Peace Boat’s United People's Alliance (UPA) International Cooperation Project aims to build bridges between various NGOs and civil society organizations we partner with around the world through the delivery of donations in various countries.
Donations on the 101st Global Voyage (which sailed from April 20 - August 2, 2019) were made in different countries such as Morocco, Colombia, Panama and Fiji. We were able to deliver stationary goods, clothes, sanitary goods, and sports goods to the local people and children, according to needs suggested in advance by partner organisations.
We would like to take this opportunity to show our gratitude to everyone who contributed donations.
Morocco: Exchange with young people interested in Japan!
During our call to the Moroccan port city of Tangier, we visited an organization called “Dragon Tanger” to whom we delivered many Japanese cultural goods such as calligraphy sets, traditional toys, yukatas and stationary tools.
Dragon Tanger coordinates activities that allow young people to express themselves and improve society. To date, they have been involved in organizing the first Manga Exhibition of the Arabic World in Africa, the opening of a Japanese Language School, support activities for local schools, and clean up events in town. This was the first time for Peace Boat to have an exchange programme with Dragon Tanger. Even though we visited during Ramadan, when people fast from sunrise until sunset, participants had the chance to taste some delicious Moroccan food prepared by hosts.
Using some of the donations and other materials brought from the ship, Peace Boat participants and local children enjoyed doing Origami, playing with traditional beanbag toys, trying on traditional Japanese outfits, and experiencing Japanese calligraphy. Many local kids enjoyed having their names written in Japanese. Peace Boat participants were also able to try wearing a djellaba, a traditional outfit from the region, have their names written in Arabic, and even having Henna Tattoos drawn on their bodies in this cultural exchange.
We look forward to fulfilling our promise to come back soon, as the 105th Global Voyage is planned to visit Tangier again in August 2020.
Fiji: Exchange Programme with Youth of Fiji
During our visit to the Fijian port city of Lautoka, participants were hosted by the environmental organization Alliance for Future Generations (AFG) Fiji and the Ministry of Sports and Youth, to whom a donation of sporting goods was delivered.
AFG works to protect the beautiful ocean, and so participants joined local youth for a beach clean up activity. Working side by side towards a common goal helped create bonds that overcome the language barrier, while creating new bridges of friendship. In the afternoon participants also enjoyed playing Rugby, the national sport of Fiji - or rather, the variation called Tag Rugby, which prohibits tackles and has simple rules for newcomers and children, making it perfect for Peace Boat participants to have their very first Rugby experience! The SDGs "MyWorld" survey was also carried out during the event, gaining hundreds of responses. The day was also topped off with a traditional meke performance of dance and songs, and Peace Boat "Yosakoi" dance performance, practised by participants onboard.
Meeting young leaders from Fiji that are working to solve environmental problems will be an irreplaceable memory for Peace Boat participants.
Panama: Cultural Experience with the Guna People
We visited a Guna community living on the outskirts of Panama City, delivering clothes for children, drawing sets and other stationary tools.
This Guna community has been visited by Peace Boat many times over the years.
The donations are gathered each time based on a request from the local community relating to their needs at that time. Being able to see how sewing machines donated during past visits have been used by the community demonstrated the importance of continuity in this kind of project. Peace Boat participants were able to experience the indigenous art of Mola. For the Guna people, Mola is a traditional design that shows their cultural identity. Colorful patterns inspired by nature such as birds, fish, flowers, coconut trees and rainbows are some of the main characteristics. Being able to learn about indigenous ways of living was an experience of great value for all. Participants also enjoyed playing some soccer, folding origami and dancing together with the local children. The kids were happy as most of the donations this time were things they could use immediately.
We look forward to continuing our partnership to contribute in a positive way to the Guna people for many years to come.