On March 27th, Voice of Youth JAPAN hosted our first open event, The Youth Conference, at the UNICEF House in Shinagawa. Over 20 participants ranging from middle schoolers to people already at work happily interacted with each other and discussed about the topics we provided.
Here is the table to see what we did in the conference.
- Introduction of Voice of Youth JAPAN
- Presentations from Youths
- Talks from 2 UNICEF workers and former intern of UNICEF
- Workshop in groups: New project for Voice of Youth JAPAN
After our introduction to VoYJ, we had presentations from Yokoby-san1) about his “Kuri-bocchi Marathon” project, and from Macchi-san about the EMPOWER Project2).
Yokoby-san has been fundraising for children in Africa through UNICEF’s Friend-donations3), by running a marathon on the night of Christmas, (“Kuri-bocchi” is a modern Japanese word meaning being alone on the Christmas) whereas Macchi-san has been working to build a world where people can help each other with the “Magenta Star” which expresses that they are willing to help out others.
Then we had short sessions from Hiroyuki Hattori, the chief of Education in UNICEF Indonesia, Koshi Kumamaru from the Private Sector team in The Japan Committee for UNICEF, and Yukari Kadokake, former intern in UNICEF Jordan also going to be in UNICEF Indonesia Innovation team from May. In the sessions, they spoke to us about how they came to their current positions, which were very fascinating and thought-provoking to hear as all three had come through a completely different career. We were also surprised to hear when they replied, “It will be important to keep up the motivation, rather than being an expert”.
In the latter half of the conference, we split up into groups to brainstorm a new project for Voice of Youth JAPAN. Most of the groups came up with ideas that we cannot imagine, such as “Creating a chat space on the website for writers and readers to interact” and “Inviting stars to events”. Of course, we will work our best to make these ideas true! Thank you very much for precious ideas!
Through this event, I strongly felt that I want to spread this Voice of Youth JAPAN to more people in different generations and societies, and I believe the other members felt the same. I was happy to hear some participants willing to join in our team as writers or wishing to be a part of our team in the future.
Lastly, for those who couldn’t participate in this event, we will continue to host these kinds of events in the future, so please stay tuned!