News

2017 Oleander Initiative Program Report

UME is proud to announce the successful implementation of the 2017 Oleander Initiative.

group pic at museum2017 Oleander Initiative staff and participants

The 2017 Oleander Initiative featured two major changes from the inaugural program in 2016. First, UME increased the cross -cultural understanding aspect of the program by including adding five educators from throughout the US.  UME also added a trip to Nagasaki, increasing the length of the schedule by four daysand incorporating an important, often overlooked perspective into the program.  

In all, 17 educators from throughout the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, the United States and Japan spent 11 days together in Japan with the mission to  transform the lessons of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki into relevant and impactful peace education activities for their students.

paper airplanes  airplanesOpening Dinner Guests flying “peace wish” origami planes at Seisen University

Oleander educators received a warm welcome upon their arrival in Japan. Seisen University in Tokyo hosted an opening dinner that included faculty and students, Japanese peace educators from the Tokyo area, as well as special guest Yuji Sasaki. Mr. Sasaki is the nephew of Sadako Sasaki (of the 1,000 paper cranes), and a notable musician in Japan. Mr. Sasaki performed his hit song “Inori” at the opening ceremony.

1Following a night in Tokyo, the Oleander Initiative officially began with an orientation session at the Hiroshima offices of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Oleander Participants met with the head of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, Mihoko Kumamoto and her staff who welcomed them to Hiroshima and gave a presentation entitled the “Rebuilding of Hiroshima.”
1UNITAR Senior adviser Nassrine Azimi introduced the “Green Legacy Hiroshima” project which was established to spread the seeds and saplings of Hiroshima’s A-bomb survivor trees worldwide.

3With a stunning view overlooking the Genbaku Dome and Hiroshima Peace Park, the UNITAR offices were the ideal location to convey the “power of place” at the heart of the Oleander Initiative.

The Oleander Initiative featured numerous academic sessions including a lecture entitled “Facets of Hiroshima” by Prof. Ron Klein of Hiroshima Jogakuin University. Prof. Klein’s lecture provided an overview of the history and aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and then focused on the constantly changing meanings associated with the city since the World War II.

jpeg
7

In Nagasaki, Professor Kazue Shijyo compared the differences in the memorization of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with special attention on the role of Christianity in Nagasaki.

nag prof

While in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Oleander Participants attended the Gensuikyo World Conference Against A+H Bombs. The World Conference includes nearly 10,000 attendees from over 50 countries and is the largest conference of its type. First established in 1955, it is credited as the venue that first gave voice to the hibakusha victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

9
10
11

Oleander participants attended various panels and discussion sessions focusing on nuclear disarmament at the Conference and had the chance to address the conference attendees.

12
17
14
13
15

The average age of hibakusha or atomic bomb survivors is 81, and with the number of survivors growing fewer every year, we were fortunate to hear two powerful testimonials by hibakusha during our time in Japan.

In Hiroshima, Teruko Ueno shared her experience as a 16 year old nurse working at the Red Cross in downtown Hiroshima on the morning of August 6, 1945. Her testimonial was part of an inspiring day at ANT, a local Hiroshima organization that conducts international peace and education projects inspired by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. 

20170805_140730 (1)

This special day included three generations of peacemakers from the same family. Teruko, who survived the atomic bombing , her daughter Tomoko who is the director of ANT, and her granddaughter Kuniko who also works at ANT and assisted Teruko in telling her story.

20170805_150744Teruko, Kuniko and Tomoko at the ANT offices

In Nagasaki, Miyako Jyodai was six years old and approximately 1.5 miles from the hypocenter when her city was hit by the atomic bomb.  Ms. Jyodai shared her testimonial of that terrible day and also provided a perspective particularly relevant to the educators at the Oleander Initiative. Like the Oleander participants, Ms. Jyodai was a school teacher during her professional life and shared her experiences and challenges in promoting peace education during post war Japan. 20

21
IMG_9627

Cross cultural exchange is an essential component of the Oleander Initiative and for the second year, Oleander participants had the opportunity to build bridges with students at the Jogakuin High School in Hiroshima. On August 4th, students conducted their own research on the various landmarks at Peace Park and presented their findings in English to the Oleander educators.

