Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Inter-University Exchange ProjectInnovative Africa: Educational Networking Programs for Human Resource Development in Africa’s SDGs (IAfP)

[Report] Two TUFS students have started the exchange program at PIASS(Rwanda)

Yumiko Matsuoka, a second-year student in the Master’s Program of the Graduate School of Global Studies, and Ayumi Kato, a third-year student in the Korean major, have started an exchange program at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences in Rwanda from October 2023. They will study peacebuilding in the Faculty of Development Studies for about one year. Here are the messages from Yumiko and Ayumi.

Message from Yumiko

Hello. I am Yumiko Matsuoka, a second-year student in the Master’s Program of the Graduate School of Global Studies. I am also a high school teacher of history (mainly world history) and civics (politics and economics). I was previously involved in peace studies in Nagasaki for 12 years, which led me to enter TUFS in the hope of building peace education in high schools that goes beyond my own subject area. That ‘peace’ includes various contents, one of which, gender issues, is the theme of my master’s thesis.
I strongly feel that here in Rwanda, as if guided by an invisible force, I have encountered so many different people and learnings that have led me to where I am today. I am writing this introduction at home, where I moved in three days ago, enjoying the sound of wild little monkeys running around on the roof (at first, I thought they were thieves.) Huye, where PIASS is located, is a small, quiet and very comfortable place to live compared to the capital, Kigali. Therefore, it is a very good environment to concentrate on my studies. At the university, classes started two days ago and I am studying Nonviolence in Theory and Practice, which I wanted to learn systematically and thoroughly, with about 40 classmates. The classmates come from a great variety of countries. Burundi, South Sudan, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Rwanda. I believe that it is only here at PIASS that I can directly come into contact with and discuss their opinions and viewpoints. I am also planning to explore a lot more about my master’s thesis in the future, not only in the classroom.
I would also like to inform TUFS’ students that a joint online class between PIASS and TUFS is scheduled for the winter term, with Prof. Kazuyuki Sasaki (from Peacebuilding & Development) in charge of PIASS and Prof. Shinichi Takeuchi in charge of TUFS. Why don’t you come and study with the students of the Department of Peace Studies at PIASS? I took the course at TUFS last school year and had the pleasure of meeting PIASS students from the same group in person the other day.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to both professors and the people at both universities for creating and sustaining an environment where I can learn about encounters and multifaceted perspectives that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and above all to the people at Deployment Power Africa who support this study-abroad program from Japan.
The attached photo shows a reunion with Patrick, who was sent from PIASS to TUFS. He is currently taking the same course.
・Department:Peacebuilding & Development
・Courses:The first semester Nonviolence in Theory and Practice /PSYCHOSOCIAL TRAUMA AND HEALING

Message from Ayumi

Muraho! (This is the greeting that means “How are you?” in Kinyarwanda.) I am Ayumi Kato, a third-year student majoring in Korean language and Peacebuilding at the School of international and Area studies.
My exchange program in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at PIASS will last a full year from October 2023 to September 2024. PIASS offers us various classes and club activities that will allow us to learn the theory and practice of peacebuilding from different perspectives. Specifically, I plan to attend classes such as “Peace education”, “Trauma and psychological healing”, “Reconciliation in Theory and Practice”, “Religion in Conflict Resolution”, and so on.
Rwanda is one of the countries that are experiencing rapid economic growth. I am overwhelmed by the newly built roads, high-rise buildings, medical system and security, as well as seeing the various social problems (air pollution, economic inequality, etc.).
Through this valuable exchange program, I would like to focus on the relationship between peacebuilding and education and explore how supporting basic education can lead to peace in post-conflict societies and how the private sector can contribute to basic education and peace education through business.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the staff of IAfP Office, Professor Kazuyuki Sasaki, Head of Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at PIASS, the professors at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies for their tremendous support in my study abroad, and all others who have been so generous in their support.

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