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Students in Advanced Lecture of International Cooperation Course Visit JICA Global Plaza (Ichigaya)


On Monday, October 25, 15 students and staff from the Advanced Lecture of International Cooperation course visited the JICA Global Plaza in Ichigaya as part of the Active Learning Hour (ALH) component of the course.

Talk by Mr. Shinoki

Global Concierge Mr. Shinoki, who taught table tennis in Ethiopia as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOVC), spoke to us for an hour about the relationship between Japan and the world, the overview of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and life in Ethiopia. He used many photos and videos to help us understand JOVC work in Ethiopia, talking about the gap between the capital and the countryside, the impact of climate change on African society, the local food situation, and the difficulty of training table tennis players given nutrition and facility constraints. Students’ new learning and awareness was reflected in the lively Q&A session following his presentation.

Before and after the presentation, we toured the Virtual Global Experience Area on the ground floor of the Global Plaza. The theme at the time of our visit was “human security” and the exhibits included notebooks from Ms. Sadako Ogata, who has been a major proponent of human security, replicas such as land mine and developing country classroom, actual mosquito netting developed by Japanese companies to combat malaria, and quizzes, all designed to help visitors understand by seeing and touching the actualities of the developing world and international cooperation. At the café within the Global Plaza, developing country food was provided through the TABLE FOR TWO program* and some students enjoyed trying spicy khimo stew, a Madagascar specialty.

Madagascar's khimo stew   

Comments in the post-event questionnaire included: “The talk changed the stereotypes I had held about Africa”; “I was having such a great time and learning so much from the exhibition that I completely lost track of time”; “I became interested in the JOCV activities and wanted to know more about what the volunteers do once they return to Japan”; and “I want to go back and try the food at the café this time.”

The exhibits and the food offered at the café at the Global Plaza change regularly and it is usually fine to visit without a reservation, so students are really recommended making a visit, whether for the first time or another time around!

(*) TABLE FOR TWO: A program that aims to tackle the global issues of obesity and hunger at the same time by helping to feed school children in need based on healthy food options

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