Uchina Youth Increasing the Peace (U.Y.I.P.) Program
I need your help in supporting a youth program that I started. As many
of you already know, I have just begun a youth outreach program for
Okinawan Americans which has always been a dream of mine. We have been
very successful in Okinawa but right now I find that I need the contribution
of my friends and mentors. We are seeking funding from the Okinawan
government for this is a non-profit program put together by volunteering
students. For my friends and mentors unfamiliar with the details
of the program, following is the program information which will soon
be included in the program brochure. Thanks a million for all of your
support and time. I really do appreciate it.
moe_oki (at) hotmail.com
Youth Increasing the Peace Program (U.Y.I.P.) is a youth-outreach
program that bridges Okinawan youth in Okinawa and the United States.
U.Y.I.P. focuses on mentorship and education as alternative means away
from the violence often encountered by young people. In this process,
the program brings Okinawan youth together across international boundaries.
Furthermore, U.Y.I.P. creates a stage for students to build communication
regarding their experiences as Okinawans around the world. Henceforth.
the purpose of U.Y.I.P. is to educate, not discriminate; to unite, not
separate; to empower, not silence the youth.
U.Y.I.P. was first organized in 1997 with the idea to bridge Okinawan
descendants from around the United States. Given that many Okinawan
Americans grow up in a cross-fire of identities, much of the confusion
that results is often reinforced through experiences of discrimination.
However, it is often difficult to find a supportive network specifically
for Okinawan descendants. As a result, many resort to violence after
not being able to find a positive and secure channel to turn to. Recognizing
this societal pattern in our community, a small group of Okinawan American
students came together to build a supportive network. From these ideas
and motives, U.Y.I.P. developed its constructive, planning stage with
1999. It has spread across from the United States to grab the interest
of youth in Okinawa. Now, U.Y.I.P.'s Planning Committee encompasses
over thirty people bridging across Florida to Okinawa. In expanding
into many Okinawan communities around the world, U.Y.I.P. hopes next
to include the community of Latin America.
U.Y.I.P. will bring together youth from these communities in its first
pilot project, the Youth Forum of 2000. The Program will gather Okinawan
descendants from Okinawa, and the United States, for a conference on
July 14th and 15th in Okinawa. Students will be given the opportunity
to explore together how aspects such as history, culture, society, and
politics affect them in their communities. They will have a chance to
learn from each other about common identities while sharing and celebrating
their unique difference from their homelands. In this way, they will
become primary actors in bridging cultures and nations represented at
this Youth Forum through their exchange of knowledge and experiences.
Moreover, the Youth Forum 2000 serves to give the youth an opportunity
to empower themselves by integrating and learning from the many peoples
Beginning with this pilot project, U.Y.I.P. is a long-term program which
hopes to spread and grow to include Okinawan youth from a multicultural
spectrum of communities. Similar to the Youth Form of 2000, bi-annual
events will be held alternately in the United States and Okinawa. Young
people are the key organizers in these events and different groups of
students rotate in over time. Moreover, U.Y.I.P. works to build a long-term
mentorship structure based on education among Okinawan youth around
(U.Y.I.P. is a non-profit program organized by the hard, volunteer work
of Okinawan youth in Okinawa and the United States. U.Y.I.P. appreciates
any moral, active, or financial support.)