The Global Career Course this time was held for 11th and 12th graders. We invited Mr. Kunio Suzuki of the Director-General’s office of the United Nations World Food Program WFP Association as a lecturer. He talked about the activities of the WFP and the reason why Mr. Suzuki got into his current job.
Mr. Suzuki said that it is their job to teach people about the activities of the WFP, which is the only food support organization in the United Nations, and is tasked with eliminating hunger and poverty.
At first, he explained what “hunger” is, while introducing photographs of children who are starving and data on calorie intake. He talked about the causes and effects of hunger such as in conflict areas and natural disasters, and that there is serious poverty at the root.
“I want you to remember two English words when you return home today. One is’Vulnerable’. It means that weak people are prone to starvation. The second one is ‘Resilient’. It is the strength to return to bounce back without breaking even when outside forces are hitting you. The WFP’s mission is to create such a world. ”
The WFP is providing 3.5 million tons of food per year. It is about half the amount of food waste in Japan, but it provides safe food such as rice, beans and cereals, and supplements nutrition for many people.
Moreover, they do not just give food, but also promote nutrition for pregnant women, support for pregnant women and provide school lunches to support educational opportunities.
“Going to school or not going to school will greatly change the life of the child. While we at the WFP provide food, people will be able to support themselves by acquiring skills and becoming independent. Creating a resilient society is a major objective of WFP’s activities. ”
Students listened carefully to the reality of the world, which they could not realize when they are in Japan. From the contents of the two words and activities, they reaffirmed how important “food” is, and sympathized with what the WFP aims to do.
Another mission of the WFP is “logistics”. He introduced fundraising activities, public relations activities and other events. He also mentioned that in one of those activities, the “Charity Essay Contest”, the 12th graders of Tamagawa Gakuen won this year’s top award.
Mr. Suzuki, who was involved in work connecting overseas countries and Japan with advertisements and who got a career in a totally different field, decided to do work at the WFP because of the experience he had in China when he worked there in his previous company.
He proposed a price increase to the product he was in charge at that time. However, he was told; “This is a life and death problem for poor peasants, how come you think that it should be more profitable?”, and his way of thinking changed completely.
Mr. Suzuki was touched by the overwhelming food availability disparity in China, and after he began thinking to leave his company, he decided to change and got into his current position.
“We have to make the world better, the world expects your success,” said Suzuki.
What you need is “to know”, “to investigate”, and “to inform” yourselves. Furthermore, you must become “become a person who helps the world”, Working as staff in an international organization is one option, and there are various other options.
“The most important thing is thinking that ‘I want to use my skills to help the people of the world.’ When I speak English, thinking of how to explain things to the people in front of me is important, and without passion I cannot communicate in English. Please work on it with this kind of mindset.” Mr. Suzuki then ended his lecture.
He sent an message on the future possibilities for the students who will be responsible for the future of the international community.
In the Q & A session, many hands were raised.
“Is there any possibility of solving problems by using business and economic mechanisms?”
“Can we stop conflicts by providing food aid to people who are actually causing conflicts?”
Even after the lecture Mr. Suzuki answered questions about the authenticity of the survey data for each country and the possibility of the use of waste food in Japan, supported by actual circumstances and background information. Students gained a deep understanding that they could not get through media and study alone, through a dialogue that took a step further from the lecture.
What is essential to a human being is “food”. The significance of the world contribution of “food” built awareness in each individual’s mind as a theme for living.