the Vegetalia Mie Univ. Village
Hi. This is Reiyan, a Pangaean volunteer. This month I am introducing an activity at Mie university. Actually I was so excited about seeing their photos and knowing atmosphere because I asked Ucchii to take photos and send them to me a couple of days before the activity. This time they went out to create “Pangaea Playing cards”. Getting so cold outside, and wearing thick jacket, though it was just walking, Facilitators and kids seem to have a lot of fun! And also there’s a kid who can’t help running. They look so into playing soccer. Anyway they must have had so much fun, definitely!

Photos ishere

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