F's Seminar 2021

  • Reona FUKUHARA  (M1)

  • Tomoki YOKOYAMA(M1)

  • Ai HARAGUCHI (B4)

  • Akira KITAGAWA (B4)

  • Sumire KIKUCHI (B4)

  • Ayaka SAKAKIBARA (B4)

  • Atila NASIER (B4)

  • Hitomi SUZUKI(B3)

  • Kakeru KIKUCHI (B3)

  • Ren ARAI (B3)

2019-09-25 16.35.05.jpg
  • Hiroshige FUJII

B3 Kakeru KIKUCHI


This February, I started my internship at Save the Children Japan, and I would like to share some of my activities with you. I was hired as an intern at Save the Children Japan's emergency and recovery support team for children and caregivers in domestic disasters. These team activities primarily address the unique needs of children when disasters occur in the country and aid is needed. I am working with one of the other interns in this team to translate a training kid called "I Support My Friend".


“I Support My Friends” builds on the principles of Psychological First Aid to equip older children and adolescents with the skills and knowledge to support their friends in distress under the mentorship and guidance of trusted adults. This resource kit consists of four parts and has been jointly developed by UNICEF, Save the Children, the MHPSS Collaborative, and WHO. In times of disaster and other emergencies, in addition to essential support such as clothing, food, housing, and medical care, there are child-specific needs that must be met in order to restore children's mental health, such as providing opportunities for playing and learning. By working on the translation, I can learn about the support and mental care that the children need. Mental health care in emergencies is a field that has only recently received attention and is still in its infancy. Therefore, it is very rewarding and gratifying to work in such a field.


Photo by Save the Children


In addition to translating "I Support My Friend," I also had the opportunity to participate in meetings with the team and all staff. Participating in these meetings can get a complete picture of how our team or organization is activity and what issues they are addressing. Furthermore, I also participated in a study session held within Save the Children Japan the other day. If there are opportunities like this in the future, I would like to active participation in them as an internship.


I just started my internship a month ago, and there are still many things I don't know and can't do. Despite this, I am very grateful for the environment in which I can do my internship and the people who guide me, as I can learn many things every day. I will be a fourth-year undergraduate student next spring, and I hope to have the motivation to learn new things and challenge myself to do many things.

  • Hiroshige FUJII

M1 Reona FUKUHARA

©ICRC

(https://jp.icrc.org/information/internship-fukuhara/)


An internship programme is one of the most significant steps for students pursuing their careers in the humanitarian sector because the experiences during the internship period will give impetus to being more professional in their future posts. In my case, I started my internship at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), on 6th September 2021 and finished on 7th January 2022. This experience enabled me to know the ICRC’s field activities, and I was always inspired by a range of ICRC’s work during my internship period. As I got involved with ICRC’s work more, my interest in humanitarian aid grew rapidly. In this article, I would like to introduce the work of the ICRC and share my internship experience.

Brief Introduction

The International Committee of the Red Cross is an impartial, neutral and independent organisation whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and provide them with assistance. The ICRC also endeavors to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. A case in point is helping detainees, which aims to secure the humane treatment and conditions of detention for all of them, regardless of the reasons for their arrest and detention. In Japan, the ICRC enhances humanitarian debate, contributes to humanitarian policy, cultivates government support, works with the Japanese Red Cross on public relations, and teaches the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). I worked at the Communication (COM) Unit, which has significant roles in reaching out to the public, updating information on humanitarian issues, and raising public awareness of the above ICRC’s mission.

Summary of the ICRC internship experience

In order to achieve the goal of the ICRC and the COM Unit, I engaged in many types of works: formulating proposals and editing monthly e-newsletters and the thematic newsletter: translating communication materials: conducting an interview and writing an article: and drafting posts for social media. I prepared e-newsletters and posts for Twitter and Facebook as my routine worked. It was a great opportunity to consider strategically what kind of information followers want to get from the social media posts; and how to increase the number of subscribers to e-newsletters. I tried to share gripping and precise information and news with the public by using photos and infographics based on the ICRC’s archives and research papers to arouse people's interest.

In addition to the above works, I translated ICRC’s communication materials about International Humanitarian Law principles into Japanese. Moreover, I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to conduct an interview with a Japanese delegate who had worked at several conflict zones and returned to Japan. Before the internship. IHL had been one of the academic subjects, though these experiences helped me know how IHL is a practical and effective measure to reach out to people in need.

