March 12, 2011
Dear Friends of World Campus International,
The shocking earthquake hitting the north-east part of Japan has caused massive destruction to the region. Currently, the Japanese national and local governments are working to assess the degree of damage.
Though there are areas of Japan that have been severely affected, all of our partner communities seem to have avoided tragedy. Currently, we do plan to facilitate the World Campus – Japan program from June 23 thru August 30.
Because the damages are reported in the northern region of Japan, and our community partners are located in central to western Japan, we are confident that our summer program will not be affected by the earthquake.
We have already contacted several community partners who are hosting our summer program and confirmed that they are OK and not severely or at all affected by these tragic events. We will continue to reach out to the rest of our community partners and communicate to you via this website any updated information.
Thank you for your understanding.
Chairman and CEO
World Campus International, Inc.
Update: Message from CEO, Hiro Nishimura on March 17, 2011
Update 2: Message from CEO, Hiro Nishimura on April 06, 2011 – Regarding New 2011 World Campus – Japan Program plan
Before I start, I would like to say that for World Campus – Japan, starting on June 5th was something knew we want to implement from now on, that way our participants can go back home to summer jobs after having a few weeks in Japan. With that said, since it was the first time we were starting early this summer, only a few people got the opportunity to come. 5 People, 5 of the most different personalities and backgrounds I’ve ever seen.
Lu, from New Jersey with Chinese background; Yoli, Mexican-American; Kyle, tall, white, blue eyed American guy; Daniel from Luxemburg who was born in Switzerland and Ming, American with Chinese, African-American and Native American background. In Session One of World Campus – Japan 2010, we shared a lot of experiences and built up a lot of memories together like, ringing the biggest bell in the World in the City of Arao, Visiting Jikei Hospital and Kumamoto Castle in the City of Kumamoto and talking to a survivor from the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb in the City of Hiroshima.
Thanks to everyone who made Session #1 possible. For you, readers out there, please keep visiting the blog to read the stories of Session #2 in Nagasaki with the visit to the peace museum and the talk with a survivor from the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb and Uda (Nara Prefecture) with the visit to Big Budda in the City of Nara.
It was Monday, Aug. 6th of the year 1945, when Hiroshima City was hit by “Little Boy”, a bomb that destroyed and devastated not only buildings and belongings but lives and futures of endless people. This time, World Campus – Japan Participants had the unique and once in a life time opportunity to meet a survivor from that horrible event. She was 14, in 9th grade and she shared her story, her pain and her forgiveness with us. She told us every detail of her experience. We heard everything from pain, burned bodies, skin hanging from people’s arms, dead left and right, friends asking for help, mothers crying for their babies, fathers looking for their families, “black rain” and people losing their mind. “…It was scary to see the condition of the people around me, everything was dust, darkness and destruction”…she said.
140.000 kids were left without families that day and her father died of cancer a year and a half after the bomb do to the radiation he was exposed to. She also explained that even today, there are people still suffering from the after effects, like herself who is suffering from stomach cancer.
That afternoon we had an eye opening experience, the facts were there but today there is nothing we can do to undo what happened in 1945. “… To honored my father and friends that died because of the atomic bomb, I am now committed for life, to talk about it to promote peace”.
Her acceptance of reality is deep and her passion to teach others about the importance of tolerance, understanding and peace around the world is what makes her stronger every day. It was something she will never be able to forget and for us, is now, a huge responsibility, to spread the message of hope and peace around our own circles, communities, cities and countries.
Hippo Club is a language club. Not one of those clubs where you go and try to learn a new language with no results… Hippo Club works!. Upon arrival in the city of Hiroshima, we were greeted by a woman that speaks about 7 or 8 languages. Again, she speaks the languages, not just hello, thank you and goodbye, she can speak the languages thanks to the Hippo Club, and there we were, feeling a little undereducated because we spoke only four, three, two or even just one language!
The World Campus – Japan participants had the chance to interact with the Hippo Family Club next morning; we played games, sang songs and had a great time speaking different languages, even the babies are learning a new language already. One of the babies couldn’t speak Japanese but greeted me in Spanish when I got there; I have to say, “It was pretty cool”. Hippo Club is not just an extra activity for a day or two a week, is definitely a lifestyle.
The Spring & Summer Slide Shows of most of our partner cities are now available on the “Konichiwa from Japan”-section of our Website. Please take a look!!!