Representatives from Friedensdorf International visiting Peace Boat


Not Giving Up: What Hope Looks Like at the End of War

Sep 27, 2023


The event “Not Giving Up: What Hope Looks Like at the End of War” took place on September 1st, 2023 at the Peace Boat Tokyo office. Guest speakers featuring Birgit Stifter, Kawasaki Akira, and Azuma Chizuru presented on behalf of their respective organizations. 

Birgit Stifter, the representative of Friedensdorf (Peace Village) International in Germany introduced their mission to provide aid to children from high-risk areas. Stifter’s work with Friedensdorf International includes organizing the transport and care of children who can not receive treatment in their home countries to Germany. Focus on local projects and peace education is also an important part of Friedensdorf International. Quality medical care continues to be a luxury for children in war-torn regions with little access to medicine and treatments crucial to their health. Friedensdorf International was formed with the aspiration to provide medical access to the most vulnerable demographic.

Panel at Friedensdorf event


An emotional visit to Hiroshima

Peace Boat’s partnership with Friedensdorf International has included visits by representatives of Friedensdorf International to Peace Boat in Japan and of Peace Boat voyagers on exchange tours to Friedensdorf International in Oberhausen, Germany. Most recently at the event hosted by the Peace Boat Tokyo office, Stifter shared her recent visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum for the first time to pay her respects to those impacted by the atomic bombing. Stifler's tour was encompassed by an interview of a Hibakusha, an atomic bomb survivor, as well as the hanging of folded paper cranes to symbolize international peace. 

Birgit Stifter from Friedensdorf International sharing different perspectives on peacebuilding

Other guests included Azuma Chizuru, a representative of “Get in touch”, an actor, as well as the ambassador for Friedensdorf International who presented on behalf of the advocacy work of Get in touch. This organization focuses on the diversity and inclusion of minority groups using the slogan “Mazekoze” (which loosely translates to “the mingling and mixing of people and identities”). Azuma, a native of Hiroshima became actively involved in peacebuilding after visiting the Friedensdorf International during the coverage of the World Run Travel Report. Activities and events organized for the representatives for Friedensdorf International were largely attributed to Azuma and Get in touch. 

Lastly, Kawasaki Akira, Executive Committee member of Peace Boat and sitting President and International Steering Group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) presented on the ongoing partnership with Peace Boat and Friedensdorf International. Peace Boat voyages will continue to visit Friedensdorf International to foster their relationship and further each other’s mission. The ongoing partnership between Peace Boat, Friedensdorf International, and Get in touch allows for the future success of the organizations, and we look forward to visiting Friedensdorf International again in the near future!

Kawasaki Akira and Azuma Chizuru