Memorable experience/ Lessons Learned

What impressed me most was the staff’s attitude in trying to pursue their goals of realizing their ideal world. During an internship period, interns can access the ICRC’s internal network, which aims to keep step with all ICRC staff by providing field information from each field delegation and conducting many kinds of online seminars. In my case, I attended a symposium in which all ICRC staff participated, and they considered the future of humanitarian assistance and ICRC’s work.

This symposium enlightened me about how the ICRC maintains its principles and integrity.

The ICRC staff and intern   ©ICRC

Conclusion

My experience at the ICRC was irreplaceable, and I believe that it gave me fruitful skills to contribute to the work at international organisations in the future. I appreciate the way I was guided through the internship by my supervisor Mr. Sato Shuzo, beginning with the opportunity to expand my knowledge in humanitarian issues and the IHL under his supervision. Also, I must give many thanks to Prof. Hiroshige Fujii, who gave me a huge number of opportunities so that I could try and grow up myself. I would like to fully use the granted experience and skills in my first mission in Ethiopia.

Japanese article is also available on the ICRC’s website.

  • Hiroshige FUJII

B4 Ayaka Sakakibara


I begin my internship in ACE on 9th November. Now, having finished the first month of orientations, I am gradually involved in the everyday work at ACE. In this essay, I will share what I think through the orientation and my prospects in ACE.


ACE is one of the NPOs in Japan that tackles the problem of child labor in the world. The name "ACE" stands for Action against Child Exploitations. Its primary focus areas are Ghana, where many children suffer from child labor in cacao plantations, and India, where many children engage in tea plantations. Child labor is a big problem because it prevents children from going to school and growing up in good health.

Although ACE is not a big organization like JICA or UNICEF, it contributes to solving the problem by cooperating with other organizations, including NGOs from other countries' companies, and sometimes embedded in a local government project. The ways above I learned in the orientation are very interesting for me. That's because it is obviously challenging to collect and hire all kinds of experts associated with the cause of child labor, such as familiar with the local situation, have knowledge on glowing better products in each plantation, and professionals for selling goods made from products. However, even if an organization has only one kind of specialist, it can develop a solution connecting with others. In addition, I think that the method is flexible and useful when an organization starts a new project in other areas.


ACE makes an effort for domestic issues on children as well. Despite the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Child, Japan does not have relevant, inclusive domestic law. ACE is concerned that the absence of the law is the essential factor of Japanese low-level awareness of the rights. I agree with the point because we do not have reliable Japanese law when we consider the right. From my experience, the right to participation is ignored in deciding the issue on the children. For example, playthings in parks are removed before children realize it, and sports meetings are canceled when neighbors say it is noisy. However, a good opportunity has presented itself. These days, discussions between students and adults are increasing. I heard that students held meetings with teachers to change the law of school, discussed with teachers and community residents to hold sports meetings in the COVID-19 crisis, and boys who like play soccer requested permission to play soccer in the certain park to public office and got it. Those stories are not always told in the context of the rights of children, but I think those represent it is time for us to prevail the rights for the participation of children.


My work in the internship is relevant to the spread of the rights of children. I am a publicist and mainly in charge of providing information on illegal work conditions for children under 19. Without knowledge of the illegal condition, children cannot notice and resist it when they are suffered. So, ACE uses Twitter and Instagram to tell the information whose targets are children and who employ them, and I am taking part in the job. Our big challenge is reinforcing the ability to deliver the message to the children. For the time being, I repeat the process of suggesting some plans and getting feedback from staff. But, to make the information broaden more widely, I will do my best.


I will make the most out of the experience in ACE. There are two ways.

First, I can use it in a workshop on the child's rights held by the seminar I belong to. The seminar's members hold workshops on human rights for junior high and high school students (The picture was taken in one of our workshops held this month). Although I have not been involved in ACE workshops, I plan to. I think the experience of workshops held by either is useful and multiplier. Therefore, in both workshops, I will pay attention to how participants are what are the good and bad.


Second, I believe that trial and error for spreading the information in ACE will contribute to my future job. I will work to tell what is happening surrounding human rights issues in the world as a journalist and hope the information provides people with the opportunity to reconsider human rights around us. As struggling in ACE, how to deliver what I want to tell will be a big challenge in the future. Therefore, I will accumulate the experience as much as possible and want to find some kind of answer.



My internship has just started. I have nine months. Not to waste my time and connect next step, I will take on challenges aggressively in ACE.