RCE Hyogo-Kobe Youth Conduct Online Projects for the New Normal

'ESD Platform WILL', a youth organisation working in collaboration with RCE Hyogo-Kobe, was built in 2019 as a collective body of various young people and volunteer groups to promote ESD and create a sustainable society.

The platform creates encounters and linkages essential for realising a sustainable society. Its volunteer programmes empower youth as they focus on leveraging experiences within the field, no matter how small.

Due to the difficulties that COVID-19 has presented, it has made it difficult for the organisation to meet in person, and almost impossible to carry out their tentative plans for 2020. After discussing how they could adjust to the current conditions, they decided to produce two projects which allow for online participation.

The first is a 'Zoom Photo Shooting Event' which was held on 14 June, 2020. This event aimed to capture the deep spiritual linkage of members online despite the physical separation, by taking photos on Zoom. The group is planning to deliver these photos with letters to the residents of the Tohoku area who were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The group had communicated with these residents through volunteer activities in the past. Though they cannot currently physically be there, nor act as volunteers, the hope is that these photos will provide them with positive energy.

The other is an Online Conference which was held on 21 June, 2020 under the theme 'What can be seen from COVID-19?: Past Volunteers and Future Volunteers'. This provided an opportunity for members and other volunteers to discuss how they could be active during the COVID-19 era. Over 100 participants, including students, staff from non-profit organisations, company officials, educators, and volunteer coordinators, gathered from all over Japan. Group discussions were held to facilitate dialogue between participants, in which they deepened their learning by sharing opinions.

In the current situation where the world is divided and various problems are becoming apparent, it is necessary for people across regions and countries to work together for the future, reconsidering how to promote the SDGs. ESD Platform WILL is determined to continue to make efforts to create opportunities for people to encounter and link to each other to create a sustainable society.

(Photo credits: RCE Hyogo-Kobe)