Naha NPO to build community center in Egypt with MEXT support

Naha NPO to build community center in Egypt with MEXT support

Guid (center), who is working with the Ichiman-nin Idobata Kaigi to build a community center in Egypt (From the “Global Community Centers” homepage)

July 9, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

In June, a plan by the NPO Ichiman-nin Idobata Kaigi, which runs the Hantagawa Community Center in Naha, Okinawa, to build community centers in Egypt was adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as a “project for promoting Japanese-style education overseas.”

With the ministry’s support, the NPO will open its first community center, which will serve as a model for others, in Cairo as early as January or February 2020.

The community center will be run jointly by the NPO and Mohamed Abd-el Meguid (known as Guid), who learned about the role of community centers at the Hantagawa Community Center.

Guid grew interested in education in various countries when he participated in the Cabinet Office’s international exchange project in 2004.

From 2011 to 2015, he lived with his wife Miyuki in her homeland of Okinawa, and after returning to Egypt he worked together with the Ichiman-nin Idobata Kaigi with the aim of opening community centers in Egypt.

Egypt experiences great inequality, and statistics show that literacy stands only around 20%.

Shinnosuke Minami, director of the Hantagawa Community Center and representative boardmember of the Ichiman-nin Idobata Kaigi, says, “There is a need for community centers as a place where anyone can go to learn.”

The group also plans to work on instilling a culture of mutual cooperation and supporting self-actualization by helping youth find work and the like.

“Japanese community centers also fail to support youth well. The community center we build in Egypt will also serve as a model for the kind of community centers that are needed in Japan,” says Minami.

The community center to be built in Cairo will be built near schools, and will aim to partner with the schools.

It will also partner with local universities to educate people who can support the community center.

MEXT will provide financial support for two years, during fiscal 2019 and 2020. After that, Guid will run the community center.

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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