7th Ambassador of Peace Network (APN) Report
The 7th Ambassadors of Peace Network (APN) event was successfully completed with 215 people from 17 different countries attending. Participants included past EIC participants, their family members, past Camp Leaders, Camp Staff, and guests who gathered at the Kumon Hall in Osaka on Sunday, 20th April 2014.
The 7th APN event was another wonderful and memorable event as the children were involved in many roles and activities. These included the planning committee, reception, MC, and dances, among many other activities. Furthermore, at this year’s APN event we welcomed past participants from the EIC café who served in the main planning committee. They developed the APN event program contents and also took roles in running the whole program. Everybody was excited to see their old friends and Camp Leaders and, at the same time, to make new friends. This annual event aims at strengthening the EIC family spirit, as participants motivate and encourage each other to achieve their dreams and goals, and to work hard on meeting their challenges through different activities. Each year there are presentations by past EIC participants. This year’s APN event was focused on strengthening the EIC family network and, at the same time, on helping, supporting and motivating each and every individual to realize their dreams and goals. It also aimed at bringing back EIC memories. APN participants were overwhelmed, inspired and motivated by all the presenters with their outstanding presentations.
Comment from one participant
“To talk with everyone was very important and made me happy, so it was a very good memory for me. And I was able to hear a lot of opinions about education, about Tohoku, and other things.”
１．Presentations and Sharing
Seven past participants challenged themselves and confidently presented their dreams and goals in front of everyone in English. This inspired and encouraged their fellow participants in the audience to try their best and to strive to realize their dreams, challenges and goals. This year’s APN presentation themes were “My Dream,” “My Challenge,” and “Country.” Furthermore, not only were the presenters given a chance to share their goals and dreams but every single participant who came to the event also wrote down their own dreams and the challenge they are taking up this year (2014) and brought it with them to share within the members of their own group. In the end, everyone was motivated and encouraged by the support given from their fellow group members to continue to strive to meet their challenges, dreams and goals.
Comment from one participant
“It was great to listen to participants’ presentations and learn many things.”
“It was beneficial for me to hear how presenters think of their goals and dreams.”
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２．Third Tohoku Trip Presentation
On March 26th – 30th, 2014, a group of 28 participants (including 12 past EIC participants, eight camp leaders, “Dreamy Grandpa” (Professor Chiba Akihiro), three Kumon staff and four guests) visited the 3.11 earthquake-affected areas in Tohoku to see the present situation and also to take action. Among them, six members had also participated in the Tohoku trip last year and visited the affected areas to see the reality and presented their experiences during the 6th APN event. During this year’s APN event, participants shared with everyone their experiences and what they had learned, and also suggested what we can do to contribute to the recovery of the Tohoku area.
Comment from one participant
“We could learn about Tohoku in English. It was a valuable experience.”
“I have never had chance to learn a lot about Tohoku or foreign countries. I was glad that I could share my opinions in my group.”
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３．EIC “Well Done Points” Result
The “Well Done Point” system was implemented in EIC 2013. The main aim of the “Well Done Point” system is to encourage EIC participants to contribute to making the world a better place for everyone. As the result of the tireless efforts of the children involved and the support of the camp leaders and the staff, as well as the generosity of the Hotel Biwako Plaza owner and staff, the money that was generated from the “Well Done Points” system was donated to a rural village in Sri Lanka to help provide clean drinking water for the people. The money was used to build the fifth EIC well. This year, too, we were able to donate part of the money to TERACO (a self-learning center) in Minami Sanriku town in Tohoku.
４．“The World’s Biggest Lesson”
There are currently 57 million children in the world who cannot go to school, and 774 million adults who cannot read or write. is an event for people all over the world to learn about this situation at the same time. This event started in 2003 with the motto of “Education for All.”In Japan, 684 schools and groups, totaling 59,116 people, participated in 2013. This year, too, the event will be carried out in 100 countries around the world.
This was the second time implementing this activity in APN, after it was introduced in the 6th APN event last year. Likewise in EIC, participants also learn about world issues and try to take action through different kind of activities. This is because we believe that with small actions, if we come together, we can make a big difference in the world, and also make this world a better place for everyone. From this activity participants are not only able to learn something new but are also able to reconfirm and remind themselves about existing global issues.
５．Implementing APN together with past participants as committee members and event supporters
This year’s APN event was made even more special thanks to the help of the children who participated in the EIC from different years. First of all, members of the EIC café in Kansai who are past EIC participants from the Kansai region, were the main committee members. They gave their ideas and suggestions, and took the initiative in planning and implementing APN activities such as deciding the main program contents, taking MC roles and providing guidance to event supporters on the day of the APN event. On the other hand, the children that applied as event supporters took the roles of reception, MC, dance, etc. Kids were not only able to gain tremendously valuable experiences but were also able to enhance their confidence while having fun at the same time.
Since 2010, EIC participants have continuously been taking different actions to contribute to society. At the moment, EIC participants are involved in the above three main projects, and at this year’s APN event we also collected pull tabs from drink cans, pet bottle caps and children’s’ picture books.
As for the picture books which we have collected, we will send them to less fortunate children in Indonesia.
We are still collecting picture books for less fortunate children in developing countries. If you wish to contribute to the picture book project, please refer to this link for more information
The 7th APN event was yet another wonderful, memorable, educational, and important event in which we could not only bear witness to the growth and development of past EIC participants, no matter what EIC year they graduated from but, in addition, all participants were able to encourage each other to strive to reach their own goals and dreams. Witnessing each individual grow and progress is one of the best rewards for all of the efforts of the EIC family. We cannot wait and are looking forward to seeing everyone again at next year’s APN!