Six students from the 11th grade exhibited presentations at the 12th civic collaboration festival “Machi Cafe!”, sponsored by Machida City. They took part in an overseas training program called “African Studies” to learn about developing countries.
“Come on together. To South Africa! 〜 Host town “South Africa Republic cheering PJT 〜” was the theme, the students opened a booth to explain the culture of South Africa and convey its’ appeal to the visitors.
This project began in the spring of this year.
Three students planning to visit the Republic of South Africa with “African Studies” explained about the host town, Machida, in a school in South Africa.
“I did not know Machida is the host town for South Africa during the Olympic Games in 2020.” said some people, but there were some people who were familiar with South Africa.”
The three students understood that and it made them want to explain about South Africa to the people of Machida..
Wondering how to spread awareness, the students found “Machida maru goto big project 18-20″.
This project is an initiative of Machida City to boost citizen activity, enhance the charm of the city and also, its’ vitality. They were able to receive support from this group and from there they were able to start planning.
At the end of October, a “challenge project” was approved by the “Machida maru goto big project 18-20″, the students’ decided to hold “Machi Cafe!”. The students would get a chance there to tell people in Machida City about the charms of South Africa.
From that point, the students the students prepared for about one month.
From 10 am on the day it opened, visitors gathered one after another at the students’booths and “Machi Cafe!” started.
There was a booth highliting interesting aspects of South Africa and a cross cultural connection started to form.
At that booth, the students carried out workshops on making Misanga’s and buttons Badge using the colors of the South African flag,
In addition, the students performed fittings of traditional folk costumes.
Students gave out madeleines with the South African specialty rooibos tea, which was co-produced with local cake shops.
People of various ages from small children to people in their 80′s visited the booth and they enjoyed learning about the culture and tradition of South Africa.
People asked questions like, “Was it safe to stay there?” “Did you have a change in your feelings?”
The visitors enjoyed asking questions about the students’South African experiences.
Explaining about their experiences, the students conveyed their feelings with a smile to the visitors.
The conversation was lively and enjoyable.
The event ended in great success at 4 pm.
The booths of the students were crowded with a lot of visitors and the cafe was full of laughter throughout the whole day.
One student commented “Before this, some people were not interested in South Africa and some had a negative image. Afterward they seemed to improve their image and were more interested in South Africa and they said that they want their children to go there. I was happy because they changed their opinions. ”
“More people came to visit than I thought, but no one knew Machida-shi was the host town of South Africa, but I was able to explain it.”
With their experiences in their hearts and minds, the students were motivated to spread the information that they had learned.
The teacher who supported the students said.
“The students themselves made the project from the scratch and prepared up to the point. Even if they hit walls, they were looking able to make breakthroughs and made the presentation a success.
The students also had difficulties preparing the sweets, but they negotiated directly at a pastry shop near the school and that helped them carry out their plan. ”
He was impressed by the student’s attitude.
One student said, “I want to convey the ‘real’ South Africa to the people of Machida.”
On this day, the students changed the views of many people and succeeded with their project through trial and error. Through exchanges and discutions with visitors, the students actually learned even more from their trip and were able to translate their trip to a better connection with Machida.