Refugee Empowerment International Blog

Building a future for refugees

Volunteers and Interns

If you are interested in joining our network of student volunteers and interns here at Refugees International Japan, please visit





Hello everyone, my name is James Lee. I am from Korea, and I have also lived in the States for a couple years. I will be a junior from this September, at Waseda University’s School of International Liberal Studies.

I have always deeply respected those who devote their lives working for a worthwhile ideal, with purpose. As such, I have always had an interest working for an NGO that serves to make positive changes in the world, and this opportunity to work with RIJ is like a dream come true.

I will be working as an intern with RIJ, and also as a volunteer with RIJ Students, doing whatever I can to help the organization. As of now, I have done research into various refugee-related topics, such as the definition of a ‘refugee’ and the problems with the current definition, the differences between a refugee and an asylum seeker, possible solutions for refugees, and others. I will also be helping Ayu, another student volunteer from Waseda with her “Journey to Hope” event as much as possible. I wish to help RIJ in any way I can, and make our society a better place, however small the effects may be.

こんにちは。早稲田大学の国際教養学部の3年生のジェームス・リと申します。韓国人で すが、アメリカで7年住みました。自分のためではなく、他人のことのために一生懸命力を入れているNGOで働く方々を尊敬していましたので、そういう方々 と一緒に働けるということは本当に夢のようです。RIJではインターンとして、RIJ-Studentsではボランティアとして全力を挙げたいと思ってい ます。どうぞよろしくお願いします。



I spent the first five years of my life in Japan, and then moved to America due to my father’s work. I returned to Japan two years ago to pursue my education at Waseda University. I became interested in NGOs and volunteering when I joined International Rotary in high school. Since then, I have worked on multiple human service projects that have targeted Africa, America, Mexico, and Japan. I am currently focusing my studies on culture and international relations with hopes of obtaining a job in human services in the future. My hobbies are traveling, dancing, and golfing.

始めまして、ドラム アリーシャ美帆です。私は日本生まれで、五年間富山で生活していましたが、父の仕事の件でアメリカに引越ししました。二年前帰国し、早稲田大学生として国際関係を学び始めました。私は高校生のときにロータリークラブに参加してから、NGOとボランティアに興味が沸きました。それから、アフリカ、アメリカ、メキシコ、日本などのサービスプロジェクトに活躍していました。将来はヒューマンサービスの仕事を希望しています。現在の趣味は旅行、ダンス、とゴルフです。


Hi, everyone. I am Iphie Nie, a Chinese student from the School of International Liberal Studies, Waseda University. I have been interested in international relations and volunteer jobs since high school, so RIJ is a great and precious opportunity for me to help refugees and improve their living standards in various ways. We just finished a presentation at Junten Junior and Senior High School, which aimed at increasing students’ knowledge  about refugees and raising their interests to help refugees. I was so glad to work with Kaiwen, Ayu, Kei and Teppei on this presentation and happy to see that so many students are concerned about refugees lives, which encourages me to spread RIJ work to society. I am looking forward  to  taking part  in more activities and programs that benefit refugees in the future.


Hello everyone! My name is Justin. I am a freshman at SILS, Waseda University. I am Korean but graduated senior school in Thailand. I lived in a city called Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is placed near to the boarder called ‘Golden Triangle’ which connects Thailand, Burma and Laos. Therefore, I had some experiences to meet and interact with some of the refugees came to Thailand. I actually had few resident maids in my house who are from Burma. They were illegal aliens, so I guess they were like Refugees.

Since I joined RIJ recently, I have not participated in lots of works yet. However, I did some volunteer works in senior school. I was leading the fundraising organization for local school students. I went to disable students’ school once in two weeks. I also taught English to local Thai students once in two weeks. So, I guess RIJ will be a great opportunity for me to continue my experience and make the experience useful.




Hello, my name is Mai. I am currently in my second year at
Sophia University. Although I am Japanese, I grew up in the States. I have always been interested in volunteering and dedicating my time for NGOs. As a university student, I feel very privileged for receiving valuable education. With this education and knowledge, I hope to help solve the many conflicts concerning refugees. Through RIJ, I look forward to learning more about refugees, and will do my best to make a significant impact in their lives.
こんにちは。舞です。現在上智大学の二年生です。高校卒業までずっとアメリカに住ん でいました。以前からボランティアやNGOに興味があり、今回RIJの活動に参加しようと思いました。学生として避難民やNGOのために何をできるのか、 RIJの皆さんと是非頑張りたいと思っています。


Hi everyone, my name is Sara. I came to Japan from Iran three years ago. I studied Japanese language for two years in YMCA Japanese Language school and have been studying in Waseda university, International Liberal art studies from this year as a freshman. I am very glad to have a chance to experience life in Japan, as it has been really life-changing for me. Every day is an opportunity to learning new things, and it the challenge makes my everyday new and exciting.

I will be working in RIJ group as a new member. I got to know RIJ through my Peace and Human Rights class, when students from RIJ came to our class to talked about what the kinds of hardships the refugees are facing everyday and also about much they need our helps. Since I am coming from a country that has many different groups

of ethnical and political refugees from around the world, I am hoping that I can be helpful to Refugees International Japan and learn about refugees in Japan through the experience. It would be my pleasure to be a person who can help people smile, especially refugees children, and open a door to the bright future, by any way I can.

皆様こんにちは、私はアリャファル サラと申します。三年間前イランから参りました。 YMCAという 学校で二年間ほど日本語を勉強しました。 現在は早稲田大学の国際教養という学部で 一年生として勉強をしています。以前にも二年間ほど日本語を勉強しました。私には日 本という立派な国で住む機会があってとても幸せだと思います。毎日少しずつ色々勉強 になって自分の夢に近づいていると思います。 私は今年からRIJのスタッフの皆様と一緒に頑張りたいと思います。RIJのスタッフさ んたちにこのチャンスをいただいてとても感謝です。出来るだけ少しでもRIJの皆様に 役に立つになればとても嬉しいです。どうぞ宜しくお願いいたします。




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