Education for All Campaign 2010 The World's Biggest Lesson

Today, about 72 million children around the world are denied proper schooling. While the situation has gradually been improving, it is expected that there will still be 56 million children missing out on school education in 2015.

Connecting nongovernmental organizations from about 180 countries and regions, the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) aims to end the global education crisis. With the support of UNESCO and UNICEF, the international network has been running an annual campaign every April since 2002 to realize a world where every child can receive an education. Last year, the network conducted the Big Read campaign, which attracted 12 million people from around the world, including about 20,000 participants from 153 elementary, junior high, and high schools in Japan.

For the year 2010, the GCE plans to hold the World's Biggest Lesson on April 20 (Tuesday), involving over a hundred countries and regions. In collaboration with FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), an organizer of the 2010 Soccer World Cup that takes place in South Africa in June and July, the campaign aims to give a 30-minute lesson on the same day at classrooms around the world to promote the understanding of the situation surrounding education in developing countries, and of the needs of financing quality public education.

In Japan, the campaign is organized by the Japan NGO Network for Education (JNNE), which consists of 28 active nongovernmental organizations supporting the improvement of education in developing countries. Any elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, colleges and universities, tutoring schools, and other interested groups nationwide may join the campaign free of charge. Registering by April 12 (Mon.), the participating institutions and groups will receive poster materials and lesson plan samples. The campaign will provide a very important opportunity for many children in Japan to learn about education in developing nations.

Education for All Campaign 2010 official website (in Japanese)

Sing and Take Part in Global Activism! JVC Choir

The audience singing along to the rendition of
"Silent Night" at the 2009 concert in Tokyo.

If you have ever felt you would like to do something to help those livers under difficult conditions such as poverty or regional conflict around the world, this is an opportunity to take action.

Every December, the Japan International Volunteer Center holds the annual JVC International Cooperation Concert in Tokyo and Osaka. The concert, which started more than 20 years ago, encourages anyone who is interested in international cooperation to become part of the effort in different ways. You may simply purchase a ticket as an audience member, become a choir member and sing for the concert, or work as an event volunteer to support the stage. The funds raised by the concert will be used to provide medical support, agricultural assistance, and other activism in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

The 2010 concert in Tokyo is scheduled to be held on December 11 (Saturday) at the Showa Women's University Hitomi Memorial Hall. The JVC is currently accepting applications from volunteers who would like to be a member of the choir and sing Handel's "Messiah." The JVC choir members hold various backgrounds and motivations: Some had their interested piqued with the words "volunteer singer," some learned about the choir while visiting the JVC website to make a donation, and some enjoy singing and liked the idea of helping others with their pastime. While its members are different each year, the choir continues to practice until the concert day to produce the best possible harmony.

Many volunteers have made positive comments about their experiences as a volunteer choir member, saying that they have become more interested in global activism after the concert or that it was very inspiring for them to sing for someone else. While its practice starts in April, the choir plans to take volunteer applications until early May. Becoming a JVC choir member may be your opportunity to turn your volunteer spirit into real action.

JVC International Cooperation Concert official website (in Japanese)

TOKYO International Communication Committee BacknumberJapanese