24
25
26

The relationships between the Oleander educators and Jogakuin High school further deepened during our visit to the school on August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Approximately 350 teachers and students lost their lives at Joagakuin High during the atomic bombing in 1945. In order to honor these victims, Jogakuin High school implements an annual “Peace Forum” for students from throughout Japan, Asia and the US during the anniversary of the bombing.27.JPG

The 2017 Peace Forum included special guest Dr. Lassina Zerbo,  Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

28
29
IMG_5651

The Oleander educators also visited the Honkawa Elementary School in Hiroshima. The Honkawa school was the closest school to the hypocenter of the nuclear blast on August 6, 1945. The original facade of the school and the basement have been transformed into a museum, complete with a scale model of the city of Hiroshima following the atomic blast.32.JPG

31 IMG_5192

Following the museum tour, Oleander educators and the Jogakuin students engaged in traditional Japanese cultural activities including origami and calligraphy.

20170804_155725IMG_20170804_155603

At night, the Oleander educators joined the Bon-Odori festival at the Honkawa elementary school. Bon is a traditional summer festival that welcomes the spirits of the dead and honors ancestors. The Bon-Odori at the Honkawa school had a dual purpose: to commemorate the victims of the atomic bomb but to also  celebrate life through music and dance.

IMG_5530

IMG_5493
IMG_5531

Hiroshima’s comprehensive peace education curriculum spans from early childhood at nursery school to the last year of high school. Oleander educators had the opportunity to take an in-depth look into this unique curriculum through site visits to the Motomachi nursery school, Motomachi elementary school and a meeting with Hiroshima high school teachers.

nursery schoolOleander educators greet Motomachi nursery school students

Oleander educators also had the opportunity to have a discussion and a question and answer session with Motomachi elementary school faculty about the focus on multi-cultural understanding and peace education in their curriculum.

IMG_5461IMG_5468The Hiroshima peace education curriculum day concluded with a meeting with Japanese high school teachers who shared their successful peace education activities in Hiroshima with the Oleander educators.

On August 6th, Oleander participants attended the commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

20170806_080019As part of the 50,000 attendees at the ceremony, Oleander participants were fortunate to be seated in one of the front lying seating areas with a clear view of the speakers. Speakers included Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and the UN High Representative of the Office of Disarmament Affairs. Following the ceremony, participants placed flowers at the Memorial Cenotaph and walked around Peace Park to view peace related activities.

IMG_5576  IMG_5611

In Nagasaki, the Oleander participants had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Tomihisa Taue, mayor of Nagasaki city and former Japanese ambassador and current chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation to Kuwait, Mr. Yasuyoshi Komizo.

20170810_093550Oleander educators and staff with Mayor Tomihisa Taue

In Nagasaki, Oleander participants visited Dejima Island and dressed in traditional Japanese Kimono and Hakama outfits while expriencing life in Japan from the 1600s.

IMG_9727Throughout the Oleander Initiative, participants continually modified and refined peace education themed projects for the students in their home communities.

IMG_5637
IMG_5480
20170806_140215

All of us at UME are looking forward to their work and the impact the Oleander participants will make in thier classrooms throughout the 2017-2018 academic year. To see examples of Oleander projects from 2016, click HERE

Thanks to the generosity of the City of Nagasaki, Oleander participants had the opportunity to work on their projects in donated classroom space located within Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims.

