Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Japan School Visit Program 2018


I felt privileged to be selected as one of the School Visit Program volunteers in Japan. This program was held from 15 June till 15 July 2018. Japan is one of countries I really wanted to visit since I was child. It was my dream to step foot in the country which is famous for Sakura and Anime. For me, Japan and Indonesia have a strong connection because of the history we have had. What brought me to Japan was my intention to contribute and to share my stories to the students and IofC family in Japan.

Other volunteers were from Tibet, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka. I had met them before when I joined the Asia Plateau Volunteers’ Internship Program in India, and therefore I felt easy to connect and work with them. During the program, we visited 23 schools from Elementary School to University level. We interacted with students, played games, presented our countries and introduced the ideas of IofC through skits, personal story sharing and songs. We also had question and answer sessions and gave the students space to share. Each school was unique and we found that the students were inspired and enjoyed the sessions.

We also had a chance to experience Japanese culture such as the tea ceremony. We visited Bonsai museum, Edo Era Museum, nature and historical museum and attended a Summer Festival. We stayed with a host family in Kakegawa prefecture. I had a chance to stay in one of the student’s home and I still keep in touch. It felt like home and it was really enjoyable being with them.

This journey was really meaningful for me, and I call it an inner journey where I learnt how to respond to situations and control my emotions. This journey made me understand about myself more. I also learnt about teamwork and leadership; as a team we helped and cared for each other. I felt really grateful to meet and work with amazing people. However, I still need to learn how to communicate well with senior people especially older men. It reminds me that I also still find it difficult to communicate with my father. I want to improve day by day. There is no word to describe my gratitude to the IofC Japan and JSVP team for giving me this opportunity and giving me such a wonderful experience.


Reported by Siti Rukoyah