Quarterly Report from EWCA Alumni Chapters (April 2012)




I am happy to inform the Executive Board that nineteen chapters responded to the call for Chapter Quarterly Reports for our April, 2012 meeting.  Though some chapters have not had much to report for this quarter, we continue to thank you for your response.

The following chapters submitted their quarterly report:  1) Bangladesh Chapter (Abu A.M. Ekramul Ahsan)  2)  Beijing Chapter (Pan Zhongming)  3)  Brisbane Chapter (Iraphne Childs)  4)  Chicago Chapter  (Pam Drymiller)  5)  Faisalabad Chapter (Muhammad Ibrahim)  6)  Hanoi Chapter (Hoang Hoe)
7) Hawaii Chapter (Carl Hefner)  8)  Indonesia (Jakarta) Chapter (Nasti M. Reksodiputro)  9)  Islamabad Chapter (Arjumand Faisel)  10) Karachi Chapter (Aamir Latif)  11)  Korea Chapter (Jeong Taik Lee)  12) Lahore Chapter (Arfa Zehra)  13) Laos Chapter (Chanthavong Saignasith)  14)  Mumbai Chapter (Sarosh  Bana)   15)  Nepal Chapter  (Nirendra Maske)  16) Northern CA Chapter (Barbara Bonnet Stumph)  17)  Okinawa Chapter (Keiko Yamazato)  18)  Singapore Chapter (Alice Seng Seok Hoon) 19) Sri Lanka Chapter (W.A. Siriwardena)  20)  Tokyo Chapter (Shigeo Tonoike)  and  21)  Washington D.C. Chapter  (Mary Jo Furgal).

Bangladesh Chapter

We are delighted that after a fairly lengthy inactive hiatus, the Bangladesh Chapter began 2012 with regular monthly meetings that resulted in the following focus of activities:  1) A number of the Bangladesh Chapter alumni are interested in participating at the EWC/EWCA 2012 International Conference in Beijing.  After an unsuccessful initial attempt by the chapter to arrange early registration and booking accommodations, members are currently expected to secure their own individual arrangements.  The Chapter leader is expected to participate in the Chapter Leaders Workshop prior to the Conference.  2)  To support the poorer communities, the Chapter leader initiated a number of small scale projects which included the following:  Distribution of productive assets like a battery operated motorized tricycle to a family in the rural area outskirt of Dhaka city. Result:  The family is now out of the poverty level.  Another poor family in the remote coastal area of Hatiya, sub-district of Noakhali received a financial scholarship grant for the education of one of their bright children.  3)  Focusing on collaboration, the Chapter has submitted a support proposal and is negotiating with local NGO’s for the purpose of creating joint partnerships.  The chapter hopes to aid vulnerable and asset less women headed households who are below the poverty line (with incomes of less than a dollar a day).  The chapter hopes to provide the following:  motivation training, skill development training, providing productive small scale livestock rearing and small scale handicraft village retail shops.  4)  The chapter is exploring the organizing of an alumni conference that would lead to the election of a new chapter committee. This latter goal is based upon funding and the chapter hopes that the EWCA will provide some donation towards the organization of the planned event.  They expect to invite EWCA representatives from Honolulu and the new US Ambassador to Bangladesh.

Contact the EWCA Bangladesh Chapter


Beijing Chapter

We are pleased to receive the first report of the Beijing chapter to our Executive Board meeting.  Welcome aboard.  The September 2012 EWC/EWCA Conference in Beijing is currently the first priority of the Chapter.  In March, the membership got together to delineate what the Beijing chapter could do in preparation for the Conference.  Efforts are now underway for members to seek sponsors for the event.  Likewise, at the Conference, the Beijing chapter will provide hospitality service and help arrange for Chinese media coverage. To support the conference, the members hope to raise some funds toward this purpose via coffee break or lunch during the conference.  Mahalo Beijing chapter.

Contact the EWCA Beijing Chapter


Brisbane Chapter

The Brisbane Chapter is expecting to meet in May for the East West Center day and do not have much to report for this quarter.  Due to a combination of  the active leadership being away for the month of April (Iraphne Childs & Karen Nunan) and the short window available to elaborate on a written report, we thank  the Brisbane chapter for their efficient response.