20170810_134043
20170810_134058
20170810_140838
20170810_143700

The powerful, tragic artifacts and displays at the museum further added to the “power of place” of the Oleander Initiative and gave participants additional impetus for their important work to promote peace within their schools and communities.

chugoku shimbub.jpg

As in 2016, the 2017 Oleander received attention from prominent Japanese newspapers including the Asahi and Chugoku newspapers.

nhk world

NHK World, Japan’s international English language news station also covered the 2017 Oleander Initiative. A 7 minute news segment about the Oleander Intiative broadcast to over 150 countries on Aug 30.

Please click HERE to watch the broadcast.

This program is due to air in the United States on PBS in early September 2017.nhk camerasNHK camera crew at the Oleander Initiative 

Many Thanks to the Otterman Foundation, Shinfujin Women’s Association, Peace Exchange, ANT, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, Jogakuin High School, Honkawa school, the Nagasaki Memorial Hall for Atomic Bomb Victims and the Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for making this program possible.

Special thanks to Galia, Liz, Kathleen, Michelle, and Layla for their incredible academic guidance for this program and to Kanade, Saho, and Kohei for showing the best of Japan to the participants.

Please contact me at RayMat@ume.org if you have any questions or would like additional information about the Oleander Initiative.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ray Matsumiya
Executive Director

Oleander Initiative presented at MIT and the Japan Society




It has been a busy conference season and UME has been spreading awareness about the Oleander Initiatives throughout the US.

Among the highlights were a conference presentation at the the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that featured speakers such as US Congresswoman Barbara Lee from California and Former US Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz.

The UME Executive Director also presented at the Japan Society of Boston. The Japanese Consul General of Boston, Rokuichiro Michii was in attendance for this presentation. 

Please click HERE for a summary on the Japan Society website. 

 


 


Oleander Activities in the MENA Region

Dear UME Community,

I just returned from Morocco where I was truly inspired by the work of our Oleander Initiative alumni.  Less than four months after they left Hiroshima, Brahim, Layla and Samia are already spreading the message of the Oleander Iniative far and wide in their schools and communities. 

My first stop was in Marrakesh where Brahim organized a "Hiroshima Peace Day" for over 60 of his students. In Casablanca, Layla and Samia conducted a teacher training for 54 Moroccan teachers on how to implement Oleander inspired lesson plans in their classrooms. 

 

"Hiroshima Peace Day" in Marrakesh 

Brahim, a 2016 Oleander participant, gathered over 60 high school students for a "Hiroshima Peace Day"in Marrakesh, Morocco. This conference featured peace education activities and student directed drama plays around the theme of peace and nuclear weapons.

In an amazing constellation of cultural influences, these thoughtful and creative plays featured the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and also tackled contemporary issues of conflict and violence within the MENA region. 

  An old man tells his grandchildren about Hiroshima                                                     An "angel of peace" halts violence in the MENA region 

To view scenes from these student directed dramas, as well as other Oleander based educational activities in Marrakesh, please click HERE

 

 

"Peace ELT Practices" Train the Trainer Workshop in Casablanca

Layla from Tunisa and Samia from Morocco had great success in implementing their Oleander lesson plans within their classrooms this fall.  In December, Layla and Samia shared their unique lesson plans with 54 Moroccan teachers during a day long teacher training workshop in Casablanca

Samia presenting her educational activity based on the story of Sadako and the 1,000 paper cranes  

This full day workshop provided 54 English teachers with practical, readily implementable lesson plans utilizing the bombing of Hiroshima as a teaching platform for peace education and conflict resolution. With an average of over 250 students per teacher, Layla and Samia's teacher training has the potential to impact over 13,500 students. 

To view the full training sesssion, complete with Hiroshima-based lesson plans click HERE

Many thanks to BrahimSamia and Layla for their fantastic work!

Best Wishes,

Ray Matsumiya

Executive Director

A Summer to Remember in Hiroshima!

After a year of preparation and hard work, the University of the Middle East Project is proud to announce the successful implementation of the Oleander Initiative in Hiroshima, Japan. 

