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Report on 7th Introduction to NPO Activities Seminar 2021


At the 7th Introduction to NPO Activities Seminar on September 27, 2021, we welcomed the Shanti Volunteer Association’s Afghanistan office chief Yuki Maya.

Image 1: The SVA’s education
and cultural support program

The first half of the seminar focused on the SVA’s literacy education support through picture books. We learned about the SVA’s library work through numerous photos and videos of local libraries and children using them. Participants asked questions about what the SVA did to keep children coming to the library and how parents viewed education. We were also able to learn about the major changes taking place in Afghanistan due to Taliban oppression and the withdrawal of US troops, as well as the background to this.

In the second half, Ms. Maya described the experience of working as remote support rather than on the ground, including those aspects she struggles with. There seems to be a lot that can be done remotely, including providing spaces for civil society participation in putting translation stickers on the picture books to be sent out to the countries where the SVA works, as well as opportunities for volunteers and interns to be part of SVA support work. While the COVID-19 pandemic is restricting some local activities at present, some seminar participants noted that they would like to become involved once work resumes.

Image 2: The SVA’s work in Afghanistan to date

Responding to the post-seminar questionnaire, one participant commented that they were reminded what a huge impact illiteracy can have on people’s lives. Another had learned that picture books offered a pathway not just for children but also adults. As in previous seminars, the lecture was followed by a chance to ask questions and make comments in the chat room, which participants really welcomed because they were able to ask their questions at any timing. Participants also suggested associations that they would like to hear from in future seminars.

(Rinka Yamashima, first-year student, Department of Psychology,
Faculty of Human Life and Environmental Sciences)

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