Students of the Class of 2015 & 2016 that have been awarded the Sasakawa Fellowship gathered on the 25 September, 2015 at World Maritime University (WMU) in the Sasakawa Auditorium for the orientation of the Class of 2016. This is an event that takes place every year to usher in and induct the new students that were awarded the Fellowship. It’s a practice that has been able to bear the fruits of sustainable networks among the Sasakawa family; not only the students present but the whole network at large. Consequently, the new students are able to internalize the values and principles of the Sasakawa Family culture.
A total of forty three (43) students; 22 from the Class of 2015 and 21 from the Class of 2016 gathered for this imperative event. Present at this event was Mr. Eisuke Kudo and Mr. Shinichi Ichikawa both of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF). The occasion began with a colorful and exciting group photo session for all the Fellowship students, in front of the WMU building. This geared everyone towards attending and being part of the orientation exercise and students that had not met before took this opportunity to informally introduce each other; after which the students calmly took their respective seats.
The opening remarks were presented by Mr. Eisuke Kudo, Advisor of SPF. He conveyed the sincere gratitude and honor from the Chairman, Yohei Sasakawa to the students. Mr. Kudo welcomed the new students to the Sasakawa Family which has a network of more than five hundred members. He insisted that the new members should have a strong bond and keep communicating. Mr. Shinichi Ichikawa presented the WMU Sasakawa Fellowship Program. The new Fellowship students were informed of the basic information on the Sasakawa Fellowship Program and its relationship with The Nippon Foundation and Japan Motor racing.
Various students of the 2015 class from five specializations (Maritime Training & Education; Law & Policy; Safety & Environment Administration; Port Management; Shipping Management & Logistics) respectively provided the new students short presentations on their specialization courses from their point of view. They also shared their various experiences while studying in the university. This was well articulated, as it gave the new students a better feel and expectations they should have over the fourteen months. One exciting part that all the students shared very happily was the Sasakawa Foundation visit in Japan. This gave each one of them a good experience that they will cherish. After that each student from both years introduced themselves by name, country of origin, course undertaking, affiliation or the organization they worked for and resolution.
Towards the end of the gathering there was a plenary session which was chaired by the Chair, Mr. Juma and the Secretary Mr. Koga on future networking. The students discussed the sustainability of Sasakawa fellows networking, how to build and maintain the network. The students participated well and clearly agreed that the Facebook was a good platform on which to network. However, it was agreed that the established Facebook page will be for the two academic years (2015 and 2016; 2016 and 2017….). This will ease the issue of being in touch and knowing one another. Each group will be administered by older students in which a focal point will be nominated. It was insisted that the posts made should be professional and personal milestones experienced. This will make it easy for the others to contribute professionally or congratulate on the achieved milestone.
Finally the students were hosted for dinner at the World Bistro. This was attended by the WMU President, academic and non-academic staff. The President was very grateful for the good effort the SPF was doing. It was held in a very friendly manner and students were able to freely discuss, share views on a personal level and create a bond. The gathering ended with closing remarks from Ms. Christine Pauline Diciano, who expressed the memorable experiences, adventures and lessons learned. On behalf of all the Sasakawa fellowship students she expressed deep gratitude to the SPF for the relentless efforts to sponsor students and make the world a better place to live in for us and the future generations.