Oleander Participants and UME Staff at Hiroshima Peace Park after August 6th Memorial Ceremony

13 educators from 11 countries in the MENA region, the US and Japan spent a week together in Hiroshima with the mission to design educational projects that raise awareness of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.  The Oleander Initiaive was implemented during August 2-9th, coinciding with the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

After a night in Tokyo and an Opening Dinner hosted by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the Oleander Initiative officially began with an orientation session at the Hiroshima offices of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Image result for unitar logo

Oleander participants met with the head of the UNITAR Hiroshima office, Mihoko Kumamoto and her staff who welcomed them to Hiroshima and gave a presentation entitled the "Rebuilding of Hiroshima." 


UNITAR Head of Office, Mihoko Kumamoto with Oleander participants at Hiroshima UNITAR offices



With a stunning view overlooking the Genbaku Dome and Hiroshima Peace Park, the UNITAR offices was the ideal location to convey the "power of place" that was at the heart of the Oleander Initiative.

             
The Genbaku dome in view behind Elizabeth Gruenfeld,                                Oleander Participants at Orientation Session                               Oleander Academic Co-Director 

Oleander educators attended a Kagura performace after the orientation and experienced their first of many Japanese cultural activities. To see the same performace as the participants, click HERE

Kagura actors performing Tokagushi - Yama (Tokagushi Mountain) at the Hiroshima
Prefectural Citizen's Cultural Center

Oleander participants had the opportunity to meet the actors and try on the Kagura costumes after the performance.


                               


The first full day at the Oleander Initiative featured a morning lecture entitled "Facets of Hiroshima" by Prof. Ron Klein of Hiroshima Jogakuin University. Prof. Klein's lecture provided an overview of the history and aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and then focused on the constantly changing meanings associated with the city since the end of World War II. You can view Prof Klein's powerpoint presentation by clicking HERE 



Perhaps the highlight of the Oleander Initiative was the powerful hibakusha testimony by Mr. Horie Soh.

Soh-san was five years old and less than 1 1/2 miles from the hypocenter when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. On that day, the atomic bomb blast blew him off his feet as he walked to school. Despite his proximity to the bomb, Soh -san remained unharmed because his elder sister protected him from the blast with her body. He vividly described the terrible aftermath of the bomb - terribly burned children that sought shelter at his house and the many family members who succumbed to cancer, a likely result of the massive doses of radiation they absorbed. Soh-san is one of the very few surviving hibakusha who can give is testimonial in English and we feel lucky and grateful that he shared his testimony with us at the Oleander Initiative.  

                                 
                  Soh-San's testimonal                                         Oleander Participants with Soh-San outside the World Friendship Center
                                                                                       
Among the highlights of the Oleander Initiative were the many opportunities to interact with the Japanese students and teachers in Hiroshima. UME enjoyed a particularly close relationship with Jogakuin High School  whose students led a tour of Hiroshima Peace Park in English for the Oleander educators. 

Jogakuiin High School Students with Oleander educator in Hiroshima Peace Park

The guided tour by the Jogakuin high school students ended at the Honkawa Elementary School Museum. The Honkawa school was the school closest to the hypocenter of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.  Due to its reinforced concrete structure, the building survived the blast and currently serves as a museum that houses various artifacts and commemorates the over 400 students and teachers who lost their lives that day.

 
                Oleander Educators wtih Jogakuin High School Tour Guides  in front of Honkawa Elementary School Museum

The relationships between the Oleander educators and Jogakuin students and teachers deepened during our school visit on August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Approximately 350 teachers and students lost their lives when the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945 and the Jogakuin High school implements an annual "Peace Forum" for students from thoughout Japan, Asia and the US in order to honor these victims. 

Jogakuin High School Memorial for the 350 teachers and students who lost their lives during
the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

The students at the Jogakuin Peace Forum this year had the unique opportunity to meet with Oleander educators and engage in a rich cross-cultural session about the MENA region. 

