Learning from each other – spirit of international understanding

17 Interactors from Shanghai and Chengdu visited Japan for the exchange tour during the summer vacation, accompanied by 3 adults, led by President Moto. It was the 2nd trip of this kind after 2 years ago. The biggest difference from the 1st trip was that both the Conference and the trip were mainly planned and managed by the Interactors. Interactors in China learned from the Japanese conference 2 years ago as observers and successfully held the 1st District Interact Conference in Shanghai on April 3rd

This time, we were invited to make reports of Interact activities in China and introduction of the Shanghai culture to the audience. All the slides and attractions including violin solo of “Shanghai Tan” and Shanghai Dialect practice were planned and jointly performed by SHSID and Nanmo Interactors. The Japanese organizer told me after the event that the China team was the best and Japanese Interactors should learn from us.  We learned from Japan two years ago, and now we gave back to Japan by sharing our experience. Isn’t this a very good model of the purpose of Interact- to provide opportunity for young people to work together in a world fellowship dedicated to service and international understanding?

The team visited two different local Disabled People’s homes during this short trip. At the first one, we showed music and dance performances. The audience was intellectually disabled with heavy level. When we discussed about the plan one week before the trip at Frank Yih’s office, we were afraid whether we could do any meaningful communication with them. But the students brought ideas and talents together and finally we could remove the barrier between the disabled and normal people in the room.

At the second one, we participated in a sport exchange event with intellectually disabled people together with local middle school student volunteers. All our members were allocated to teams paired with disabled people and joined the sport games together. We could learn how to help and how to respect people who have difficulty in moving and communication.

A Japanese care manager admired to see one of our Chinese students helped wipe saliva of her partner quite naturally. He said that not so many Japanese volunteers can do that. Pampered Chinese kids are generally infamous for selfishness due to the one child policy. But our Interactors were proved to be different.

It was a trip full of fun and learning.

Motohiro Yamane

Member since: 2009

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