Peace Boat: Not Your Usual Holiday Trip
If you want to spend time with some great people, travel the world, on a large ship, what would you do? Peace Boat is a Japanese Non Governmental Organization (NGO), with staff that has a lot of experience, having embarked on many trips around the world. They are also looking for volunteers. Founded in 1983, this is not your usual trip to a tourist location!
Emilie wrote and said they just returned from an Eco-Study program in Okinawa (Sept 22 - 26). They are now planning their next visit for the Peace Music Festa in Henoko from Oct 30-31. You can find information about the event here: Peace Music
Please feel free to resend, repost and help promote their work for COP 10 and the protection of the dugong in Okinawa. Photos here (Picasa album). US for Okinawa also has more details!
Founded by Nara native Kiyomi Tsujimoto and others at a time when Vietnam was still a major scar (boat refugees where not so welcome to settle in Japan) but Tsujimoto wanted to "promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment" by organizing educational global voyages on a ship.
For a lot of people, Peace Boat is very much a 21 century experience, with links to an era of more political activism and awareness. You must have seen their advertising posters which are everywhere in Japan, telling prospective travellers about ピースボートの地球一周の船旅 Peace Boat no chikyuu hitomeguri no funatabi (Travel once around the entire globe by boat).
Still, I was surprised that they have just met - Fidel Castro in Cuba:
Under the slogan "Learn from Past Wars to Build a Future of Peace," the Japanese Peace Boat NGO has organized international sea voyages twice a year since 1983, with the purpose of promoting peaceful solutions to world problems.
From Cubanradio-cu: Fidel Castro Meets with Members of Peace Boat
Leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro met with the members of the Peace Boat, who arrived in Havana today.
The meeting took place at the Convention Center of the Cuban capital with representatives of the solidarity brigade comprised of almost one thousand Japanese activists from the Peace Boat, which is touring several countries to strengthen bonds of friendship and solidarity.
“What we must do is to cooperate with you in everything we can, aware of the dangers humankind faces” told Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro some hundred Japanese members of the Peace Boat project.
More about Peace Boat on greenz.jp:
While the programs onboard have mainly been catered for Japanese participants, a growing number of international participants have prompted the foundation of the Global Friendship Award to provide an opportunity for students of Japanese to get more out of their experience onboard.
The Global Friendship Award is offered to students of Japanese language who are enrolled at universities around the world. Students who are highly motivated to study Japanese are eligible for a 10% discount off the voyage fee. Besides having 24/7 access to the total immersion environment onboard, specially catered Japanese programs are also offered to complement current courses of study at their home university. Award recipients will have the opportunity to greatly reinforce and expand their Japanese ability, as well as engage in cultural exchange, international awareness, and the spreading of goodwill as they travel the globe aboard the Peace Boat.
greenz.jp: Learn Japanese while circumnavigating the globe! Peace Boat offers discounted global voyages for students of Japanese