   
"Peace Forum" students with Oleander educators 
at Jokaguin High School 

Oleander participants had the opportunity to attend the Memorial Ceremony hosted by the City of Hiroshima to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city on August 6th.

The Releasing of the Doves at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

As part of the 50,000 attendees at the ceremony, Oleander participants were fortunate to be seated in one of the front lying seating areas with a clear view of speakers such as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and the Hiroshima childrens' declaration of peace. Participants also placed flowers at the Memorial Cenotaph that housed the names of all the people who were victims of the atomic bombing and took part in the floating lanturn ceremony at the Motoyasyu river during the evening. 

         
      Oleander Participants at the Cenotaph                                  Oleander Participants at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony




While in Hiroshima, Oleander participants attended the Gensukiyo World Conference Against A + H Bombs . This conference includes nearly 10,000 attendees from over 50 countries and is the largest conference of its type. First established in 1955, it is credited as the venue to first give voice to the hibakusha victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Oleander participants attended various panels and discussion sessions focusing on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.  Both Ray Matsumiya, UME's Executive Director and Leila Ben Said, Oleander participant from Tunisia had a chance to address the conference attendees. 


         UME Executive Director, Ray Matsumiya speaking at Opening Panel              Gensukiyo Conference audience at Hiroshima Green Arena


        
                  Japanese "Peace Walkers" at Gensukiyo Conference                 Leila Ben Said at the "No Nukes" Women's Forum at Conference 

The groundbreaking nature of the Oleander Initiative generated tremendous excitement and support in Hiroshima and attracted both local and natonal media coverage in Japan. In addition to several regional newspapers, the Oleander Initiative was featured in the Yomiuri Shimbun, the largest national newspaper in Japan, and with a circulation of just under 10 millon readers, the largest circulated newspaper in the world. 





    

          

The main objective of the Oleander Initiative is to promote awareness of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war to young people in the MENA region.

During the week long Oleander Initiative, participants continually modified and refined Hiroshima themed educational projects for the students in their home communities.

    

     

 

The working space at the Oleander Initiative was donated by the City of Hiroshima and located within the Hiroshima Peace Museum. The "power of place" of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum that powerfully displayed the tragic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, gave the participants additional impetus for their important work.

 

Tricyle of a 3 year old victim of the atomic bomb on display at the
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Mr. Yasuyoshi Komizo, Chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation , a body under the auspices of the CIty of Hiroshima paid the Oleander Initiative a visit on the last day of the program. Mr. Komizo was the former Ambassador of Japan to Kuwait, as well as the Special Assistant to IAEA Director General Mohammed El Baradei. Mr. Komizo stressed the importance of the Oleander participants' work, the great value of cultural exchanges and engaged in a lengthy question and answer session with the participants.


Many thanks to the Otterman Foundation, Japan Foundation, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the Samuel Rubin Foundation, and the City of Hiroshima for making this program possible. Special thanks to our facilitators, Galia, Liz and Michelle, and our program coordiantors Rie and Era for all their support and expertise. 




Please contact me at RayMat@ume.org if you have any questions or would like additional information about the Oleander Initaitive. 

Sincerely, 

Ray Matsumiya
Executive Director

Letter of Congratulations from Sen. Ed Markey

Greetings from Hiroshima where I am making the final preparations for the Oleander Initaitive. In a little more than a week, teachers from throughout the Middle East and North Africa will gather here for the launch of our ground breaking program that we hope will raise awareness about the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons to young people throughout the region. 

In advance of the start of our program, I am happy to announce that we have received a letter of congratulations from Senator Edward Markey, one of the leading political figures in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and nuclear weapons control. 


Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts


Senator Markey's bio:

After serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for 37 years, Ed Markey was elected to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate in 2013. In the 1980s Markey was involved in the national Nuclear Freeze movement and his amendment to ban all underground nuclear testing passed in 1986; in the 1990s he fought to tighten controls on global trafficking in nuclear technology. Since then, Senator Markey has continued his work on nuclear nonproliferation, successfully enacting new restrictions on exports of nuclear and dual-use technologies to countries designated by the U.S. as state sponsors of terrorism and pressing for stronger nuclear nonproliferation conditions on all future nuclear trade cooperation agreements. As founder of the Nonproliferation Caucus, Senator Markey continues to spearhead efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to safeguard the future for generations to come.

His letter praising the Oleander Initiative can be found below. 

 

USA Today Publishes UME Director's Op-Ed

It is a great pleasure to announce that my Op-Ed, "Hiroshima Taught Me to Look to the Future" was published in USA Today. 


USA Today is the #1 circulated newspaper in America.


This piece recounts how three generations of my family have adopted a "lesson of Hiroshima" in response to the atomic bombing. It concludes with the Oleander Initiative that will take place in Hiroshima this August. 

Please click HERE to read the complete article. 
 

Mayor of Hiroshima Endorses Oleander Initiative

Oleander Initative Update

It is a great pleasure to announce that Mayor Kazumi Matsui of Hiroshima has officially endorsed the Oleander Initiative.

    

UME Executive Director, Ray Matsumiya met with Mayor Matsui at Hiroshima City Hall during the last week of his feasibility study trip in January, 2016. Mayor Matsui showed tremendous enthusiasm for the Oleander Initiative stating, "The goals of this project are exactly the same as desires of the citizens of Hiroshima. I hope this idea will be cultivated, take root and blossom throughout the world." Mr. Matsui warmly welcomed UME's Middle East and North African teachers to Hiroshima this summer.

A translated version of Mayor Matsui's written endorsement can be found below. 



Mayors for Peace

(Executive Office)   1-5, Nakashima-Cho,  Chuou-Ku,  Hiroshima  730-0811

(Foundation)  Division of International Peace Promotion,  Hiroshima Peace and Cultural Center

Tel: 082-242-7821     Fax: 082-242-7452     E-mail: mayorcon@pcf­.city_hiroshima.jp

 

To Whom it May Concern:                                                                                          February 2, 2016

Mr. Ray Matsumiya, Executive Director of the University of the Middle East Project is planning to hold the “Middle East Oleander Initiative” in Hiroshima.  In order to support this project, I would like to convey the following message.

On August 6th, 1945, a single atomic bomb turned Hiroshima into a ruined city. Tens of thousands of people were burned by the flame, and a total of 140,000 people died before the end of the year.  Some escaped immediate death from the bomb but nevertheless died within a few months from their wounds.  The lives of numerous other people who narrowly escaped with their lives were also severely affected.  In the aftermath of the bombing, these victims suffered physical and psychological damage from the bomb’s radiation, as well as faced discrimination from other people.  Nuclear weapons are inhumane and their use should be recognized as an absolute evil.

Mayors for Peace consists of mayors from over 6,900 cities in 161 countries.  They share the same motivation of making sure the suffering of the atomic bomb victims never occurs again. These mayors call for the total abolishment of nuclear arsenals and the absolute evil that they represent, as well as the creation of an eternally peaceful world through cooperative activities.  Therefore, I, as the president of this movement, pay my deepest respect to Mr. Ray Matsumiya, his associates, and their project that will invite high school teachers from the Middle East to Hiroshima, in order to help them intimately understand the threat of the nuclear weapons.  I think that this project is of utmost importance because it can spread awareness throughout the world, and provide momentum for the abolishment of nuclear weapons.  I fully support the Oleander Initiative.

It was said that it may take 75 years before any vegetation could grow out of the burnt soil of Hiroshima.  However, shortly after the bombing, oleander flowers blossomed and greatly encouraged the surviving citizens of Hiroshima.  The “Oleander Initiative” bears the name of this flower. 

