Quarterly Report from EWCA Alumni Chapters (January 2012)


HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I am pleased to report that despite the holiday hectic schedule, eighteen (18) chapters from our US and international chapters took the time to send in their quarterly reports. Mahalo.

The following chapter leaders submitted their quarterly reports:  1) Arizona (Tomi Johnston)*, 2) Brisbane (Iraphne Childs)*, 3)  Chennai (P. Subramaniyam), 4)  Faisalabad, Pakistan (Muhammad Ibrahim), 5)  Hanoi (Hoe Hoang), 6)  Korea (Jeong Taik Lee), 7) Lahore, Pakistan (Arfa Zehra), 8)  Mumbai (Sarosh Bana)*, 9) Myanmar (U Thein Lwin), 10) Nepal, Kathmandu ( Nirendra Maske), 11)  New York  (Anthony J. Pennings), 12) Northern CA (Barbara Bornet), 13) Okinawa (Fumio Teruya)*, 14) Philippines (Ramon Clarete), 15) Singapore (Alice Seng Seok Hoon), 16) Tokyo (Shigeo Tonoike), 17) Vientiane (Chanthavong Saignasith)*, 18) Washington D.C. (Mary Jo Furgal)

* Chapter report was received after submission of committee report to the Executive Board.  It is included in this revised report dated 2/1/12.

Arizona Chapter

The Arizona Chapter of the East-West Center Alumni Association is very proud to report that our Chapter alumni contributed $1150 to the Endowment Fund in response to our September appeal.

Contact the EWCA Arizona Chapter

Brisbane Chapter

International:  We continue to support two students in Nepal.  Lasha Manandhar, lives in Thimi with her extended family.  She receives a basic education at a school supported by NAFA, The Nepalese Australian Friendship Association.  Our other student, Suna Rai, is the daughter of a prisoner in Nepal who would not have any opportunities without foreign assistance. She wants to become a nurse and we intend to support her in her ambitions as long as she continues to study. We channel our support through NAFA as they can offer tax deductible receipts.  Jeremy Webb continues to run the Alumni Climate Change Network by sending out regular press and other reports on climate change developments.  Local:  Some of our members continue to work with Australian Red Cross in the aftermath of the devastating floods in Queensland in January 2010.  Chapter members are encouraged to make contributions to the Center individually.

Contact the EWCA Brisbane Chapter

Chennai Chapter

For this quarter, the chapter regularly held meetings among its senior officers to plan for new activities and review the status of current activities. A significant major event on November 9, 2011 was coordinated by the chapter with the collaboration of the global NGO “Hand in Hand” (a UK charity established in 2006 with the focus of mainstreaming gender issues, reducing poverty, and encouraging economic and social empowerment).  The NGO is active in India, Afghanistan, Southern Africa and Eastern Africa.  Among the distinguished guests & presenters were members of the media and academia, members of the Asso. of British Scholars, other NGO’s, EWC alumni and  Jennifer McIntyre, US Consul General, Chairperson Kalpana Sankar of Hand in Hand (EWC alumnus who was selected for a “Changing Faces Women’s Leadership Seminar at the EWC, HI), and P.M. Belliappa, Chennai chapter President.  The latter highlighted the EWC and reiterated the Chennai chapter’s Best Chapter award for 2006.

Contact the EWCA Chennai Chapter

Faisalabad Chapter

For the quarter, Faisalabad is proud to report on the accomplishment of 2 projects that the chapter initiated 2-3 years ago.  First, the project called “Community Tree Plantation” – where community parks and roadsides benefited from a variety of 300 flowering tree saplings (including Hawaii shower trees), fertilizers and pesticides that were donated by the Faisalabad chapter with the help of local community labor.   The trees are now 10-15 feet high, providing beauty and greenery to the thankful community.  Secondly, Faisalabad alumni two years ago, introduced vegetable home gardening to the local population and donated vegetable seeds and know how.  This project became very popular and currently, almost every other home grow their own vegetables.  Hawaiian papaya and passion fruit seedlings were provided by M. Ibrahim and the hermaphroditic nature of papayas account for their wide popularity,

Contact the EWCA Faisalabad Chapter

Hanoi Chapter

The Hanoi Chapter held a “Friendly Communication Dinner” on November 18, 2011.  The event was attended by significant chapter members ( Hoang Hoe, Tran duc Vien, and Le van Lanh) and important guests, including Puongpun Sananikone (EWC Chair, Board of Governors), Thanhlo Sananikone (VP, EWCAA Executive Board),  Charles Salmon (Ambassador and Pres., Friends of the EWC), Thavanh Swengsouk (EWC Arts Ohana) and Carlos & Joan Cabreza (60’s grantees).

