Unification News for October 2002

STF in Cambodia

by Akihiko Nishimura

From August 24 to September 2, 2002, 16 SFP members and 2 VIPs were engaged in international service activities in Phnom Penh and SamReap, Cambodia. They visited Royal University of Phnom Penh and planted trees, played football and held a symposium with university students.

The symposium dealt with two themes of great concern to young people in Cambodia: the problem of AIDS and the challenge of community development in a nation still recovering from decades of horror. In particular, there is a need for a safe drinking water supply in many villages.

In Sam Reap, we had a number of service activities including the sinking of a well, visiting and sharing with children at an orphan home, visiting a prison and finally donating blood in a children’s hospital.

When the members heard actual experiences of the orphanage director, who is a Buddhist, many of them received a deep impression. They could understand and share his heart without distorted view of religion, because they had already overcome their bias against religions through their activities. Through doing activities in foreign countries, they also realized that Japan actually has a widespread prejudice against religion.

The goal of these international service activities was to educate the circle members to become core members through giving them leadership opportunities. They could practice the activities with a greater sense of responsibility because they were given the position of group leader.

From now on, they will focus on and tackle the problems of AIDS and the development a safe drinking water supply.

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