Greetings from the RIJ office!

The beautiful view of Odaiba from the RIJ office

Greetings from the Refugees International Japan office!

Here’s a little update on RIJ from me, an intern at RIJ.

I have been interning at RIJ since September of 2011, and I have had the privilege of meeting and working with some great people, as well as in some very meaningful projects.

My first major project was ‘Cultural Dining at the Terrace’ held at Ebisu’s Westin Hotel, which ended a couple of weeks ago. It was a fundraising event where many different embassies came together to share their food and culture at Westin Hotel’s beautiful terrace restaurant, while giving the patrons an opportunity to see what RIJ was all about, and donate for a worthy cause.

The next big event we are currently working on is the RIJ Classrooms project with Junten Junior and Senior High School, where RIJ student volunteers and I will be heading over to the school to give a lecture about refugees, which we hope will be educational as well as entertaining for the students.

Next on our list is Journey to Hope – an event for which Ayu, another intern for RIJ, is doing a fantastic job in leading RIJ Students to brainstorm ideas, as well as recruit volunteers for the actual event, which will be held on November 19th and 20th. Journey to Hope will be held at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, and it’ll be a fun event, full of activities and performances, so please come see what RIJ is all about!

Last but not least, there is the Tree of Hope, which I will be chairing. I have been corresponding with various schools, as well as various music groups, to make it as fun and meaningful as possible. Possible guest performers include St. Mary’s International School Choir; St. Mary’s International School’s Jazz Band; Nishimachi International School’s Choir; Waseda University’s Glee Club, Street Corner Symphony; an a cappella group at Waseda; ICU’s Glee Club; and possibly more. This is all very exciting, and the cherry on top is that Her Royal Highness Princess Akishino, who has been a generous supporter of the event for a couple years, will attend. This event will take place on December 5th, at Tokyo station.

Also, I am recruiting volunteers to help me out for Tree of Hope. If interested, please shoot me an e-mail at! Thanks.

There is a lot that is going on in RIJ, and as an intern here, helping to make all these wonder plans a reality, I am extremely excited to be part of this wonderful organization.

Rock on, RIJ!

James Lee
Intern, RIJ



  1. It’s amazing to see how students are taking on more and more responsibility to help RIJ with its activities and mission!

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