Across the world, we have all been shocked by the power of nature and inspired by the resilience of the Japanese people. I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to you to support Japan’s students and teachers living in severely earthquake and tsunami-affected regions as they seek to recover from the trauma and losses that have followed the most powerful natural disaster in Japanese history, which struck the Tohoku region on 11 March 2011.
With hundreds of thousands left homeless, and as many as 2,400 schools affected, the moment has come to manifest our international solidarity through emergency support to Japan’s schools, learners and teachers.
I appeal for your generous support to the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ): the network of 300 non-governmental organizations founded in 1948.
Your donations will support local and provincial authorities – through Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology – as they work to assure a safe resumption of the school year in April, and to deliver appropriate psycho-social and pedagogical support to the affected schools and educational institutions.
UNESCO has a unique history of cooperation with Japan — indeed, with the most affected major city of Sendai itself. It was in Sendai that the world’s first UNESCO Club was founded, on 19 July 1947. Having witnessed the destruction of World War II, the people of Sendai rallied behind the principle of building peace through cooperation in education, science, culture and communication, as embodied in UNESCO.
This grassroots, non-governmental movement – brought together through the NFUAJ founded one year later – played an integral role in Japan becoming a full Member State of UNESCO in May 1951, five years before Japan’s formal admission to the United Nations. Remarkably, the UNESCO Clubs movement that began in the city Sendai has since grown to some 5,000 UNESCO Clubs and Organizations, throughout the world.
The UNESCO community – including 193 Member States and seven associated members – has an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity with the students and teachers of Japan. Let us commit to doing so in this moment of most urgent need.
Donations may be made directly to:
Account name: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF UNESCO ASSOCIATIONS IN JAPAN
Bank name: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
Branch: Kanda Branch (331)
Swift code: BOTKJPJT
Account No.: 0297275