In August 2020, Peace Boat conducted its first Online Global Voyage, and on November 28, close to 250 participants joined the second virtual voyage with the theme "Connecting the World through Peace Boat”. Like the August voyage, the second Online Global Voyage consisted of a full day of virtual lectures, workshops and activities taking place simultaneously at multiple venues - just like a regular day on the ship. With numerous international partners and guests joining from every continent - even Antarctica, the second installment offered an even more diverse and ambitious program.
Kicking the day off with a virtual departure ceremony, Voyage Director of the day Tamura Miwako wished everyone a great voyage, and expressed how wonderful it is to connect virtually in times like these when traveling and meeting in person is difficult. Throughout the day, participants could participate in lectures and workshops on issues related to Peace Boat’s projects and campaigns, language classes, and several types of dance and fitness events. Since most events were held in Japanese, translation and interpretation support from Peace Boat staff and volunteers enabled voyage participants and Peace Boat partners around the world to connect.
Peacevillage International’s Shishikura Taeko Erwig in conversation with actor and Peacevillage Ambassador Azuma Chizuru
Peace Boat - Campaigner for the SDGs
Children and adults alike could learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals through morning and afternoon SDGs quizzes, and checking in from different ports of call, guest speakers addressed a variety of SDGs-related issues as well. Nakatani Takeshi, the only Japanese guide at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, discussed the connection between democracy and recession, and reporting live from Peacevillage International in Germany, staff member Shishikura Taeko Erwig and Japanese actor and Peacevillage Ambassador Azuma Chizuru introduced the organization’s work in conflict regions. Hayakawa Chiaki joined from Magoso School in Kibera, the largest slum of Nairobi, Kenya; Binka Le Breton reported from Brazil’s rainforest; and connecting from Singapore, Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) discussed how challenging circumstances such as the current pandemic affect people disproportionately. Asahi Shimbun reporter Nakayama Yumi, who is accompanying the 61st Antarctic Research Expedition, joined us from this remote part of the world, and from Taiwan, Chen BaoBao and Tim Cole, founders of the multi-platform musical, cultural, and environmental project Small Island Big Song, illustrated how the sea connects us all.
Chen BaoBao and Tim Cole on seafaring and the climate crisis
Leaving no one Behind
After a challenging year where both Peace Boat and many of our partners have had to suspend or greatly alter their activities due to the pandemic, the second online voyage introduced a special Charity Ticket system through which participants could donate to six different Peace Boat projects or partners. These included disaster relief work in Mauritius, music and leadership training with the African Youth Ensemble (AYE) in South Africa, and supporting migrant workers through Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) in Singapore.
Sauco Mizue from TWC2 on assisting migrant workers in Singapore
As part of a series of Nobel Peace Prize-related events, atomic bomb survivor and anti-nuclear activist Tanaka Terumi spoke of the role the Hibakusha have played in the movement to ban nuclear weapons, including collaboration with Peace Boat and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to achieving the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Oshidari Kenro, former Regional Director for Asia of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), this year’s Nobel Peace Laureate, was joined by former Peace Boat staff member currently working for WFP in Nepal Choe Seung Jee to discuss the past and future of humanitarian aid.
Oshidari Kenro and Choe Seung Jee discussing the role of humanitarian aid
Looking Back on 2020
Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, 2020 became a year of unprecedented challenges for Peace Boat and our partners, as our usual voyages, including onboard and in port exchanges, became impossible. However, this year only amplified the importance of actually seeing, hearing, and experiencing things in person, and as the world shifts to a ‘new normal’, Peace Boat will continue to provide people with a space to meet, share and learn - both online and offline. We look forward to voyaging with you all again - virtually as well as onboard Peace Boat!
Binka Le Breton reporting from Iracambi in Brazil’s rainforest