The young people of Fukushima have endured one of the world’s largest-ever earthquakes, a devastating tsunami and the nuclear power plant disaster. Many places are still contaminated with high level of radiation, and survivors are under tremendous pressure and stress: trauma, fear, separation from family and/or family breakdown, economic strains, community pressures, health concerns and anxiety. With support from the local community and international partners, Peace Boat’s Fukushima Youth Ambassadors programme brings future leaders of the local community onboard Peace Boat’s voyages to experience diverse societies and cultures, and participate in various intercultural communication and leadership training programmes.
This experience helps promote their healthy ongoing development and positive mental health, enabling the youth to better cope with the stresses of life in Fukushima. It also meets the local community need for provision of a temporary break from radiation contaminated areas of Fukushima for the duration of the programme, reducing the burden of worry on their parents. Through international travel, cultural exchange and outdoor experiences, the programme provides youth with opportunities to experience diverse societies and cultures, and the renewed energy and perspectives brought home by the participants supports the energizing and encouragement of the Fukushima community. Furthermore, it serves to bring the real voices of Fukushima youth to the international society to raise awareness, enhance understanding and consider ways for international cooperation to prevent such tragedies from happening again and continue to support the local community.
Peace Boat will again hold this programme in 2015, inviting youth to join a segment of its voyages and participate in various programmes both onboard the ship and in ports of call visited throughout Asia. This initiative is conducted in collaboration with local groups in Fukushima, Peace Boat and its Disaster Relief Volunteer Center, and partner organisations visited throughout the voyage.
- Participating youth from Fukushima prefecture as direct targets
- Families, classmates and community of participants
- Other participants of Peace Boat voyages (majority Japanese citizens)
- Members of civil society organisations and citizens encountered during cultural exchange and study programmes held in ports of call
- Number of Fukushima Youth Ambassadors taking part in activities
- Number of people participating in interaction with the Youth Ambassadors onboard Peace Boat and in ports of call visited
- Number of people participating in report back sessions and activities held by the Youth Ambassadors upon their return to their communities
- Media appearances (including television, print and radio) related to the initiative by both Youth Ambassador participants and other partners, including Peace Boat coordinators
- Reports will be written and shared with partners verifying activities
- Reports submitted to ECOSOC as part of Peace Boat’s Special Consultative Status
- Follow up activities with youth participants in cooperation with schools and local community groups
From January - November 2015 (with 2016 also in planning)
Mr Akira KAWASAKI
Peace Boat Executive Committee Member, Peace Boat