I sincerely wish that this project will be fruitful. I hope that this project blossoms and the participants bring back what they learned in Hiroshima to their homelands. By spreading what they learned to the young people who will decide the future course of their countries, I believe that we can take steps towards the realization of a more peaceful world without the threat of nuclear weapons.

The goals of this project are exactly the same as the desires of the citizens of Hiroshima. I hope that this idea will be cultivated, take root and blossom throughout the world.

 

                                                                                      Kazumi Matsui

                                                                                      President, Mayors for Peace

                                                                                      Mayor,  Hiroshima City 

NEW UME program! - The Oleander Initiative

UME is proud to annouce the launch of the Oleander Initiative, a series of programs and workshops designed to promote nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East and North Africa region. This initiative is made possible by the Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation,  a private foundation that supports global educational initiatives to foster sustainable peace, justice and coexistance.  UME is tremendously excited to be working on the implemention of the first pilot program - a seven day workshop for TEI alumni in Hiroshima, Japan in August, 2016.

A brief description of the Oleander Initiative can be found below. A Japanese translation follows the English description.

Please contact Ray Matsumiya, UME Executive Director at RayMat@ume.org for more information regarding this initiative. 

 

Oleander Initiative Description

Months after the atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, a small patch of red oleander flowers bloomed out of the irradiated rubble. Since then, red oleander has symbolized both the dangers of nuclear war and the hope of a more peaceful future. In a similar spirit, the Middle East Oleander Initiative will share the lessons of Hiroshima with educators from the Middle East to foster a deeper understanding of the threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity. In turn, the Oleander Initiative participants will bring these lessons home to their students across the Middle East to foster a greater awareness of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war.

Program Description: From August 2 - 9, 2016, up to twenty high school teachers from the Middle East will gather in Hiroshima to learn first-hand from atomic bomb survivors about the horrors of nuclear war and from global experts about the basic issues of nuclear weapons - how they work and how to reduce the probability that they will ever be used again. The 2016 program will leverage "the power of place" of the city of Hiroshima - the first city to be devastated by a nuclear weapon - to generate awareness and inspire personal calls to action. In turn, teachers attending the seven day workshop will design educational activities specifically suited to their local contexts to raise consciousness about the perils of nuclear war. The 2016 pilot program in Hiroshima is the first of a series of educational programs, workshops and student activities designed to educate a broad foundation of future decision makers across the Middle East region. 

Program Activities:

  • Academic instruction for curriculum enhancements, classroom lesson plans and after school activities from top UME faculty from schools such as Harvard, MIT, Tufts and Boston College.
  • Presentations from local NGOs in Hiroshima involved in nuclear non-proliferation activities.
  • Testimonials from hibakusha atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • August 6thatomic bombing memorial activities
  • Site visits to the Genbaku Dome, Hiroshima Peace Museum and other atomic bomb sites of memory
  • Educational collaborations with teachers and students from Hiroshima
  • Ongoing evaluation and in-country follow on activities after the conclusion of the works

Participants: The Oleander Initiative will include up to 20 highly vetted secondary school teachers from throughout the Middle East. All teachers are fluent in English and have attended UME's flagship program in Boston sponsored by the US State Department-- an initiative with an acceptance rate of less than 5%.

Contact: For more information, please email UME Executive Director Ray Matsumiya at RayMat@ume.org

 


中近東夾竹桃計画

広島に原子爆弾が投下されてから数ヶ月後、被爆した廃墟の中から小さな赤い夾竹桃の群落が花をつけた。その時以来、赤色の夾竹桃は核戦争の危険性と同時に、平和な未来への希望の象徴となっている。それと同じ意味合いで「中近東夾竹桃計画(Middle East Oleander Initiative)」は、この広島の教訓を中近東の教育者と共有し、人類に対する核兵器の脅威に対するより深い理解を培う事を目的としている。その結果、夾竹桃計画への参加者はこれらの教訓を自国に持ち帰り、学生たちに核不拡散の理念を植え付けることになるであろう。

