Short Description of ASEAN Youth Caravan of Goodwill :
Realizing that hundreds of thousands of unfortunate victims of the triple catastrophe are still being housed in many evacuation centers in Northeast Japan in particular, the ASEAN and Japanese Foreign Ministers have endorsed a proposal to organize a quick “Caravan of ASEAN Youth” to show the goodwill of the ASEAN people to be supported by the civil society and the private sector at no cost to the ASEAN . The ASEAN Youth Caravan of Goodwill is planned for 3-5 June, 2011. The Caravan will visit evacuation centers in the Northeastern coastal communities of Japan that have been devastated by the Great Earthquake and the tsunami of 11 March.
All members of the “ASEAN Caravan of Goodwill” will be on a voluntary, pro bono, basis (charity and free of charge). Some members will travel from some of the ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat and some will be invited from among the Tokyo-based youth or students who are interested and willing to join the Caravan of Goodwill. Thai International Airways and Air Asia have expressed their readiness to participate in the ASEAN Youth Caravan of Goodwill. The Nippon Foundation is making arrangements for Japanese volunteers and managing all ground logistics that include identifying possible places to visit and coordinating activities in pursuit of comforting and helping the survivors.
The 10 ASEAN embassies (The ASEAN Tokyo Committee) will be closely consulted and will support the organization of the project without any financial implications to the ASEAN Member States. The Thai Ambassador to Japan, H.E. Virasakdi Futrakul, Chairman of the ASEAN Tokyo Committee, will serve as the main Coordinator in Tokyo. All Ambassadors of the ASEAN Member States in Tokyo will advise and render support to this goodwill initiative.
The National Japan Broadcasting Company (NHK) has agreed to document the “ASEAN Youth Caravan of Goodwill” from the very start until the end over the 3 days period, beginning with its arrival in Japan on 3 June to its departure on 5 June (courtesy to http://worldofchacha.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/asean-youth-caravan/)
I've been travelled almost 5 days to visit Northeast Japan, join the ASEAN YCOG. We left Tokyo early in the morning to Sendai. It took 7 hours by bus but we made restop along the way. Sendai is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture and the largest city in the Tōhoku Region. Actually we met great view along the way but dramatically changed as we reach first stop at Natori. It was absolutely unbelievable! The city was nearly wiped out. Smashed houses, cars everywhere, boats randomly dumped. We stop about half an hour and laid some flowers as a memorial.
We spend the night at Sendai City that also showed some scars of the earthquake, and prepared for the main event for tomorrow, The Takidashi and Mud digging at Ishinomaki
Even this journey brought great sadness but it was an honour to bring the message to Japanese all over the country that the ASEAN people care about them.