YWCA of Japan's National Convention anticipates World Council 2007 in Kenya
The 29th National Convention of YWCA of Japan was held from November 24th to 26th in Tokyo. Dr. Mayako Ishii was elected as the National President after serving as a member of the Board of Trustees, and before that as its Vice President. She has been involved in the YWCA movement since her Christian junior high school days. She was fortunate to attend the World Council held in Ghana in 1971 as a Youth delegate under 30 years old. Since then, she has held many posts in various committees mainly concerning the Asian international cooperation and solidarity.
Dr. Ishii is the former President at Keisen University and currently Emeritus Professor of International Relations. The founder of constituent body of Keisen University, Keisen Jogakuen (Girls’ School), Michi Kawai, was the first Japanese General Secretary of YWCA of Japan. Dr. Ishii belongs to the Peace Studies Association of Japan, and where she served as the Vice President and the General Secretary.
New vision and goals were set under the theme of “Making peace through non-violent, non-nuclear methods” and determined to focus on “peace making in Northeast Asia through civil network and cooperation”, “To work to maintain the Peace Constitution of Japan “, “Support and work together with YWCA of Palestine for peace in the region”, and protecting Women and children’s rights”. Also, it was affirmed to make system to develop young women’s leadership. Ms. Wei Jin, Acting General Secretary of YWCA of China delivered a speech titled “The Call to YWCA for Action-Oriented Peace Building in Northeast Asia”. She proposed positive actions and approaches for peace in the region.
Throughout the events, the participants experienced atmosphere of Africa in anticipation of World Council 2007 in Kenya. On the evening before the National Convention, the charity dinner event was held at the Kenyan Embassy in Tokyo with cooperation of the Embassy. After the speech by Mrs. Violet Awori, wife of Kenyan Ambassador to Japan, on HIV and AIDS in Africa, the participants enjoyed real Kenyan cuisine and Kenyan tea. The event was organised not only to learn about Kenya, but also to raise fund to send young members to the World Council.
All the participants enjoyed the Cultural Night on the first evening of the Convention. The theme of the Cultural Night was “Africa”. The delegates from each local association brought African style costume. The contribution from the participants of the Convention will be donated to World Council Training Support Fund of World YWCA.