Japan: Charity Concert – Friends Of Kodo And Wadaiko

In cooperation with Rolex of Japan, AAR Japan held a charity concert entitled ‘Friends of Kodo And Wadaiko: Sounds Of The Festival’ on June 19th, 2012. Wadaiko refers to traditional Japanese drumming, while Kodo is the name of a renowned wadaiko troupe from Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture. The concert was held for the benefit of those affected by March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake in Japan’s Tohoku region.
Although the event coincided with the landfall of a typhoon over Tokyo, many still braved the inclement weather to come to Suntory Hall in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. Mr. Tamasaburo BANDO, artistic director of Kodo, delivered a message at the opening of the concert, telling the audience, “I hope Kodo can give you strength, and somehow inspire you for tomorrow.”

The JAA High School drumming club goes through pre-curtain nerves.


Japan: New Dental Clinic Opened in Ogatsu Town, Ishinomaki City

Medical Facilities in Ogatsu Town were Destroyed by the March 2011 Tsunami

90% of all the houses in Ogatsu Town, part of Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, were damaged by the March 2011 tsunami. In addition, all necessary facilities for daily life, such as fire departments, post offices, schools, gas stations, and shops were lost in the disaster. Medical facilities such as general hospitals and dental clinics were completely destroyed.
When a mobile dental clinic conducted by a university hospital concluded operations last September, local residents had to take bus that runs only a few times a day to dental clinics in the center of Ishinomaki City, an hour away. The situation imposed a heavy burden on the elderly, who often have artificial teeth and need more dental care.

May 8th, 2012 – Ishinomaki City Ogatsu Hospital used to have surgical, internal medicine and dental departments before the earthquake. The city has decided to close the hospital, but the building remains.


Zambia: Supporting Youth-Initiated AIDS Awareness Programs

HIV/AIDS is a serious issue in the Republic of Zambia, where 13.5% of the adult population is HIV positive, and as many as 45,000 people die from AIDS every year. To prevent the spread of HIV, education is vital. AAR Japan has been supporting young people who participate in HIV/AIDS awareness programs as part of our ongoing effort to counter HIV/AIDS in Zambia.

Supporting Students: Anti-AIDS Clubs

In accordance with a government initiative, anti-AIDS clubs are being established at every school in Zambia. Students in these clubs are learning about HIV/AIDS on their own initiative, and carry out awareness efforts to spread information in their area. However, the students do not always have the most accurate information themselves, and uncertainty regarding how best to conduct such efforts renders many clubs unable to fully achieve their objectives.

In 2009, AAR Japan started a support program in the area of Chipapa, which lies on the outskirts of the capital, Lusaka. When we first arrived, the local club was struggling. AAR Japan educated the students about HIV/AIDS and encouraged them to discuss how best to convey their knowledge to others. We  provided basic guidance on conducting effective awareness programs, such as  introducing a ‘planning, implementation, evaluation’ style of thinking, effective presentation skills, and management know-how.

As a result, the club’s students have deepened their own awareness of the problems being faced, and have turned this knowledge into ambition for their efforts, expanding their program to visiting residential houses to speak on the subject, and holding debate meetings. With the club’s activities going well, AAR Japan is taking this chance to propose new initiatives, such as nurturing leaders in the lower primary school grades and strengthening links with local residents’ groups in order to ensure that the students are able to carry on the work under their own power.

December 1st, 2011 – On AIDS day, an anti-AIDS club comes together to hold an AIDS awareness event in Chipapa.