TOMODACHI Alumni Participate on the TOMODACHI BEYOND Tomorrow Global Leadership Academy 2015 in Tokyo
With the support from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML), TOMODACHI BEYOND Tomorrow Global Leadership Academy 2015 was held for 3 days starting from March 6, 2015. 63 High school students who went to the U.S. in the TOMODACHI program and 9 university students with role of team leaders participated. Having the overall theme of “Millennium Development Goal: Post 2015”, the participants presented a solution plan towards the Development Agenda to over 150 special guests from a wide variety of fields.
The first day started off with the Opening Session where Co-representative Director from INNO-Lab International, Mr. Hideyuki Inoue. He talked about the essential aspects of solutions to social problems. At the communication workshop, the students talked about their experiences in the U.S., their future dreams and asked some questions to the BoAML employees in English.
On the second day, the students split up to groups and discussed the world’s poverty issue focusing on the 3 areas including human rights, medical and education. They drew an action plan through this discussion in the end. There was a professional for each area; Ms. Kanae Doi, a lawyer and Japan Director of Human Rights Watch for the human right issues, the CEO and Executive Director of the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund for the medical, Mr. BT Slingsby, and the CEO and Executive Director of Teach for Japan, Mr. Yusuke Matsuda, for education Students had the chance to interview these 3 professionals while working on their action plan.
The three-day program ended with a luncheon and a closing ceremony. At the closing ceremony, each group presented their action plan to the 150 guests. The group that drew up a solution for poverty from an educational aspect won and presented the plan to Mr. Kingo Toyoda, Deputy Director General of International Cooperation Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As future leaders, the students developed solutions to global issues by applying their experience while visiting the United States when they participated on a TOMODACHI program.
Voices from the TOMODACHI Generation
“This is my third time to participate in the GLA and this time was the most satisfying experience for me. The GLA program has of course, times where you have to talk about yourself, but even more, there are many opportunities to listen to other people’s stories. Words we say do not have physical shapes and it may seem powerless because people do forget, but I learned that outputting our feelings straight into our words is the most powerful way to move people’s hearts.”
– Seiko Ando (Miyagi Prefecture, Sanuma High School 3rd grade, TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program Participant)
“My dream is to become a nurse and help people around the world so one of the themes of medical treatment was the perfect topic for me to learn many things. I hope to keep in touch with the group members, mentors and guest speakers I met today and continue to absorb new things for my future.”
– Minori Chiba (Iwate Prefecture, Ofunato High School 3rd grade, TOMODACHI Summer Coca-Cola Educational Exchange Program Participant)
“The students who participate in the program, are very proactive. However, I feel there are still not enough students who can strategize their thoughts and make them a reality. I know putting thoughts into action is difficult, but if we think about the lives that would be saved and people influenced with our actions, I believe we will be able to continue to work together and aim higher even after this program.”
– Makoto Sasaki (Iwate Prefecture, Miyako High School 3rd grade, TOMODACHI Summer Softbank Leadership Program Participant)