発信箱:今時の若者=福本容子 求む!20歳以上の学生--。

(Mainichi Japan) March 8, 2009
Students jump at chance to see real world as volunteers in Mozambique
発信箱:今時の若者=福本容子
 求む!20歳以上の学生--。

This January, Millennium Promise Japan (MPJ), a newly established non-profit organization in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, appealed for student volunteers to work in Chibuto, in southeastern Mozambique, where there is no running water or electricity, and toilets comprised merely of a simple enclosure located outdoors.
While staying with a family in this village for a week, the volunteers will teach Japanese games and culture to local children. The application period was a mere two weeks, and applicants were required to submit an essay of 5,000 characters. Those who are ultimately selected to go will have to shoulder 100,000 yen of the expense.
 東京都文京区に拠点を置く新しいNPO法人が、今年1月、学生ボランティアを募った。
 活動の場はアフリカ南東部、モザンビークのシブトだ。水道も電気もない、トイレは戸外の簡単な囲いだけ、というこの村で1週間ほどホームステイし、現地の子供たちに日本の遊びや文化を紹介する。募集期間は2週間しかなく、5000字の論文提出が必要。しかも台所事情により1人10万円の自己負担である。

There's no way that today's youth would sign up for an opportunity under such terms, right?
今時の若者がそんなの応募するわけないよな……。

Wrong.
Thirty-four students applied for three available spots. In the end, a female student from Tokyo Medical and Dental University, a male Kyoto University graduate student, and a male student attending the University of Tokyo were chosen. Another student who wanted to go at any cost, will be footing the entire bill to join the other three.
 悲観論者の負け。3人の枠に34人が申し込んできた。東京医科歯科大の女子、京大大学院の男子、東大の男子が選ばれ、どうしても行きたいというもう1人が全額自己負担で加わる。

These students, who are of a generation who thinks that toilet seats have always been electrically heated, jumped at the 100,000-yen chance as "inexpensive." Their excitement grew as they contemplate what Japanese meals they'll cook for their host family. Why not teach the children Sudoku? How about brush calligraphy? The possibilities are endless.
 便座は温かい、が常識の世代が「10万は安い」と飛びついた。日本食は何を作ってあげよう、数独に習字も教えてみよう。どんどん盛り上がっている。

Mozambique suffers from a chronic shortage of classrooms and the deaths of over 1,000 teachers every year of AIDS. The purpose of the weeklong experience, according to MPJ, is "to expose Japanese youth, many of whom lack ambition regardless of their privileged environment, to see with their own eyes the lives of people who are living life to the fullest." MPJ chair Rieko Suzuki hopes the program will contribute not only to grassroots exchanges with Africa, but also to the nurturing of Japanese youth. And while the participants this time around all hail from Japan's top universities, hopefully, sometime in the future, young people who have lost their way will go and experience the joy of serving others.
 教室は足りず、毎年1000人以上の先生がエイズで命を落とすモザンビーク。「恵まれているのに希望を持てずにいる日本の若者に、120%生きている人たちをしっかり見てほしい」。アフリカとの草の根交流に加え、日本の若者を育てたいというのが、主催するNPO法人「ミレニアム・プロミス・ジャパン」理事長、鈴木りえこさんの思いだ。今回は一流校の学生ばかりだけど、いつか、道に迷っている若者にも参加してほしい。人の役に立ち感謝される喜びを知ってもらいたい。

The "inaugural class" will depart on Tuesday. When they return, they will visit junior-high schools to report on their experiences. What will their eyes see, their spirits feel? What will they have learned? It's something we can look forward to. (By Yoko Fukumoto, Economic News Department)
 “1期生”はいよいよ10日に出発だ。帰国したら中学校などに出かけて体験を報告することになっている。どんな表情で戻ってくるのか、すごく楽しみ。(経済部)

毎日新聞 2009年3月6日 東京朝刊
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-03-09 10:39 | 英字新聞

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