Messages from Graduates

Yoko Watanabe

2014_8I had majored in international cooperation when I was an undergraduate student and was already interested in community development. I had enrolled in the graduate school because I particularly wanted to deepen my understanding of health improvement through community participation.
One of the things that I discovered here is that being able to attend a variety of lectures that cross the boundaries of liberal arts and science has allowed me to obtain the knowledge and perspectives required for international health.
The second benefit was the long-term internship that lasted for eight months. I interned at a local hospital (community health program) in Nepal and conducted research on newborn care in rural areas of the country. Both the internship and research required me to obtain cooperation from local people and to solve issues on my own; this process became an important foundation for me in working in the field. In March, I began working as a resident for an NGO that operates in the Philippines. Having observed initiatives to support children living on the streets of Manila and the typhoon victims in Leyte, I recognize the importance of forming a network with local people and stakeholders and providing support with a vision towards the future. Moving forward, as I work on the assigned project (improve education, health, and livelihood of local people and the children of indigenous people), I will also try to expand the opportunities for people, as well as for myself, in the target areas.
(International Children’s Action Network, ICAN Philippines, Mindanao)