プログラム概要:平成28年8月4日から12日まで、中近東から約20名の高校教員を招待し、核戦争の恐ろしさについて被爆者体験談を通じて学んでもらい、それに加えて原爆の仕組みや将来使用される機会を減少させる方法等について核兵器問題に詳しい専門家の意見を聞いてもらう。2016年度プログラムは、原爆投下がはじめてなされた都市である広島という被爆現地を実見することによって問題意識を生成し、それに基づく個人的な行動を生起させる基盤を作ることを援助する事になり、更にこの7日間にわたるワークショップに出席した教員たちは、自国の教育現場において核の危機についての学生の意識を高めることを目的とした教育活動を行うことになろう。この夾竹桃計画試験的プログラムは、将来の指導者たるべき若者たちに核戦争の結果を認識させ、また核不拡散の信念を植え付ける基礎を中近東に作ることを目的とした、教育プログラム、ワークショップ及び学生活動を一連とする初のプログラムである。

プログラムに含まれる活動

○UME (University of Middle East Project) に参加しているハーバード大学,マサチューセッツ工科大学、タフツ大学、ボストンカレッジ等の教授によるカリキュラム向上、教科内容及び課外活動のプラン作成に関する講義。

○広島地元のNGO団体メンバーによる核不拡散活動に関する講義。

○広島及び長崎の被爆者の体験報告。

○8月6日に行われる被災記念行事に参加。

○原爆ドーム、平和記念館等原爆関連施設の見学。

○広島在住の教員、学生との関連教授法、授業計画の検討。

○ワークショップ終了後、このプロジェクトの成果評価と帰国後のフォローアップ。

 

主催者

夾竹桃計画は、中近東大学プロジェクト(UME)が主催している。UMEは、教育を通じて欧米と中近東諸国との橋渡しを目的とする米国税法上501(c)3の免税非営利公益法人である。1997年に設立されて以来、中近東諸国、スペインおよび米国から2000人以上の参加者においてこれまでに38のプログラムを遂行している。これらのプログラムは、アメリカ合衆国国務省、ユネスコ、国際連合、スペイン外務省等有力な組織の協賛、または協力の下で行われた。

参加者

今回の夾竹桃計画は、中近東地域から選ばれた約20名の高校教員から成る。すべての教員は英語に精通し、過去にアメリカで行われたUMEの主要なプログラムに参加している。彼らの選抜率は全応募者の5%以下である。

お問い合わせ

このプロジェクトに関する詳細についてRay Matsumiya(レイ・マツミヤ)UME事務局長(RayMat@ume.orgまでご連絡下さい。

 

 

UME Executive Director presents UME at the Cyrus conference at Harvard University

UME Executive Director Ray Martsumiya presented at the Cyrus conference at Harvard University between April 24-26. He presented the "Making of a Social Entrepreneur" which told the story of how Samira, an UME alumna helped create the Somerville-Tiznit Sister cIty partnership. He explored how a combinatin of factors including Samira's exceptional qualties, UME's national and international networks and the support provided by UME's alumni association that enabled this initiative to impact thousands of people and resulted in Samira winning the prestigeousState Department Alumni of the Month Award.   

UME successfully implement the Dalton Morocco Program with Envoys

UME is pleased to announce the successful implementation of the Dalton Morocco Program in partnership with Envoys , a Cambridge. MA and Bogota, Columbia based educational organization that specializes in educational exchanges for high school students to develop cultural competency and a global perspective.

 

The program ran between March 9 and March 19th and included 10 students and 2 teachers from the Dalton School in New York City. Students engaged in a variety of cross cultural activities with Moroccan students and civic organizations in to Rabat, Fes and Marrakesh.  All activities were jointly implemented with the Association for Moroccan Alumni of UME (AMA).

 

Syndicate content