A message from 11 March

Ai NamikiLSE

“Pure warmth of India” is one of the deepest impressions I have gotten since my first day in this country. On an over crowded local train headed to the city of Mumbai, at a Hindu temple I dropped by out of curiosity, in front of a small restaurant’s menu in local Marathi language... the hands given by a stranger to guide me further into the “World of Hinduism”. These moments were shared with people who had probably never expected to find a girl from Japan suddenly appear in their daily lives. Hospitality and friendship that outsiders from abroad often receive in their visits to India is definitely one of main reasons for letting them to return to the same place. Whenever “Pure warmth of India” touches me in daily life here, it recalls me the never-unforgettable day of my life. March 11th in 2011- when I was staying in an Indian village at the foot of the Himalaya, the world’s greatest earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. While I was on the way back to the guesthouse from a volunteer work at a local Hindu school, I witnessed a small restaurant’s outdated television screen was showing thousands of people’s sorrows and a great confusion of my hometown. Days passed since the grief filled moments, but sceneries captured by my moistened eyes in the small village gradually released my great anxiety for my home and people day by day. A queue of farmers, stand keepers and school children for their maximize contribution on the road and prayers by local monks for over 15,000 victims in the country over the sea lasted day after day. This experience highly motivated me to go on a long-lasted journey to seek for my mission in this world. With the past three years spent in different parts of the world, being called Mzung (Swahili), Straniera (Italian), Stranger (English), I have decided to be a social entrepreneur who supports to maximize the capacity of as many as individuals to achieve their goals. Today, I have come back to the “country of pure warmth” to assess the social impact of an entrepreneurship development programme with this phrase in mind: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” - Mahatma Gandhi