©JICA Global Plaza

This summer, the excitement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa attracted global attention to Africa as teams from Japan and other countries fought for the championship with national pride. For those who became interested in Africa while watching the soccer games, a perfect event is currently taking place at JICA Global Plaza; “KICK OFF AFRICA!” is a special exhibition that aims to promote understanding of present and future Africa through soccer as a keyword.

Featuring JAMBO as an event character, a 12-year-old African boy who loves playing soccer, the exhibition introduces visitors to the lifestyles of African children as well as current issues which local people are facing today. A variety of hands-on exhibits help visitors feel close to the life of African people, showing scenes from JAMBO’s house and school and also a local doctor’s office while displaying daily items such as a water pitcher that children use everyday to collect water and sandals made of used tires. Visitors are encouraged to become more familiar with African culture via soccer by directly touching handmade soccer balls used in Africa, joining a ball kicking game, or trying to blow a vuvuzela horn.

While the eight Millennium Development Goals of the United Nation, including reducing poverty, preventing infectious diseases, and promoting elementary education, ought to be achieved by the year 2015, there are still a number of issues that Africa needs to tackle. However, people in Africa live their daily lives, just as we live our daily lives in Japan. Come visit JICA Global Plaza in Hiroo this summer and experience the true life of Africa. “KICK OFF AFRICA!” is held now through the morning of September 5 (Sun.), 2010.

JICA Global Plaza website (in English): http://www.jica.go.jp/hiroba/english/index.html

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