Japanese Student Volunteers Report on Their Activities in Poland to Help Ukrainian Evacuees (2) [2022年08月01日（Mon）]
From the second group of Japanese student volunteers sent to Poland, Ms. Natsuki Nagahara of Waseda University says she will spend a year studying in Sweden from mid-August and hopes to take part in more long-term volunteer activities in Europe.
Also from the second group of Japanese student volunteers dispatched to Poland to assist Ukrainian evacuees, Ms. Natsuki Nagahara of Waseda University said at the briefing session on July 7: “My activities showed me firsthand both the dark side and the bright side of humanity. By experiencing these dark and bright aspects, I learned about the possibilities that exist when people relate to and support one another.”
“I believe this is essential for the creation of a society in which no one is left behind. This is why I will treasure the bonds I made with Ukrainian people and other volunteers during my two weeks there, and I hope that this will lead to other volunteer opportunities,” she added.
Starting in mid-August, she will spend a year studying in Sweden. She said she hopes to take part in voluntary activities again in Europe, but this time for an extended period of time.
Mr. Ichiro Kabasawa, executive director of The Nippon Foundation, said: “I imagine that during the two weeks the volunteers spent with the Ukrainian evacuees and volunteers from all over the world, they thought and asked themselves what they could do for the evacuees. There were probably times when they were painfully aware of how little they could do.”
The Nippon Foundation’s goal in sending these volunteers was to not only assist Ukrainian displaced people but also have Japanese students experience being part of a global crisis so they will look to the future with a global perspective, he said.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he added: “It was very difficult to carry out their volunteer activities while avoiding the risk of coronavirus infection. On behalf of The Nippon Foundation, I would like to thank all of the people on-site who ensured that the students’ activities were carried out safely.”
The Nippon Foundation and The Nippon Foundation Volunteer Center will dispatch the third group of 15 Japanese student volunteers from August 1 to 17 and the fourth group from August 15 to 31 with Poland, Slovakia, Austria and other countries being considered as possible bases for their activities.
The remaining three groups are scheduled to depart between late August and October, which will bring the total number of volunteers to 105.
Mr. Ichiro Kabasawa, executive director of The Nippon Foundation, says The Nippon Foundation’s goal in sending the volunteers was to not only help Ukrainian evacuees but also have Japanese students experience being part of a global crisis so they will look to the future with a global perspective.