In Japan, the declaration of the state of emergency due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been lifted, and people are hoping for a return to some social activity, whilst maintaining measures to prevent further contagion as much as possible. Amidst this situation, Peace Boat received a generous donation in solidarity.
In the morning of May 27, a donation of 10,000 masks was delivered to the Peace Boat office. These were generously donated by Mr Feng Ao, originally from China's Sichuan Province and who now runs a business providing various services including lodging in Japan.
(Pictured are staff of Peace Boat and U Home)
Feng Ao was studying medicine in Sichuan Province in 2013 when he participated in the Northeast Asia Youth Peace Dialogue organized by Peace Boat. This programme brought together young people from Japan, Korea and China to together sail onboard Peace Boat's 79th Global Voyage, and learn about peace education and regional cooperation. Feng Ao was an active volunteer at the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Interested in Japan's disaster prevention system, following his journey on Peace Boat he went on to study at Waseda University in Tokyo. During his studies, he started a company called U-home, which provides various services including lodging and property management.
As Feng Ao's company is mainly engaged in the business of hotels and private residences, they were of course directly impacted by COVID-19. Yet in order to contribute to his now home country Japan, his company expanded their business to import masks that are difficult to obtain and sell them at a reasonable price. His company is also actively donating masks to various organisations in need such as international student support groups and local health centers.
With his wish to give back to Peace Boat, which was one of the first steps in his journey to come and live in Japan, we gratefully received a donation of marks from his company this morning. These will surely be put to meaningful use through the activities of the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Centre (PBV).
With each and every one of us being affected by the COVID-19, it is vital that we continue to do what we can to help each other, beyond backgrounds or national borders.
PBV looks forward to continuing to pass on Feng Ao's gift and generosity to the next!