The Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) – Negros Occidental will again host area visits and immersion of two Japanese university students and their professor in various small fishers’ organizations and coastal communities this month, in the province and Iloilo.
Scheduled to arrive on February 7 in Bacolod City are Japanese students Nohana Sasaki and Riho Hasegawa, who are enrolled at the International Studies Course of Meiji Gakuin University, Yokohama City, Japan.
They will be accompanied by Perry Ono, secretary-general of the People-to-People (P2) Aid Japan, a Japanese NGO, and long-time partner of PRRM, to be accompanied by Nenita Lava of the PRRM-National Office and Cesar Hawak, the present president of the Pambansang Ugnayan ng mga Mangingisda sa Luzon, Mindanao and Visayas (PUMALU-MV), PRRM’s partner national small fishers federation.
The visit and area exposure by the Japanese students is the third in the last three years of a PRRM-based internship program dubbed Community Integration and International Solidarity Program.
The internship, which aims to build the appreciation, learnings and solidarity of young foreign students to the plight and struggles of marginalized Filipino communities, especially small farmers and fisherfolks, is basically credited by their faculty as part of their university work, a statement from the PRRM Negros Occidental said.
A basic orientation on PRRM-Negros work and current projects and an interaction with Negros and Iloilo small fisher leaders belonging to the Panay-Negros-Guimaras Crab Fishers Alliance (PANEG-CA) and PRRM-Negros Chapter members will be held on Feb.8
The interns will also undertake their community solidarity visits, field works and courtesy calls with local government units in southern and northern Negros, and in northern Iloilo, in the next several weeks of February.
P2 Japan last year provided a more than half a million pesos project grant for PRRM-Negros which aimed to build the capacities of small fishers and provide a sustainable livelihood assistance to those in coastal communities.*