RIJ’s Latest Intern: Edmund

First blog


meWhen I was in Australia, I developed an interest in assisting refugees and asylum seekers. I had the pleasure of volunteering as an English Teacher and Activities Co-ordinator for a Non-Government Organisation in Australia which worked with both refugees and asylum seekers. I was able to listen to the stories of these people who fled war and turmoil in their home countries and faced countless hardships in their pursuit for safety. Upon moving to Japan I put this interest aside for a bit, partly because I was busy working and undertaking other things, but partly because I could not find an easy means to assist refugees from rural Japan. After 2 wonderful years in Miyagi I decided to make the move to Tokyo to recommence my pursuit to assist refugees.

オーストラリアに住んでいた時避難民や亡命希望者に対して支援することが興味がありました。あのとき、ある避難民や亡命希望者関係のNGOで英語を教えながら活動担当者により嬉しく経験してみました。そこで、治安に達するために多数の妨げをむりやりに向けてきた、苦難や戦争を逃げた、方の話を聞いてくれました。日本に来た後、避難民をてつだう余裕があんまりなかった(宮城県に住んでいた)ほかの趣味を追い掛けたし 仕事があったし 避難民に集中を抜きにして二年間生活してきました。結局東京に引っ越すことにして避難民を支援しようとしました!

Refugees are not as visible in Japan as they were in Australia, but it was refreshing to know that they are not totally ignored. There are organisations such as RIJ among others who are willing to help and so have the same interests as me. So I moved to Tokyo after RIJ agreed to take me on board as an Intern.


The most refreshing thing I heard when I started with RIJ late last month was that RIJ specially selects programs which build skills among refugee communities to ensure that they can rebuild their own lives in a dignified manner. We are dealing with people in need, many of which are hoping to learn a trade, or find the opportunity to recommence their careers.


During my time at RIJ I hope to assist with educating the Japanese community through our schools program and other events and I also hope to reach out further to the University community in Tokyo. I have also already started writing grants, something which will give me a whole new skill set. I look forward to undertaking other further tasks which I am unfamiliar with, which RIJ is more than happy to accommodate.


Edmund McGrath


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s