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Yohei Sasakawa
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15 Japanese Student Volunteers Leave for Poland to Assist Displaced Ukrainians (1) [2022年06月09日(Thu)]
At a ceremony on May 30, 2022, to send off Japanese student volunteers to Poland to assist Ukrainian evacuees. The first group left Tokyo on May 31 and the second group is set to depart on June 14. The Nippon Foundation will send five more groups by October, with the total of volunteers reaching 105.

A group of 15 Japanese student volunteers left Tokyo for Poland on May 31 on a mission to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians, including those with disabilities, displaced by the continued Russian military attacks.

This is the first of seven 15-member groups of volunteers to be dispatched for two weeks each until October by The Nippon Foundation and its partner organization, the Nippon Foundation Volunteer Center, to Poland and other countries neighboring Ukraine.

As far as I know, this is the first time in the world that student volunteers are being sent in organized groups to support displaced Ukrainians in the current conflict.

Based in the city of Kraków in southern Poland, these volunteers will work at humanitarian aid camps on the border with Ukraine to assist people, including those with disabilities, who have fled the war-torn country through distribution of medical supplies, food and other items, management of relief supplies, and dissemination of information.

Speaking at a ceremony at The Nippon Foundation on May 30 to send off the first two groups, I said I had been encouraged by the large numbers of applicants--112 for the first group and 117 for the second−which I felt has clearly put paid to the stereotype that Japanese youths are inward-looking and reluctant to go and work aboard.

The Nippon Foundation Volunteer Center is now accepting applications for the remaining five groups scheduled to depart between August and October, which will bring the total number of volunteers to 105. (No groups are being dispatched in July due to university examinations in Japan). The first group is scheduled to come back from Poland on June 16 while the second is set to depart for Europe on June 14 and return home on June 29.

(To be continued)

Speaking at the send-off ceremony on May 30, 2022, I said I was encouraged by the large number of applicants for volunteers to go to Poland to support displaced Ukrainians.
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 10:00 | FORGING GLOBAL TIES | URL | comment(0)
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