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Oleander Initiative Logo
Stephanie Villarello

We are excited to announce that one of our RUHS teachers, Stephanie Villarello has been selected to participate in the Oleander Initiative Program this year in Japan. Stephanie will be in Tokyo, Japan from July 31, 2019 - August 9, 2019. Below you will find more information about the Oleander Initiative Program.

Program Summary
Months after the atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, a small patch of red oleander flowers bloomed out of the irradiated rubble. Since then, red oleander has symbolized both the dangers of nuclear war and the hope of a more peaceful future. In a similar spirit, the Oleander Initiative leverages the "power of place" of the city of Hiroshima - the first city to be devastated by nuclear weapons.

The Oleander Initiative gathers educators from communities around the world to work together and transform the lessons of Hiroshima into relevant and impactful peace education activities for their students. The Oleander Initiative generates deep awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and equip participants with intellectual tools for conflict resolution and mutual understanding.

Program Description
From July 31 - August 9, 2019 (program dates may shift 1-2 days), up to 20 educators from the Middle East, North Africa, Korea, Japan, and the United States will gather together during the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, today a vibrant metropolis known as the City of Peace. During the program, Oleander educators develop lesson plans for their students back home informed by interactions with atomic bomb survivor, schoolteachers from the city of Hiroshima, and from experts on the humanitarian impact of the nuclear war. These lessons plans - fine-tuned and co-developed with the Oleander staff and fellow participants during the program - have a concrete and tangible impact on their students and communities. They raise consciousness about the catastrophic global impacts of nuclear war and inspire our next generation to work locally to promote peaceful societies.

Program Activities

  • Instruction from top academics in the fields of peace education and nuclear weapons issues
  • Testimonials from hibakusha atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • August 6th atomic bombing memorial ceremony hosted by the city of Hiroshima
  • Educational collaborations with teachers and students from Hiroshima
  • Attendance at the World Conference against A & H bombs, the oldest and largest of its type
  • Personalized guidance to assist development of educational activities best suited for Oleander educators' local contexts
  • visits to Miyajima and Hiroshima Castle
  • Cultural Activities including Kagura performance, tea ceremony, and calligraphy
  • Orientation activities in Tokyo