January 28, 2016, St. Louis, USA – Tuesday, JCI members joined nearly 200 individuals present from over 11 countries in Tokyo, Japan to discuss the stigma and discrimination facing those affected by leprosy.
The Nippon Foundation began its annual delivery of a Global Appeal in 2006 and this year marks the 11th appeal in the journey to end the injustice those affected by leprosy face. Through collaborating, The Nippon Foundation and JCI released this years appeal together with a more narrowed focus on the role of youth in helping to end the harsh opinions surrounding leprosy.
The Global Appeal Launch Ceremony began with opening remarks from The Nippon Foundation Chairman and World Health Organization Ambassador Mr. Yohei Sasakawa as well as words from 2016 JCI President Paschal Dike.
“We are hopeful through the experience of this collaboration with the Nippon Foundation we can continue in years ahead to build a strong partnership for global development,” said Dike.
Also in attendance was our 2016 National President, Olatunji Oyeyemi, as well as the 2016 JCI National Presidents from JCI Brazil, JCI India,and JCI Indonesia all whose countries and populations are still actively affected by the disease. The JCI National Presidents took part in the appeal to gain a better understanding of leprosy and how their Local Organizations and members can take action for change.
Many notable guest speakers from around the world were present including Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Prime Minister Abe spoke to the audience about the importance of work supporting this cause, as well as thanking JCI for their collaboration.
During the final portion of the Global Appeal Launch Ceremony, panel sessions were held focusing on “Health and Human Rights” and “Views of Younger Generations.” JCI Secretary General Arrey Obenson facilitated the second panel discussion, where panelists discussed the importance of preserving the history of leprosy as a learning tool for awareness of the disease and how younger generations can get involved. Also examined, was how JCI members can utilize the JCI Active Citizen Framework to unite all sectors of society to take action in their communities around the globe.
JCI’s attendance at the ceremony further ensured their commitment to use their international reach and network to condemn and fight against the discriminations of those with leprosy, as well as to support activities to ensure that future generations are properly educated and that all individuals have the opportunity to receive the human dignity all individuals deserve.
You can view the 2016 Global Appeal document online.