My name is Rika Maeda, and I am a second year student at Waseda University. I grew up in Japan and the Philippines, and am fluent in Tagalog, English and Japanese.
Since joining RIJ Students one year ago, I have participated in many events by RIJ. My most memorable experience has been an educational project at Junten High School; as an annual event, RIJ students visit Junten High School to talk and play games with the students as a means of raising awareness about refugee issues. Once at the end of a project, a student informed me that she had been touched, and promised to write her school paper on the topic. Knowing I had made a small difference in the girl’s life, felt good. That’s what it’s about. You give, you help, do something worthy of a cause and in turn feel good about yourself. It’s a plus-plus situation. This simple concept is what drives me to volunteer.