Professional & cultural exchange program for social workers and youth workers
Council of International Fellowship-United States of America
CIF Japan is looking forward to hosting another PEP in the future. Because it is a small group it is unable to host a PEP yearly. Mr. Ruiz shared his own experiences as a CIF member and past participant in the PEP in Turkey in 2015, and the continuing friendships that he forged with CIF members.
Mr. Ruiz, whose work focused on refugees and immigrants and for many years, relayed how when he worked with refugees in Somalia many years ago, he had close contact with Japanese volunteers associated with the first Japanese NGO that worked with refugees internationally. Mr. Ruiz asked about services for refugees and migrants in Japan. Mr. Sakamoto and Mr. Kajimura explained that Japan has a very small immigrant population and receives very few refugees. Therefore, there are not services specifically aimed at serving these populations.
The group discussed the worrying growth of nationalism and xenophobia in the USA and other countries around the world, and how participating in groups--such as CIF that seek to promote goodwill among peoples--is so important in these times. They agreed that it would be very important for national CIF chapters to do more outreach to engage more people, especially younger people.
by Hiram Ruiz
IF-USA treasurer Hiram Ruiz visited Japan in October 2018. While in Tokyo, he met with the president of CIF Japan, Mr. Masamichi Sakamoto, and his CIF colleague, Mr. Shingo Kajimura Messrs.
Sakamoto and Kajimura shared some of the history of CIF Japan. They recounted the experience of the most recent PEP program that Japan CIF hosted for three participants from Estonia, the USA, and Thailand. The PEP was very successful, providing international participants and local CIF members an opportunity to learn about social services in their respective countries.