Gathering Orientation

Sasakawa Peace Foundation welcomes WMU Class of 2019 Fellowship Recipients

The 2019 Orientation for the new Sasakawa Peace Fellowship recipients was held in the Sasakawa Auditorium at WMU on 21st September, 2018. SPF continues its never ending generosity by funding 30 students from 28 countries to pursue postgraduate degrees at the World Maritime University in Malmö.

In attendance was the graduating class of 2018 to assist in the warm welcoming of the new incoming students and to continue to foster a lifelong integrative communication network. The ceremony commenced with a group photo of both SPF 2018 and 2019 students. Mr. Elias Chiaca Mwenyo (Namibia) was the Master of Ceremonies, from the graduating class of 2018, who was very enthusiastic in expanding his public speaking skills. The orientation program began with opening remarks by Mr. Atsushi Sunami, Executive Director of SPF, who expressed the importance of making network connections with other Sasakawa Fellows. The purpose is to advance the network through mentoring, nurturing and fostering relationships among Fellows, independent of those activities cultivated by the SPF. A presentation by Mr. Shinichi Ichikawa followed, providing knowledge and information on the Sasakawa Fellowship Program and its relation to The Nippon Foundation and Japan’s Boat Race. He presented a synopsis on how the revenue from Japan’s popular boat race is directed to philanthropic activities and outlined how the fellowship program benefits from this noble deed.

The Class of 2018 gave presentations of their experiences at WMU, their specialization as well as their field studies. Representatives from the different course specializations were: Mr. Fawzy Fathalla Dekinesh (Egypt), Maritime Energy Management; Mr. Gustavo Adolfo Meija Jovane (Panama), Maritime Law & Policy; Mr. Michael Agyare Asiamah (Ghana), Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration; Mr. Eduardo Zamora Chung (Peru), Ocean Sustainability, Governance and Management; Ms. Kanchisa Nay Deerod “Panda” (Thailand), Port Management; Mr. Mohamed Amjath Mohamed Fahumy (Sri Lanka), Shipping Management and Logistics and Mr. Htet Khaing Kyi Lin “Tony” (Myanmar), Maritime Education & Training. Each presenter gave additional insights on ways of coping with their studies and living in Malmö especially during winter season. In addition, each student highlighted their memorable trip to Japan (that all Sasakawa Fellows will experience), where they met with Dr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation.

The students of 2018 and 2019 were given the opportunity to introduce themselves, their home country and their specialization, thus starting the process of networking among Fellows. Further discussion on the sustainability of the Sasakawa fellows networking, as to how to build and maintain the network, were presented by Chair Ms. Pamela Dela Cruz Dolina (Philippines) and Secretary Mr. Naohiro Saito (Japan). A vote was cast to continue using Facebook as the main communication platform with the possible use of WhatsApp and LinkedIn as other platforms that can be explored.

A reception followed at the WMU Bistro, officiated by Mr. Aniruddha Chaki (India), where students and visiting guests were treated to a lovely buffet meal and refreshments, where all mingled and start forming friendships among each fellows. The event was graced by the presence of WMU President, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, along with other faculty and staff, who interacted with the students, giving advice. Th¬e WMU President thanked ¬The Nippon Foundation for their continuing support for the maritime sector as well as their generosity in providing fellowships to WMU students, thereby equipping them with knowledge for the benefit of their nations and the world. The night was bittersweet when it was learned that Mr. Shinichi Ichikawa would be leaving the Peace Foundation at the end of the month. Mr. Ichikawa was thanked and showed much appreciation by the WMU President for his many years associated with the WMU as well as with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. He will be greatly missed by all the Fellows but we hope he will keep in touch.

The closing remarks were given by Mr. Etakong Tabeyang (Cameroon), who thanked the Sasakawa Peace Foundation for its generosity in hosting the event, which had given the new Sasakawa scholars such a wonderful introduction to the Peace Foundation and the Nippon Foundation, as well as their first networking opportunity with Saskawa scholars in their own and the senior class. He thanked everyone for their attendance and made special mention of the wonderful staff of the World Bistro for their great service and meal. He further extended gratitude to Mr. Atsushi Sunami and Mr. Ichikawa for their guidance and support, as well as wishing Mr. Ichikawa good luck on his new adventure.

Thema Jamila Ward
St. Kitts-Nevis, 2019