I was interested in international cooperation in the lower grades of elementary school. I was shocked as the same child when I saw on TV that African children died of hunger and illness. I, as a child, wanted to help children who were suffering, and I began donating money to UNICEF every year. To work at UNICEF in the future, I thought, at that time, that I needed to study international relations and international politics. I entered a University and majored in Law and Politics. I met Dr. Akira Kurihara, who studies issues of Minamata and Okinawa and who teaches political sociology. I learned from him that the importance of assisting socially vulnerable people and confronting the absurd world. Confronting the absurdity of society became “a mission of my life.” Then, I got a master’s degree in international policy studies at a graduate school in the United States, and I met Ms. Maiko Ohnishi, the representative of GBN at that school.
Graduation Ceremony 2008
After graduating from graduate school, I started working for a Japanese NGO supporting Africa, Mozambique, and I was assigned to work in Mozambique as the director of the Mozambique office in 2009. I conducted peacebuilding activities, educational support, vocational training, development of fair trade products, and community development with a local NGO. Since 2012, I worked in northern Mozambique for a Japanese company, and I involved in agricultural, biofuel and rural finance projects with the aim of local production and local consumption of food, energy and finance to support local populations.
The agricultural project in northern Mozambique.
We exhibited rice purchased from local farmers.
During my nine years in Africa, I struggled with troubles and difficulties. I faced difficulties such as struggling with Portuguese communication with local staffs, power outage for a month, water outrage for a long time and transporting water every day, malaria, dengue fever etc. Also there were a lot of painful incidents such as I lost some of my important colleagues.
Even so, I was able to overcome the difficulties and be saved by the vitality and cheerful personality of African people, the spirit of helping each other, and the ability to confront difficulties. When I am in Africa, I feel the senses of human beings that I have forgotten in developing countries, such as humanity, a sense of being alive, and survival instincts are restored. I am fascinated by Africa, which reminds me of such an important physical and intellectual abilities. I wrote about experiences in Mozambique as “Stories of Mozambique”
Children in Bondoia village, southern Mozambique.
I would like to contribute to the projects of GBN in African countries as the secretary-general based on my experience in Mozambique. I would like to help people to improve their lives by assisting their independence. And I want to spread the attractive points of Africa through various activities. Thank you very much for your continued support to GBN!