News Archive
Sep 3, 2014 - Peace Boat Supports the Future Home Runs of Children in the Caribbean Island of Curacao
For many years, Peace Boat has been building a network with NGOs, civil society organizations, and volunteers to collect and distribute items to communities around the world as part of its United People's Alliance (UPA) project.

On Peace Boat's 84th Global Voyage for Peace, which is currently sailing around the word, the UPA distributed a total of 265 items including baseball bats, gloves and helmets to local children when the ship called in the Caribbean island country of Curacao.

The items that were delivered to Curacao were gathered from a Peace Boat campaign called "Support the Future Home Run!," which was launched in April of 2014 to collect baseball equipment for young people in the country. All across Japan, people responded by donating items, making the campaign a success. Curacao is known in Japan in part as the birthplace of Wladimir Balentien, a professional baseball player with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows who broke a major home run record in Japan last year .

Peace Boat's local partner in Curacao is the Curacao Baseball City Foundation (CBCF), which coaches young people in baseball as part of a larger education program that includes English language education, drug use eradication, and positive character development. However, lack of resources from the government to support them means the foundation has to independently search for funds while carrying out its training program.

Shortly after handing over the items that were collected in Japan and delivered via Peace Boat's ship, Peace Boat held a friendly match with the local youth. Despite the landslide victory over the Peace Boat team, both sides enjoyed being able to play together and share their love of the game. Comments from the local youth included: "We never have international exchange opportunities like this, so it was a great experience," and "To be able to meet people from the opposite side of the world and play baseball together has raised my awareness of the world." Showing how baseball, indeed, can serve as a vehicle for motivating and inspiring people.

For those Peace Boat participants and volunteers who took part in collecting items in Japan and help to deliver them in person, this was a chance to not only directly realize that it is possible to support the dreams of children living on the other side of the world, but to make personal connections with them.

Peace Boat will continue to provide updates about any future campaigns to support the youth in Curacao, which our 87th Global Voyage will visit again in June of 2015.

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