Expanding Support for Refugees
Have you seen the following message? “Many people around the world have to leave their own countries due to conflicts and natural disasters. Do you know that refugees are also living in Japan? Learn more about refugees with us.” Two Stars, the group spreading this message, is a student organization which is actively expanding support for refugees.
In 2016, APU was registered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a university that accepts Syrian refugees as international students under the “Japanese Initiative for the Future of Syrian Refugees” program. This was enacted as part of the Japanese government’s assistance initiatives for the Middle East. In 2017, students felt the immediacy of refugee issues and established Two Stars to provide assistance.
The first activity undertaken by Two Stars was to support the Refugee Photo Exhibition held from October 9-13, 2017 by “Peace x Piece,” a student organization that is also involved in refugee issues. This on-campus exhibition displayed photos of people around the world who have become refugees. These were provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Amnesty International, an NGO focused on human rights. In order to have these photos viewed by more people, the Two Stars members visited high schools in Beppu City and engaged in other outreach projects. Over 400 visitors from on an off campus attended the photo exhibition.