【Glocal High School Meetings 2021 全国高等学校グローカル探究オンライン発表会 1月30日】
In Ikuno-ku, Osaka City, where our school is located, one in five out of about 120,000 residents is a foreign national. People from more than 60 countries live here. The percentage of foreign residents in urban areas is the highest in Japan. We've learned a lot over the last two years in the Glocal Study, an elective course that thinks about the world from this region.
Koreans account for the largest percentage of foreign residents living in Japan. Korean Town, which is about 15 minutes’ walk from school, is always filled with people. First of all, we conducted fieldwork with a teacher from the local NPO "Anglican Ikuno Center" as a lecturer. We learned about the long history of the region and South Korea, from the history of ancient migrants to the present situation after the unfortunate era of war.
Next, we visited the "Ikuno Ward Office" to learn about local government initiatives. Ikuno-ku is promoting a multicultural coexistence initiative called "Let's connect with easy Japanese." This is an initiative to communicate in Japanese, which is easy for foreigners to understand. We actually interviewed international students and translated the ward's public relations into easy-to-understand Japanese and posted it on Twitter.
Due to the influence of the COVID-19, this year's activities started in June. The first thing we were worried about was whether the foreigners living in Japan who were involved last year could live well. Therefore, we collected newspaper articles on the theme of "COVID-19 and foreign residents" and learned about its substance. Though it was difficult to interact with each other freely, we learned that there are initiatives such as food support at food banks.
In addition, we decided to consider the global issue of "refugees." From the story of the NPO "RAFIQ (Coexistence Network with Refugees in Japan)" in Osaka, I learned that many refugee applications have been submitted in Japan, but the number of certified refugees is very small. We also learned that both applicants and those who have been recognized as refugees have various difficulties in their lives.
So we decided to take actions that we could do. First of all, I thought it was important to let the students in the same school know more about the "refugees" we learned. I gave a presentation during the morning service. Next, "RAFIQ" gave us a list of supplies we would like to support, and asked all the students to bring them. As a result, we were able to collect a lot of supplies.
Through this Glocal Study, we thought about how to act on world issues. And here are important points I learned.
1. Sharing problems with people close to you
2. Doing small things
I hope this effort will change the world.