I’ve been living in Japan since August 2016, and spent my first two years in the town of Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi prefecture. Now I am a Tokyo resident, loving the vibrancy and diversity of city life.
My journey to the Rotary Peace Fellowship has seen the building of relationships across cultures, and I’m privileged to say the application alone has given me new friends from around the world. The journey has forced some deep personal reflections and the facing of some challenging truths. However, I am not one to sit back and give up and after focusing even deeper on my impact I am extremely proud to be taking up a position as a Rotary Peace Fellow at the International Christian University this September, 2019.
This blog is going to follow my experiences. I think words can be so powerful and I hope that mine will inspire people to engage with their communities and think about their impact on peace. My goal is to focus over the next two years on the advancement of literacy to empower women. I want to explore how technology can be used in communities to support with literacy advancement; giving women their voice.
I came to this focus area after volunteering with a literacy charity. I was able to see how impactful literacy advancement was on empowering young people. I then started to research and was shocked to discovered of the 750 million people around the world that lack functional literacy, 550 million are women. Think of the potential of these women the world could be missing out on. If only they had the words and confidence to share their ideas, they could hold the idea that could change the world for the better and bring peace to communities affected by conflict.
I started the Community Peace and Literacy Projects site in 2018 and it is something I really hope to grow during my fellowship journey. At the moment is an idea, without the focus or personal knowledge needed to drive it forward. I am excited about the role technology, including mobile technologies, can play on literacy advancement and hope to be able to consider how tech can support access to education. Herein lies another problem though; within tech literacy there is also significant gender disparity.
The next two years of research and reflection are going to be rigorous, but I can’t wait to take up the challenge! Please follow along with me.