Connecting Hope for Peace
On August 6th, 1945, the city of HIROSHIMA was destroyed by a single atomic bomb. It has been 76 years since then. We had learned about the day in peace education class, films, books, etc., but it was far from our everyday lives. HIROSHIMA’s Atomic Bomb Dome is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It shows that people would never forget the tragedy of the atomic bombing.
In February 2020, COVID-19 pandemic. The school was closed. The planned project was canceled and we ended up living a restricted life. The HIROSHIMA Prefectural Board of Education reorganized WWL project and we planned to gather again. In September 2020, We, 25 students, gathered from 6 different high schools in HIROSHIMA despite the difficult situation under the COVID-19 pandemic. As high school students living in HIROSHIMA, we thought that it was important to think about peace with students of our age from all over the world and understand each other. We can overcome the barriers of distance and create a foundation for high school students to collaborate with people around the world through an online.
HIP HOPE Significance of Existence
HIP HOPE stands for HIROSHIMA International Peace for Hope. What we value is from HIROSHIMA to HIROSHIMA. We are working on the basis of sharing our hope for peace from HIROSHIMA to the world and getting voices from all over the world to HIROSHIMA. HIP HOPE has three goals. First, it is to become a bridge of peace that connects high school students around the world. Second, it is to talk about HIROSHIMA and collaborate with people around the world to create new values. Third, as high school students in the city of peace, HIROSHIMA, we aim to contribute to achieve International peace by sending our opinions on peace.
To achieve these three goals, we are pursuing two main projects. One is the HIP HOPE Conference, an International Conference for high school students. On July 28th, 2021, a Conference in English will take place online with high school students around the world to discuss about peace. We are planning an opening speech by the Governor of HIROSHIMA Prefecture and messages from UN and other organizations. The other project is hiphope.jp which is a website to think about peace with high school students from all over the world. We will open it prior to the HIP HOPE Conference. Now, we are preparing various contents with an online platform. It is our intention to create a network of all high school students and interact with each other.
The Future of HIP HOPE
We do not think that the activities of HIP HOPE will end with the international conference in July. After the July conference, COVID-19 may be settled down in about a year. At that time, we would like to present the results of HIP HOPE activities at UNESCO, and our goal is to have 100,000 accesses to the website at that time. And three years later, We would like to hold a workshop with our partner schools to discuss peace directly overseas, and we plan to have 1 million hits on our website. Furthermore, five years from now, we would like to have 2 million hits on our website in cooperation with companies and organizations working for peace. We will not only wish for this, but we will also consider and take action to enrich the contents, collaborate with other international organizations, and develop a public relations plan in our future activities.
Finally, ten years from now, we are planning to hold our own international conference abroad. Also, 90% of the 193 member countries of the United Nations will have access to our site. We hope to overcome COVID-19 and carry out a wide range of activities on social networking sites, which is one of the strengths of Generation Z. Our activities will go beyond HIROSHIMA and connect to Japan and the world. Why don’t you share your thoughts on peace at HIP HOPE?