Contact the EWCA Hanoi Chapter

Korea Chapter

We would like to extend our heartfelt “thank you” to the Korea chapter for their chapter donation of $3,000.  The generous wire transfer donation this month amounting to $870.32 towards student scholarship by Son, Jung-Sik is most helpful towards our goal of supporting EWC students worldwide.  APEC Study Assoc. of Korea, President Lee Jeong Taik, did note that Mr. Son on several occasions did not want his donation publicized and considered his kind donation but “a small act of behavior”.  Thank you Mr. Son and Mr. Lee for advancing the EWC’s student scholarship vision.

Contact the EWCA Korea Chapter

Lahore Chapter

Arfa Zehra reported on three important projects that her chapter is involved in.  First, the report noted the extensive and rigorous awareness campaign that the chapter took on in the latter half of 2011, against the Dengue fever epidemic which until now, has not been eradicated. Chapter members visited 40 affected communities and generously donated energy, time and financial assistance toward basic medical care and bringing serious patients to overflowing hospitals.  Second, Ms. Zehra, Chapter Leader, was selected as Ambassador to the Children’s Literary Festival participated in by many joyful children.  Finally, despite pressing demands within the Lahore communities, the chapter hopes to meet in February 2012 to plan EWC donation activities.  It is worth mentioning that the mode of action of chapter members are directly correlated to the de facto situation in their home front.

Contact the EWCA Lahore Chapter

Mumbai Chapter

For quite some time, our Mumbai Chapter had been intending to fund in our own small way some charitable non-government organization (NGO) that was doing the kind of work that we wished to support and encourage. After considering several such NGOs in our city of Mumbai, each of which was doubtlessly rendering remarkable service to society at large, we finally zeroed in on one called the Nana Palkar Smruti Samiti (NPSS). A couple of us from our Chapter visited the main facility of this NGO in the labour class area of central Mumbai. We were given a rather eye-opening tour of the 10-floor facility with detailed explanations and all our questions satisfactorily answered by NPSS manager Krishna Mahadik.This 10-storied building of the Nana Palkar Smruti Samiti, the NGO established in 1968, provides accommodation to 55 cancer-stricken patients and their care-givers in self-contained rooms. The charges are very nominal and often waived when the patient is really poor and is under treatment free of charge. So is the food from the clean canteen on the premises. The NGO provides ambulance services as well and several floors have various treatment facilities for dialysis, medical guidance, lithotripsy, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis counseling.  The most important activity is the accommodation to the cancer patients. There’s India’s main cancer hospital, Tata Memorial Hospital, in the vicinity, which is so overwhelmed by patients – children and old amongst them, many of whom come from far-off villages- that it is unable to accommodate them all. These poor people are thus compelled to make their home on the streets outside the hospital for the duration of their treatment as they cannot afford hotel rooms, howsoever cheap. In such pathetic environs, their condition actually deteriorates. This is where NPSS volunteers scour the streets and offer accommodation to some of the most miserable of them. Of course, even the 55 rooms (each of which accommodates 2 patients with 2 relatives each) are grossly inadequate. But they are something. So our Chapter raised some money from our own pockets and made a small donation to the NGO. We hope to do this again sometime in future. That apart, our Chapter meets regularly now every quarter, the last meeting having been on 1 December 2011. The next one will be on 1 March 2012.  A couple of us met officials of the World Trade Centre Mumbai to discuss how we could collaborate on an event together tentatively scheduled for March. (In May, when EWC celebrates its annual day, most people here are on holiday because of the long summer holidays that we have here). Our Chapter had also sent the required letters of appeal (regarding the US Congress’s threatened withdrawal of support to the EWC in Hawaii) to both the acting US Ambassador in New Delhi and our Ambassador in Washington, but no response or even acknowledgment from either!

