February 16, 2015
JICA invited Mr. Kiba, a well-known Japanese ex-football professional to participate in the Participatory Disaster Mitigation Educational program. As a part of this program, Mr. Kiba also conducted football clinics for young players. He arrived in Sri Lanka on 22nd January and engaged in these activities for a period of one week. Mr. Kiba, who is now 40, participated in Japan's top league (J1) for a period of 12 years. After his retirement, he has shifted his stage into Thai Premier League and played there for 2 years.
The participatory disaster prevention event was designed to teach students various aspects of disaster prevention, mitigation and emergency response in a fun way. The aim of the football clinics was not only to equip students with football skills, but also teach them good manners, which can be applied to the daily life. The football clinics were conducted in Matara (in the Southern Province), Colombo (in the Western Province), and Kurunegara (in the North-Western Province). Matara experienced the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, while Kurunegala is a region affected by frequent flooding. Mr. Kiba taught football skills to 12-15 year old girls and boys.
During his stay in Sri Lanka, Mr. Kiba visited several places including the J R Jayawardena Cultural Center. J R Jayawardena is a former president of Sri Lanka, who in his famous speech at the 1951 San Francisco Peace treaty spoke in favor of Japan, and quoted Buddha's words "hatred is not ceased by hatred, but by love".Mr. Kiba also visited a couple of JICA Technical Cooperation Projects which included the "Technical Cooperation on Landslide Mitigation Project" and "Project for Improving of Meteorological Observation, Weather Forecasting and Dissemination". During his visit to these projects, Mr. Kiba exchanged views with relevant JICA experts.
Mr. Kiba participated in the disaster prevention education events at Modara Ananda College in Colombo on 23rd January, and Shariputra Vidyalaya in Ahangama on 24th January. At these events, Mr. Kiba shared his experience of the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake to 200 eleven year old children. Shariputra Vidyalaya is a school that experienced the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. Not only children, but also teachers, government officers and invitees who were present listened to Mr. Kiba's story with great interest. Mr. Kiba also took part in participatory events on Tsunami prevention and land slide prevention, conducted by JICA volunteers.
Though this is his first visit to Sri Lanka, Mr. Kiba started considering ways in which he could further contribute through such kind of events in the future.
Apart from the Indian Ocean Tsunami that affected the country 10 years ago, Sri Lanka has frequently suffered from natural disasters such as floods and landslides. The JICA Sri Lanka Office implements several projects in support of disaster mitigation and prevention.
Mr. Kiba is sharing his experience on Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.
Kids experienced speed of Tsunami through participatory disaster mitigation event.
Kids understood more about Tsunami through quiz game.
Land slide team explained mechanism of the natural disaster in easier way for kids.
Kids learnt how to carry injured person through participatory event by the land slide team.
Group photo of disaster prevention and mitigation event (Colombo)
Mr. Kiba gives instruction to Kids in football clinic.
Group photo of football clinic (Kurunegala)