SI MONTHLY NEWS May 2006 Countries Botswana Japan
From SI Exco News
Servas Lunch in Botswana
A small group of Servas members who had not been able to attend the first national meeting in Serowe in February 2005 or the previous half-day gatherings in Tlokweng (just east of the capital Gaborone) met on Saturday 29th of April at the home of Sheldon and Gudrun Weeks. A number of regrets were received, including from a new family that wished to consider joining Servas. It was therefore a small meeting of only eight people, but refreshing because six of those who came had been unable to attend three previous meetings in 2004 and 2005. One, a day host in Molepolole 50 km west of Gaborone, made arrangements with the others that when Servas travellers are next visiting them that she be included so that they could come and meet with her and see some of the sites in her area, the gateway to the Kgalagadi (Kalahari Desert). The main concern was the dearth of travellers visiting Botswana, and the wish that more Servas people would include Botswana in their itinerary. The issue of whether Servas in Botswana could do anything as a group about peace was also discussed. It was noted that members do things outside Servas to promote peace through their church, medical, or other work, such as helping the only women’s shelter for abused women and children, and that to act as Servas presents complications. A pleasant afternoon was had by all, including food and drinks.
Sheldon Weeks, Botswana
Meetings in Japan
Appeal for a total ban of every nuclear weapon
The 28th national meeting of Servas Japan was held in Niigata on March 18 and 19, 2006. This appeal was adopted by all the members present. It was decided that this appeal be sent not only to the EXCO but also to all the members of Servas International.
Sixty-one years have passed since the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The 6,000 heat instantly killed over 200,000 people, burning and destroying both cites to ashes. Furthermore, a lot of innocent people were exposed to radioactivity and lost their lives through leukemia and other aftereffects. Even after sixty-one years hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from its aftereffects. For them the war has never come to an end.
We, Servas Japan, appeal to all the members of the world to remember this fact. We also would like you to understand that the existence of nuclear weapons is nothing but the greatest threat to our survival as human beings on earth.
We believe that all of us possess the right to live in peace without fear of being drawn into any nuclear war. Then isn’t it our earnest wish to have all the nuclear weapons abolished completely?
As the only National Group that has been bombed by nuclear weapons, we make this appeal to all the members of Servas International to actively participate in various kinds of peacemaking movements aimed at prohibiting and abolishing all nuclear weapons from the earth.
28th National Conference of Servas Japan
Servas Japan held its 28th national conference in March on 18 and 19, attended by nearly 30 members from seven regions including several executive members. This is our first contribution to the SI Newsletter. We hope you will get some idea of our recent activities.
It was held in Niigata City in the northeastern area of our country. It started at 1 p.m. at a small room of the local welfare center building. Following a welcome speech by Mr. Shohei Takahashi, regional secretary, Mr. Masahiro Nishiyama, NS, Servas Japan, made a speech in which he told not only about domestic problems like the decreasing number of hosts and the change of some regional secretaries but also told about international topics like a sudden increase of hosts in Korea and the EGA to be held in Latina, Italy.
Then we listened to a report by Ms. Ikuko Uchida, the treasurer, who told about the tight financial conditions of head office, appealing for urgent help. Mr. Tomio Yamaguchi, Peace Secretary, made a peace appeal to us. It was adopted unanimously and was decided that it should be sent to Peace Secretary of SI. Mr. Motonobu Takeyama, HLC, also made his report, in which he said that thanks to a humble printing firm we can continue to print our host list.
We saw every regional secretary make his/her report of their annual activities. As a result we could see there is a total number of 309 members in Japan. 37 members resigned but 26 people joined us last year. 55 people went abroad and about 300 travelers visited and stayed with our host members. Most of the regions hold a meeting regularly and issue a newsletter to be delivered to its local members. The Kyushu region held meetings in different prefectures, resulting in an increase of new members.
After these preliminary sessions we had a discussion of several problems. As to the plight of the head office finances, two regions offered to contribute \400,000. We agreed we should update our homepages so everyone can get a clear idea how each region is acting. It was motioned that Servas Japan should have several IT experts. Fortunately enough, we could appoint 4 capable members on the spot! The 28th national conference ended in a peaceful atmosphere as the EGA!