Contact the EWCA Mumbai Chapter

Myanmar Chapter

1) On the Student Scholarship Fundraising effort, the chapter’s fundraising program was announced on October 9, 2011 at the Dolphin Restaurant in Yangon, Myanmar.  Via personal contact and phone calls among chapter members, the fund raising activity is kept alive. 2) Retired Professor U Kyaw Moe Tun and his wife Susan, of the University of Hawaii, were hosted at a chapter reception on Nov. 20, 2011. 3) Two days later, on Nov. 22, the chapter handed to the professor, 2 pieces of tapestry (3 ft x 2 ft.) for the purpose of EWC student fundraising in Honolulu.  4) The chapter continues its alumni network program to identify and coordinate with Myanmar alumni living in Myanmar and abroad.  Likewise, the practice of distributing scholarship pamphlets as well as helping students in their scholarship application to the EWC is ongoing.  5) Lastly, the chapter has submitted a proposal for nominating U Than Oo (formerly U Soe Min, who is now a Patron of the chapter) for the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Contact the EWCA Myanmar Chapter

Nepal Chapter

For this quarter, Nirendra Maske reported on 3 events that the chapter was involved in:  1)  On December 7, 2011, the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Educational Exchange Program in Nepal was celebrated by the Nepal Association of Humphrey Fellows with a dinner at the Summit Hotel.  Important speakers included: H.E. Scottr H. DeLisi ,USEF Director and  Larue Vasily, Fulbright Executive Director.  The Pres. & General Secretary of the EWC Association were also in attendance.  2) On December 8, 2011 Nirendra Maske along with the other dignitaries above, was invited as a guest to the FAAN’s (Fulbright Alumni Association of Nepal) 50th Fulbright Day.  Mr. Maske spoke about the East West Center’s objectives.  3)  On December 24, a potluck gathering of Hawaii alumni was held.  The purpose:  share experiences and interact with East West Center and University of Hawaii alumni.

Contact the EWCA Nepal Chapter

New York Chapter

Three noteworthy events were reported by the chapter for this quarter:  1)  On November 30, 2011, the chapter held a dinner with authors Krishnan Sharma, Arun Kashyap, and Manuel Montes.  Their book focused on the development potential of diasporas, United Nations University Press, 2011.  2)  On October 28, 2011, the chapter met with the APLP group at the UN where EWCANY co-chair Manuel Montes gave a presentation on the World Economic & Social Survey 2011.  3) APLP Junior Manon organized an event where ANY chapter members connected with the newest APLP members.

Contact the EWCA New York Chapter

Northern California Chapter

Barbara Bornet Stump reported that their chapter is excited about the EWCA Reunion in Beijing in 2012.  The NC chapter also sought volunteers for the APEC Pre-summit meeting held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco last September 11, 2011.  As Chapter leader, Barbara’s activities included the following:  1) Nominated, interviewed, recommended successfully Yale graduate Smarada Laurie for the EWC APLP Program this past fall.  2)  Nominated and recommended Stephen F. Bornet Jr. for the APLP 2 week seminar last October.  While not selected, Barbara currently mentors Stephen on a China reading list and hopes that he has a future with the EWC.  3)  Barbara provides input to the Asst. Director of the Asia Society, Robert Bullock, for possible speakers for his organization.

Contact the EWCA Northern California Chapter

Okinawa Chapter

EWCA Okinawa Chapter rang in the New Year with the refreshed board members who were entrusted at the chapter general meeting held on Dec.23 last year.  The new board members express a firm determination to rejuvenate its function by coaxing younger generation’s positive participation and involvement in its activity, thus, reinforce and promote the relations with EWC and EWCA. Though many senior members were replaced by the new staff, some senior members remain in the board to coordinate and link the young and old.   On last December 23, Okinawa chapter members congregated to toast in celebration of the publication of its 50th commemorative issue and pep up the newly entrusted board members. The East-West Center celebrated its 50th anniversary and the Obuchi Okinawa Education Research Program also observed its 10th anniversary in 2000.  In connection with these happy occasions, EWCA Okinawa Chapter published a special issue “Bridge of Rainbow-Linking East & West”  to felicitate the happy events and propagate great heritage and achievements of the East-West Center. The issue is filled with the valuable experiences of 66 grantees who went to Hawaii with youthful dream, hope and ambition, and devoted themselves to pursue their study and learn cultural differences and views. We distributed the prints free of charge to municipal libraries, high schools, colleges and universities. We also delivered the prints to the individuals concerned who have given helping hands to our chapter and companies who helped us to implement fund-raising campaign. It is hoped that the issue will help inspire the young generation planning to study abroad and promote concern and attention of business circle and the general public toward the mission of the East-West Center and EWCA.

