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Interview: Japan and UAE

Kaori Minowa is the co-president of the BWB Club in Shonan-Shirayuri Gakuen High School in Japan, and Harry Haghani just started a BWB Club for the non-IB students at Towheed Iranian School in UAE. They recently had a discussion about what it is like to establish a BWB Club in their respective school and country.

Kaori: Why did you decide to take part in the BWB Club?

Harry: Back in 2020 my sister encouraged me to take part in the Buddies Without Borders Online Forum. I joined the forum and was eager to do my best and at the end of the forum, I was nominated for the BWB pioneer award which qualified me to launch a BWB Club. Since we didn’t have any other similar clubs in my school, it would be a new experience so I decided to give it a try.

Kaori: What is your hobby and dream?

Harry: During my free time, I like to read a book called the Persian Book of Kings which is a famous legend. I aspire to be an ethical hacker and I hope to study computer science in college. I want to help the world by ethical hacking so I can make the world of internet a safer place for everyone.

Kaori: What do you want your club to be like?

Harry: I want my club to conduct a climate action campaign so that I can raise awareness and take action to make our community more sustainable and to help deal with climate change.

Kaori: What challenges did you face building the BWB Club and how did you handle them?

Harry: It's been a month since I've been the club president. So until now, there has been no challenges, other than minor issues such as choosing my members. So I guess that's the only challenge I faced till now.

Kaori: How do you balance work and relaxation?

Harry: I make a to-do list and prioritize my work. By doing this, I'm able to finish all my homework and prepare for exams on the same day that I've been assigned so that I don't procrastinate. I think that's really helpful for maintaining a balance between relaxation and school.

Harry: How do you find balance in your life between managing a club, preparing for school exams, and wanting to relax?

Kaori: First of all, I try to tell myself that I won’t be able to do everything perfectly because I would get really anxious about the mistakes I’ve made in the past. I think I find a balance between relaxation and hard work by changing my environment. For example, when I want to rest, I move outside of my room or clean my desk so that I can get studies out of my mind. I also talk to my friends so that I can get my work done by getting motivated.

Harry: Did your club do any other events and projects other than your Local Action Project? Or did you mainly focus on your Local Action Project?

Kaori: We mainly focused on the Local Action Project because most of our members are really hesitant to participate in the (English-speaking) Global Chats and Online Forums, so we mainly focus on the Local Action Project.

Harry: Any tips on how to manage club members and how to motivate them?

Kaori: I feel like communication between the club members and president is really important since without it, the club members wouldn't know what the club president wants to accomplish or what the concerns are about. I believe communication is really important..

Harry: What are your plans for the future career-wise?

Kaori: Recently, I’ve changed my mind from psychology to computer science. During my experience in the BWB Club, I realized that I’m interested in well-being. However, I am not sure if psychology is an easy field to have a career in, so I changed my mind to computer science so I can create something to entertain people while making them feel safer.

Harry: What advice would you give to a new club president?

Kaori: Don't try to solve everything on your own. Try to share your thoughts and ideas with other members because if you try to work on your own, you might miss something and may burn out.

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