17 Mar 2021
27th February 2021
London Chair Message
“Soon morning will break on the far side of night”
Lyrics from Hana wa Saku (Flowers will Bloom)
This month marks 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the tsunami that struck the Tohoku region, claiming thousands of lives. Like many JETs on their placement at that time, I vividly remember the feelings of confusion, fear and sorrow that accompanied that tragedy.
Stronger still, however, are the memories of the resilience, kindness and courage shown by the citizens of Japan in rallying to help those in need. There were many JETs also who tried to find anyway they could to help their host nation; some by donating money, and others by travelling to the affected regions to aid with relief efforts there.
The coronavirus pandemic, though vastly different in nature, has allowed us to witness first-hand a similar national response in our own country. Though it has been incredibly hard on so many people, I hope that the generosity and care shown by thousands of volunteers – be it shopping for those who are shielding or volunteering to run vaccination centres – is something that we all will be able draw strength from as we continue upon our slow road to recovery in the coming months.
JETAA chapters across the country have, I believe, embodied a spirit of resilience and continue to try and keep alumni connected and engaged wherever possible. As the country begins to open up, and in-person events become possible, I would encourage all alumni to check in with their local chapter, as there may well be an event, talk or activity that will interest you. For those feeling keen to be involved before summer, there are a number of online events still taking place, and the JETAA UK national AGM in March is open to all members.
As London chair, I’d especially like to extend a welcome to all members from the south of England who are without a nearby chapter, and have historically been unable to attend events in the capital – we are looking to continue online events even when restrictions are lifted, so that those still unable to attend in-person events can participate in the alumni community.
As ever, I hope those reading this newsletter are safe and well, and I look forward to meeting you at events in the near future.
London Chapter Chair