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Perspectives: Japan and UAE Meet-up

Recently the BWB Club President Reina Iwata from Shonan Shirayuri (Japan) and Shirin Karimi from Towheed Iranian International School (UAE) met up to chat about their respective clubs:

Shirin: The differences in cultures and beliefs can be a barrier when it comes to international communication. In your opinion what is the best way to express your thoughts without offending people or getting into an unnecessary argument?

Reina: BWB members from around the world all have different customs and different beliefs - all are new to me so I feel that it is quite interesting to learn about them. I think that almost all people who joined the BWB Clubs are interested in learning about other cultures, and we are not hesitant to discuss our differences. Just by using words carefully, you can make your point without offending others. This way I can learn more about others, too.

Shirin: How do you motivate your club members to be active?

Reina: When you check the Global Chats attendance record (note: Global Chats are weekly online conversations among club members in English), you can see that there is not much participation from our club members. One of the reasons may be that Japanese students are really shy. But for the Local Action events and in school weekly meetings, they do participate. Our club members are are motivated to do something about the SDGs, but the English part is hard for them. I motivate my club members by providing them with a variety of opportunities to choose from.

Shirin: How effective do you think the Local Action Projects can be?

Reina: I believe that my club has done a lot. In reality, the purpose of BWB Clubs is to “think globally and act locally” so our projects don't have to be something huge. The effects on the local community is also important. Because of our activities (cleaning the beach, donating to the soup kitchen, among others) and discussions about them, our club has inspired our schoolmates to try new things related to the SDGs. I think that is the biggest effect of our projects.

Reina: How do you communicate about your club in school?

Shirin: I made a poster to explain what we do in the BWB Club. This poster is now on school walls and those interested can contact membership coordinators in our club from the email address.

Reina: What do you think about this BWB community?

Shirin: I am fascinated to see people from different backgrounds sharing and planning what they can do and what they are doing. Because everyone is eager to act, the Presidents' Briefings and the Global Chats have become a weekly booster for me. I am inspired by other people and they motivate me. I also like the way members welcome other people's opinions.

Reina: What do you want to change in the world and how?

Shirin: I think we have to find a way for us to become more sustainable. There is a lot of plastic in my community, UAE. Having a healthy life equals having a healthy world, but the Ozone Layer is still being damaged. I want to make this world sustainable, and part of it is by participating in BWB Club activities.

We welcome you to join our global community! The next opportunity for you to do so is here: July/August 2022 Online Forum: The Best ROI for Humankind: Women and the Economy

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