Contact the EWCA Okinawa Chapter

Philippine Chapter

Special thanks to Alex Brillantes Jr., J.D., past President of the chapter, for helping to facilitate the submission of the quarterly report by Ramon Clarete, current President of the Philippine chapter. 1)  In 2011, the ff. officers were elected: President Ramon Clarete, VP Regina Ordonez, Secretary Pauline Bautista, Treasurer Senen Bacani, Members: Mary Grace Tirona, Cesar Hidalgo, Romy Dizon.  Member Representing the Visayas, Cres Gonzaga G& Member Representing Mindanao, Mac Muslim.  2)  A lecture by EWC alumnus Mr. Behn Cervantes, on the renowned Philippine film director, Lino Brocka (deceased), followed.  3)  Secretary Bautista  facilitated visiting Board Member Officer Ric Trimillos’ appointments and his participation at the International Music Conference in Manila  4)   The chapter is currently engaged in 2 activities:  A) Updating the list of its members. Ms. Gotangco Clarete led this activity and noted that a few members had passed away and she had contact difficulty due to the lack of forwarding addresses.  B)  Organize lectures/activities by visiting Filipino EWC alumni living abroad.  Dubbed “balik-turo” (coming home to teach), the chapter hopes to recapture the brain-drain syndrome and convert it to a brain-gain exercise.  5)  On April 2012, UH Philippine Studies Center invited Phil. House of Dance (owned by EWC alumnus, Mirella Clarere) to perform in Honolulu.  Lastly, from Sept. 27-29 2011, EWC alumnus Mary Tirona helped facilitate the Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora Conference which highlights the importance of engaging overseas Filipinos in sustainable development initiatives for the Philippines.

Contact the EWCA Philippine Chapter

Singapore Chapter

On the Student Scholarship Fundraising Project, the chapter hopes to meet in 2012 to discuss how they can support the fundraising event.  The chapter had one activity this quarter:  Chapter member Vivien Wong hosted a dinner for the 70’s-80’s grantees.  The group was delighted to have a younger grantee, Mai Chu, and Pres. Ric Trimillos of the Executive Board join the dinner.

Contact the EWCA Singapore Chapter

Tokyo Chapter

The chapter directors had an informal dinner meeting on December 6 to review the 2011 chapter activities and discuss the plans for 2012.  Attendees:  Yutaka Harada, Chie Hashimoto, Mitsuo Kato, Kazuko Tonoike, Junichi Umedal, Michiko Yamashita and chapter president, Shigeo Tonoike.

Contact the EWCA Tokyo Chapter

Vientiane Chapter

There is not much activity at Vientiane Chapter. The pending issue is still the legalization of Vientiane Chapter Association as I reported earlier. Concerning Student Scholarship fundraising effort, the US Ambassador to Laos H.E Ms. Karen B. Stewart, Public Affairs Officer of US Embassy in Laos,  Ms Pamella S. Devolder and Mr. Vilay Soulatha  a member of EWC Alumni ( US citizen ) working in Laos were invited for dinner:  (i) Chantavong requested their assistance if there was any possibility in providing a scholarship for a Lao student to study at EWC in Honolulu to have Lao student presence at the EWC, or seeking scholarships from other donors such as Ford Foundation, Fulbright Scholarship to send selected Lao to study at EWC. (ii) He requested the US Embassy to be the center of gathering of EWC Alumni on some important occasion prior to getting official legal status of Lao Chapter in Vientiane.  All of them promised to provide assistance to the requests.  Up to now, no progress has been made.

Contact the EWCA Vientiane Chapter

Washington, D.C. Chapter

Mary Jo Furgal continues her hospitality activity with the “Visiting Fellows” to the DC/EWC office.  In 2011, two visiting fellows came. One was an American from MD who commuted to her home daily.  The other, an Indian economist, who had lunch and Thanksgiving dinner with the Furgals.  By February, 2012, chapter member Mary Furgal and her husband, will travel to Sri Lanka.  Both were posted in Sri Lanka twice, in their work with the State Department. In 1980, local EWC alumni gathered following Mary Jo’s lead to celebrate the 20the anniversary of the EWC.  In 1990-1993, Mary Jo revived the local alumni chapter.  She will be meeting with local alumni on their visit this year and will report on their activities there.

Contact the EWCA Washington D.C. Chapter


an update on our informal lunch/dinner fundraising activities hosted by EWC alumni members in Honolulu.  While we are still waiting for the report on this activity by others who had or will shortly host the event, the Sybinsky family (Estrella & Peter, Open Grants and their daughter Andrea, APLP Fellow) held a dinner fundraising event at their home in Kailua.  Because of the short time frame of the invitation and the travel activities of EWC people during the holidays, attendance was not 100%.  However, generous contributions were at almost 100% for those who attended.  So, in that respect, it was a success.  More importantly, the social networking was very positive, definitely encouraging, and provided great fun.  Give it a try – you will enjoy the camaraderie of kindred others, you will definitely support the EWC Student Scholarship Fundraising goal, and you will help to improve the lives and futures of students worldwide.