On the 7th of August, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, member of Kenjin Tatsujin Council and Executive Secretary at Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) paid a visit to Ashinaga’s main office in Tokyo. Dr. Zerbo took part in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on the 6th of August and has been just been bestowed with a status of honorary citizen by the city of Hiroshima. In response to congratulations from President Tamai, Dr. Zerbo said, “I am very honored to receive the title of honorary citizenship from Hiroshima city. We have been supporting victims of the atomic bomb so that they could live a stable life in peace and it seems to me that our activity is closely tied to president Tamai’s support of young people. That’s because there is no future for the young generation without peace. I am well aware that Ashinaga has continued their activities for over 50 years and am truly honored to be a member of the Kenjin Tatsujin Council. From now on, too, I would like to participate in this movement, inspiring young people.”
After the meeting, Dr. Zerbo stopped by the first floor where the staff together with interns were working, and left a powerful message in front of around 20 interns from universities from all over the world: ”All of you are very lucky. The reason for that is because you are involved with this wonderful organization and you are able to work for the sake of a wonderful project. All of you are doing work that gives young people opportunities. By giving young people opportunities, they gain experience and grow into people who create the next generation. That’s why giving and receiving chances is a very important thing. I, myself, am also very honored to be involved with Ashinaga!”
To one of the interns named Sena, whose mother is Japanese and father is Ghanaian, Dr Zerbo said: “You are a truly symbolic existence for the present time’s globalization. From now on the world’s integration will proceed even further and the differentiation of “African” or “Asian” on the basis of race, nationality, ethnicity etc., will become something outdated. Which country one comes from won’t be a question anymore; there will be increased awareness that one is just human. There won’t be a place for discrimination or nationalism in there.”
The student, Sena, gleefully responded to Dr. Zerbo’s message: “I came from Africa for this internship and it’s truly an honor to meet a person like you. As an African, I feel very proud seeing an African person who is contributing to world peace and not only concerned about his own benefit; it inspires me to want to become that kind of leader too.” He also shared an even bigger aspiration concerning working for Ashinaga in the future.
We are very thankful for the visit by Dr. Zerbo, who came to Ashinaga’s Tokyo office in his spare time despite his busy schedule, before then going to the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Nagasaki. He left many wonderful messages and was a big inspiration to the entire staff.