Naomi Shibatani `19
Naomi Shibatani graduated from Waseda University with a degree in Social Sciences. Having been interested in other cultures since she was a child, she had a life-changing moment when she heard someone say, “the 21st Century will surely be the African Century.”
With a passion to contribute to world peace, Naomi took advantage of as many opportunities as she could. She joined a peace march held by students from Korea, China and Japan and, as a member of the “Japan-Rwanda Youth Cooperation”, planned events around the elimination of potential prejudice between Rwanda and Japan through academic discussions and exchange programs.
Naomi studied at the University of Washington, where she focused on African History studies. Afterwards, she started volunteering as an English TA at an organization which promotes integration and self-sufficiency for refugees and immigrants in the United States.
During these experiences, Naomi often encountered boundaries due to people’s already established stereotypical view towards a country. However, she learned that it is possible to overcome those boundaries by sharing “a common purpose” and with mutual respect. The key, she found, lies in dialogue.
Dialogue through which we can create a society of mutual respect and without prejudice.
Sharing the philosophy of “Solutions to Society’s Problems” and with an emphasis on dialogue, Naomi is sure that the youth in AYF, gathered from around the world, can create a microcosm of world peace and become pioneers in spreading that message.
She is looking forward to creating new values, not yet found elsewhere, with brilliant and enthusiastic leaders in Awaji.