Global Fund for Education Assistance

BEYOND Tomorrow Summer Global Program: Asia Summer Program 2015


~Asia Partnership for Youth Mobilization in Disaster Risk Reduction~



In the summer of 2015, Global Fund for Education Assistance undertook BEYOND Tomorrow Summer Global Program: Asia Summer Program 2015. Through the program, youths from Japan, Nepal and the Philippines visited the Philippines to learn about disaster risk reduction. The 3 countries’ youths traveled to Leyte Island in the Philippines together, where the super typhoon hit in November of 2013, to visit affected communities and examine local needs in the area of disaster risk reduction. The participants developed proposals on youth participation in DRR, including building socioeconomic resilience in the region, for future natural hazards in Asia and made presentations in front of a distinguished group of audience at the end of the program.


August 19 – 27


Japan (5) Youths with the experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011
Philippines (6) Youths with the experience of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013/Typhoon Sendong in 2011
Nepal (3) Youths with the experience of the earthquake in April 2015

List of participants in Asia Summer Program 2015 – Japan

Seiko Abe Department of International Communication, Kanda University of International Studies (Graduate of Sanuma High School, Miyagi Prefecture) Seiko lost her father and grandmother in the tsunami, and her home was washed away. In the depths of her despair she found hope in the sight of Kenyan children, who had never visited Japan and did not even know where it was, crying as they sang for Japan, and gained the courage to venture out into the world. Trusting that only good things would happen after such despair, she took on the challenge of going on a short-term overseas exchange program, which was ultimately an opportunity for her to experience firsthand that there was something to be gained from taking action, even if you were uneasy about it. She hopes to be educated as a global citizen at university, and to contribute to world peace, achieving something so big that it can be seen even by the father and grandmother that she lost.
Yuki Abe(BEYOND Tomorrow / Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Special Scholar) Department of Business Law, Faculty of Law, Nihon University (Graduate of Nihon University Tohoku High School) After evacuating with her entire family, Yuki lost her father as a result of the disaster. When Yuki first began participating in BEYOND Tomorrow activities, she was not confident in herself and cried and felt bad, believing that everyone else around her was more aware and more capable. She spoke about her own experience in the disaster for the first time at BEYOND Tomorrow Tohoku Future Leaders Summit 2014, and gained the confidence that there were things that she could do. By conveying to people who are still struggling in themselves with the horror of the disaster, and the pain of losing family, she believes that she can use her experience for the benefit of other people and society.
Kokurin Saijo Department of International Studies, Takushoku University (Graduate of Kesennuma High School, Miyagi Prefecture) Kokurin lost her home in Minamisanriku in the tsunami. From the disaster, Kokurin learned the importance of education and information, and wants to promote education in underprivileged regions of Africa to create a society where more children will able be to achieve their dreams. Through her involvement with BEYOND Tomorrow, she has visited various Asian countries, including Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. She is also actively involved in building a framework for disaster risk reduction in Asia as a representative of Tohoku.
Mahiro Sawada School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, Waseda University (Graduate of Sendai Second High School, Miyagi Prefecture) Mahiro was deeply shocked by the devastation that Ishinomaki experienced immediately after the disaster. He felt that he was privileged to be alive and that every day was precious, and that if that was the case he should consider what he could do. This was the starting point for contemplating his future. While he was a high school student, he visited Europe on BEYOND Tomorrow’s program, and was greatly drawn to the airline industry, which concentrates the wisdom of the world to work on development. In the future Mahiro hopes to work in aircraft development, and to introduce innovations in the aircraft industry, such as through the development of drones that can deliver assistance to remote areas that are isolated in times of disaster.
Shiori Fukuda(BEYOND Tomorrow / TOMODACHI Special Scholar) Faculty of Engineering at Iwate University (Graduate of Tagajo High School, Miyagi Prefecture) When it came to talking about lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Shiori spoke of her experience of waiting to be rescued on the top of a car. However, she could not speak about the fact that, after they were rescued, she left her grandmother, who she had evacuated with, and lost her. She spent two years regretting the incident every day. She spoke about that experience for the first time when sharing experiences of the disaster during BEYOND Tomorrow activities, and her friends, who had been through even greater pains, listened to her and took in her story. Shiori was able to shift her mindset to think that the disaster taught her about the importance of life and family, and now she is aiming to work in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, so that she can be involved in building infrastructure that is resilient in the face of disasters.

List of participants in Asia Summer Program 2015 – Nepal

Pramila Deuja Kundalini Nature Hospital Pramila is from Sindhupalchowk, where the earthquake caused severe damages. In the disaster, she lost her grandparents and house. She also witnessed further damages by landslides and river floods in the rainy season that followed the disaster. Pramila is currently working as a yoga instructor in a hospital in Kathmandu, supporting victims of the earthquake. By joining BEYOND Tomorrow Asia Summer Program, she hopes to use the knowledge and skills that will have been gained through the program to help suffering people and also prepare them for future risk of disasters.
Sharmila Hengwgu Kathmandu University Sharmila grew up in Bhaktapur, where the earthquake caused catastrophic damages in April 2015. Her house collapsing in the disaster, she was buried in the debris until she was rescued 6 hours after the earthquake. Later on, she learned that one of her sisters who was under the debris with her passed away. In BEYOND Tomorrow Asia Summer Program, she looks forward to meeting friends from Japan and the Philippines, and hearing how they coped with difficult experiences of the disaster. Sharmila studies fine arts and graphic communications at Kathmandu University and also enjoys dancing.
Nirmala(Niru) Lama Tripvuhan University Niru studied social work at Kantipur College of Business Management and Humanities Studies at Tripvuhan University and graduated in 2014. Because of the damage by the earthquake in April, she had to evacuate her home in Kathmandu and spent one week in a temporary tent. In the aftermath of the disaster, Niru actively engaged in volunteer activities with Red Cross as well as the Canadian army’s operation as an interpreter. She hopes to pursue further studies in social work in Australia from 2016.

