News Archive
Oct 8, 2014 - Introducing Peace Boat's Interns, July-December 2014
Peace Boat is happy to introduce our current interns who have been supporting our activities in the second semester of 2014 while gaining hands on NGO experience in the fields of peace, sustainability, international cultural exchange, and other areas. This year's interns come from very diverse backgrounds and we have been very fortunate to hear their stories and learn from them.

So far, our interns have already being involved in various Peace Boat activities such as the preparations for the departure and support of our 84th Global Voyage, the Open Ship Events and the onboard Global Festival of Culture and Tourism to be held this month in the ports of Yokohama and Tokyo, Japan; our ongoing campaign for a nuclear power free energy policy in Japan; events and campaigns focusing on historical issues in East Asia; as well as research and other related work for future projects.

Interning with Peace Boat is a great way to experience working at an international NGO while in Japan, and get involved in the different activities carried out onboard, in Japan and in the different ports that Peace Boat visits. Applications for the 2015 January-June Internship Programme (January-June 2014) are now open. If you would like to get involved in Peace Boat activities and gain valuable experience in the NGO sector, send in your application now.

Dennis Chia

Born and raised in Singapore, Dennis has been living in Japan for the past 6 years. He graduated from Waseda University 2 years ago, and will be entering graduate school in the University of Tokyo from October this year. His passion for international cooperation and sustainable development ballooned after the triple disaster in Japan in 2011, when he became actively involved in volunteer work, including a self-started and implemented project, and various visits to the Tohoku region. He is deeply interested in learning about the current revitalization efforts in Tohoku and how the world can learn about disaster prevention and sustainable development from these efforts.

" "Learning from each other" and "mutual involvements in dialogues" are two ways that I feel are crucial in creating a harmonious and healthy relationship among countries, and Peace Boat is one of the leading NGOs that does exactly that. I hope to learn more about, and be involved in Peace Boat activities during my short 6-month stint here."

Tania Seese

A student at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, United States, majoring in economics and Japanese, Tania is interning with Peace Boat in Japan for six months as part of her University's IE3 Global Internships programme. She is eager to use her time in Japan to further her Japanese language skills, and is also to do research for a thesis paper relating to Japanese culture.

"Since I was little, my mother taught me the importance of peace, and peace education around the world. When I saw the work that Peace Boat does in relation to disarmament and spreading awareness around the world, I knew that I would really enjoy my time working with them, and in the future I definitely want to take part in a Peace Boat voyage."

Tarik Alp Coker

Originally from Turkey, Alp was born and raised in the coastal city of Izmir and moved to France for his undergraduate studies at the Sciences Po, the leading French political science school. He is completing his Bachelor's degree this year and is currently partaking in a year-long exchange at Waseda University in Tokyo. Alp has a great interest in foreign cultures and languages and is a very enthusiastic language learner. He is attracted to the role languages play as a means of communication, bringing people all over the world together, and the role international dialogue can have in solving world's problems.

"I believe in international dialogue in solving world's problems and think connection and communication at the human level form the basis of such dialogue which Peace Boat aims to facilitate. As a believer in grassroots action and dialogue, I wanted to be part of the process which is why I wanted to work as an intern for the Peace Boat organization."

Estelle Zufferey

Originally from France and Switzerland, Estelle is currently living in Tokyo for one year with a working holiday visa. She recently graduated from the University of Geneva in Switzerland, obtaining a Bachelor degree in East Asian Studies, focusing mainly on Japan and China but also on the Korean peninsula. In 2012, Estelle had the opportunity to work at the International Expo in South Korea, which made her realize the importance of mutual understanding and solidarity between countries and people.

"As I was living in Geneva, a very international city, I also had the chance to meet various people from different nationalities, with their own culture, background, way of thinking, and I understood the necessity of sharing common values. Peace Boat is involved in a lot of projects I am interested in, and I am really looking forward to learning new things during those six months."

Ikeda Taiki

Taiki, whose name in Japanese means a big tree, is originally from Saitama, Japan. He is currently studying sociology at Toyo University at night while working and interning during the day time. Taiki was onboard Peace Boat's 67th Voyage almost 5 years ago. At that time, he was 19 years old and was inspired by Peace Boat and the experiences he had during the voyage to travel several countries by his own, getting to know different cultures, peoples and societies, and studying English and Spanish.

Now back at Peace Boat, he is excited to work with a talented and varied team from all over the world, and make use of his newly gained language skills. During his internship at Peace Boat, Taiki has mainly been helping with Peace Ball's project to build a soccer field for street children in Brazil, and preparations for Peace Boat's Global University programme.

Apart from the above, two interns joined us for a short period in summer, supporting the preparations of different projects and events related mainly to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries, and Peace Boat's Hibakusha Project.

Nina Matsumoto

A rising junior at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, United States, Nina is majoring in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. Nina was born to an American mother and Japanese father, and has lived in both countries. Growing up in a multicultural and multi-ethnic community during her formative years greatly influenced her interests and values. Nina truly believes that in the increasingly global society we live in today, intercultural understanding and communication are at the core of moving forward to a further open-minded and international community.

"At the center of Peace Boat's mission is facilitating and introducing these concepts of intercultural understanding to a Japanese audience through their voyages, something that greatly drew me to the internship in the first place."

Seto Mayu

Originally from Kure City in Hiroshima, Mayu lived in Hiroshima for 18 years until she came to Tokyo for her undergraduate studies. She encountered Peace Boat right after arriving in Tokyo, and volunteered for 9 months in the Tokyo Peace Boat Center, before participating in the 72nd Voyage in 2011. In this voyage, she met atomic bomb survivors (called Hibakusha in Japanese) from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Meeting and listening for the first time to Hibakusha's testimonies left a deep impression on her and pushed her to look for ways to continue to be involved.

After studying abroad in Ireland for a year, Mayu came back to Japan and participated in the 77th Voyage as a Communication Coordinator (volunteer interpreter). In summer of 2013, she was selected as a Special Youth Communicator for A Nuclear Free World for Peace Boat's 80th Global Voyage, and worked closely with Hibakusha to give testimonies and call for nuclear abolition around the world. During her internship, Mayu supported the Hibakusha Project in Japan, preparing events to be held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the anniversaries of the atomic bombing of these two cities.

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