Trainees from 9 countries learn about reconstruction and peace efforts of Hiroshima

by Toshiko Bajo, Staff Writer

On February 4, trainees from nine countries including Afghanistan and Pakistan, who are visiting Japan through the invitation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), learned about the reconstruction of Hiroshima from the devastation wrought by the atomic bombing as well as Hiroshima citizens' efforts for the cause of peace.

Twelve trainees, men and women between the ages of 27 and 55, visited the office of ANT-Hiroshima, a Hiroshima-based non-profit organization. Tomoko Watanabe, the executive director of ANT-Hiroshima, discussed her group's support for an elementary school in Pakistan, including their contributions for peace education at the school. She also shared their efforts to distribute a children's book about Sadako Sasaki, a girl who was exposed to the atomic bombing and later died from leukemia at the age of 12.

The trainees have been taking part in a three-week seminar entitled "The Promotion of Education for Girls and Women" in Tokyo and other locations.

Sajeda Atari, 27, from Jordan, who is involved in providing support for refugees from Iraq, said, "I have learned that small efforts can produce a large-scale result. I would like to start a project that involves collecting the experiences of those who survived the Iraq War."

(Originally published on February 5, 2010)

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