List of participants in Asia Summer Program 2015 – Philippines

Francisco C. Banguis Jr. Asia Institute for Political Economy at University of Hong Kong (Bachelor in Communication Arts at University of the Philippines, Visayas-Tacloban College) During his last semester, Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated his campus. As the chairperson of the student council, he looked after the welfare of his fellow students and took on the responsibility of leading them. After graduating, he worked for an international NGO dedicated to helping children in disaster stricken areas. He also joined volunteer activities through organizations like BEYOND Tomorrow and the Japan Foundation, Manila–focusing on preventing future disaster risks in Asia. In the future, he plans to become a lawyer or politician to affect positive changes in his country. He wants to inspire young people and build a progressive, disaster-free community. Noel A. Garcia University of the Philippines, Visayas-Tacloban College (Bachelor’s in Computer Science) Noel dreamed of becoming a doctor someday to help those in distress, but when he grew up he took a different path and decided to pursue a degree in computer science. Nevertheless, his desire to help others has never faded. The onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda made him and his fellow countrymen suffer the scarcity of food and water for weeks. Having experienced this, he keeps his promise to himself that he shall firmly stand to face the challenges of life, and somehow help bring positive changes in his community and his country. Charles Vincent Manarang Asia Institute for Political Economy at University of Hong Kong (Bachelor in Psychology, 2012 at University of the Philippines, Visayas-Tacloban College) Viewed by others as a “go-getter” and a student leader, Charles is active in youth organizations, volunteering programs, and conferences. His experience in Haiyan tested his character as a person, braving sleepless nights without electricity and relying solely on rationed foods. Tacloban City was unrecognizable until various organizations helped in the recovery of the city. Through BEYOND Tomorrow, he wanted to help others by organizing activities and informing them about the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction. Prince Art Matol Medical Laboratory Science, Doña Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Medical Foundation When Prince was 17, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated part of his home. He saw countless families left without homes, children crying, and dead people everywhere. After going through such an experience, he never wants to see anyone suffer. Since he had always been interested in the medical sciences and other health related fields, in the future he wants to be an amazing doctor who will dedicate his time saving lives. Maria Christine Olbisano Medical Laboratory Science, Doña Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Medical Foundation Super Typhoon Yolanda gave Christine the biggest lesson of her life, teaching her to value family and to cherish every moment. She is studying Medical Laboratory Science, hoping to one day be a surgeon. She wants to work in a hospital and give patients the care they deserve. She also wants to conduct medical missions in different parts of the Philippines to help people in need and inspire them. Jessa Therese Rapirap Capitol University (Major in English, Bachelor in Secondary Education) Jessa currently works as a teacher and guidance counselor in Cagayan de Oro City. Her hometown was greatly affected in 2011 by Typhoon Sendong, causing catastrophic damage in Northern Mindanao. The tragic experience she encountered prompted her to be involved in disaster risk reduction management programs such as last year’s BEYOND Tomorrow Summer Program. She believes that in order to prevent people from being affected by natural disasters, it should be through educating them. As a teacher, she wants to educate young minds to be proactive when it comes to disaster.


The 9-day program was designed in such a way that students would not only work on action plans/presentations together but also achieve people-to-people diplomacy as future leaders of Asia by sharing their personal experiences and feelings. Through such activities as field work in Leyte, reflection in Cebu, and presentations in Manila, the students developed indispensable friendships and trust.


The students conducted field work in the island of Leyte, where the super typhoon Yolanda caused catastrophic damage in 2013, and learned what is needed for future disaster risks.
Interview with the office for disaster response of Leyte
DRR workshop with elementary school
Interview with the communities affected by the typhoon
Volunteer activities in temporary housing


After the field work in Leyte, the students reflected on their experience on a quiet beach in Cebu. They reflected on their disaster experience, what they learned in Leyte, and what they found newly through meeting with new friends. They were given opportunities to share their thoughts with other members and also look inside themselves.


The 9-day program was concluded with a closing plenary in Manila. The students developed presentations on what they learned in Leyte and Cebu and proposed what youths cold to for future disaster risks in Asia in front of a distinguished group of guests. In order to further develop the relationships built among the three countries and create a network of Asian youth for disaster risk reduction rather than just making this year’s program a one-off event, it is expected that the outcomes and human networks that came out of the program lead to further activities at BEYOND Tomorrow.
Participants from the three countries developed action plans in teams
Presentation in English at the closing plenary

Voice of the participants

The most striking thing of the program was that I learned that one is able to make a positive change in life with his/her own hands no matter how small it might be. I learned and achieved so much in the Philippines and am so grateful I was able to participate in the program. Shiori Fukuda Faculty of Engineering, Iwate University
I lost a family member in the earthquake and was living in despair, but BEYOND Tomorrow gave me a chance to go back to myself before the disaster and move forward. Sharmila Hengwgu Kathmandu University, Nepal


 Japan Foundation, Manila

BEYOND Tomorrow