International Internship Programme Okayama (IPOK) in Sri Lanka, 2013
AMDA has been conducting the International Internship Programme Okayama (IPOK) for the last 3 consecutive years in collaboration with Okayama University, Japan. The IPOK program was held first in Mongolia, and then the second year it was held in Indonesia. This year, three IPOK students were selected from Okayama University to visit Sri Lanka and Colombo University Students hosted IPOK students.
Since the opening ceremony was held at Okayama University on June 16th, the IPOK students worked hard to prepare materials in English for their activities in Sri Lanka, studied about the relationship and history between Sri Lanka and Japan, and organized the schedule during their stay in Sri Lanka with Colombo University students.
Three participating IPOK students departed to Sri Lanka from Okayama airport on August 21st and returned to Okayama on August 28th.
During their stay in Sri Lanka, IPOK students participated in many different activities with Colombo students such as Peace Building Program(*) hosted by AMDA and Religions for Peace; visiting different places of religious faith namely Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian faiths; interactive sports programs among students from different ethnic background. It was a new experience for IPOK students to interact with local junior high school students of different ethnicities and accustoms through cultural activities.
These experiences reaffirm them the importance of lasting peace among different ethnicities and religions in Sri Lanka.
Also, IPOK program included medical related activities such as health education on hand washing, brushing teeth, visiting the hospital and learning about health care system in Sri Lanka.
The students also visited Sarvodaya (local NPO in Sri Lanka) to learn about their activities and made a presentation of "Bridge between Sri Lanka and Japan". They conveyed their message that they would like to continue the good relationship with Sri Lanka based on the history to help each other when we are in need.
After completing activities in Sri Lanka, IPOK students expressed that they had hard time communicating in English, but, at the same time, they showed their positive attitude toward practicing and improving their English instead of giving up. Additionally, they aspire to continue the friendship of each other for the future even after finishing this program.
(* Peace Building Project is AMDA's unique program implemented to contribute toward peace process and to promote harmonious relationship among different ethnic communities through medical as well as health education and sports and cultural exchange program given equally to all parties.)