Contact the EWCA Brisbane Chapter


Chicago Chapter

There are two items to report from our Chicago Chapter.  First, the Chapter  leader is planning to attend the Beijing Conference and the Chapter Leaders Workshop.  She is hoping that at the workshop, she will learn about engaging ways to bring Chicago EWC alumnus together.  Second, the Chapter leader talked to EWC alumnus Tsue and Jerry Osterman and hopefully, a meeting will be set in the immediate future.  Information about the Beijing Conference and a call for a chapter meeting in May, 2012 has been sent to the members. Thanks Pam, we are hoping for a positive response for your planned May meeting.

Contact the EWCA Chicago Chapter


Faisalabad Chapter

The Faisalabad chapter is pleased to report the continuity of their community projects.  The trees planted under the EWCA Tree Project are overseen and taken cared of. The Chapter project relating to the Community Home Vegetable Gardening project is ongoing and the Chapter has distributed free vegetable seedlings as incentives for home vegetable growing.  Seven papers were presented at a Saline Agriculture Seminar where the Chapter was an active participant.  From March 12-13, the Chapter leader participated in a seminar sponsored by the Soil Science Society of Pakistan.

Contact the EWCA Faisalabad Chapter


Hanoi Chapter

There are no special activities for the Hanoi chapter for this quarter.  A call for alumni members to attend the 2012 Beijing Conference has been strongly encouraged.

Contact the EWCA Hanoi Chapter


Hawaii Chapter

Continues to hold regular monthly meetings.  Three activities are reported for this quarter:

First, on April 29, the annual Fundraising Dinner will again be held at the Pacific Club in Honolulu.  Past events have raised sufficient funds providing for 4-5 EWC student scholars to travel.  Likewise, the event will honor EWC Alumnus, Kem Lowry, as the Hawaii Chapter’s Outstanding Service Award recipient.  Four new board members will be inducted at this event.  Secondly, on August 18, 2012, the Hawaii Chapter will host 175 incoming students and alumni at the annual picnic at Kapiolani Park.  The event will promote networking with future EWC alumni.  Lastly, Pro-Link, the Professional Linkage Program continues to provide student participants a chance to shadow relevant EWC alumni and orient them to the latter’s work culture and environment.

Contact the EWCA Hawaii Chapter


Indonesia (Jakarta) Chapter

There are no special activities to report from our chapter in Indonesia.  The Chapter leader reported that the Board members have had very busy schedules in the past half year.  He is hoping to forward more information in the near future.

Contact the EWCA Indonesia (Jakarta) Chapter


Islamabad Chapter

One significant activity by the Islamabad Chapter was so noteworthy that the leading English newspaper in Islamabad, The News International, published on April 17th, a lengthy column about the chapter and the students who participated (other newspapers also covered the event). The article titled:  “Village School Kids Spread Message of Tolerance,” informed the readers about the Islamabad Chapter’s invitation to view the inaugural art show “66 Statements” at Gallery Six, to students of the House of Light. The school was established in 2006 by a dedicated group of people working with Horizon International Trust, for students who come from very underprivileged communities. Approximately 150 students up to class five at the school, study free of charge. Anyhow, the students displayed remarkable aptitude and appreciation for the art display, recited poetry and national songs and performed a dance.  The Chapter presented the students with gift boxes containing assorted items.  The school’s vision, spell binding the entire audience, was delivered by a very confident student who shared the objectives of the school to those present:  “For our school, the secret of success of a nation lies in social harmony and the secret of social harmony lies in tolerance. The challenge for us is to establish a Pakistan society that is tolerant, just and ethical – where Pakistanis of all colors and creeds are free to practice their customs and religious beliefs and yet feel they belong to one nation that believes in democracy and in scientific and social progress, a nation where the welfare of the people is paramount.”

Contact the EWCA Islamabad Chapter


Karachi Chapter

A general meeting of the alumni to reactivate the chapter was held. The meeting held at the Karachi Press Club on March 24, 2012, unanimously elected Kamal Siddiqi, editor of Express Tribune as President and Aamir Latif, Karachi Bureau Chief of Online International News Network as secretary for the next session. Hassan Nawab, deputy managing director of a Sui Southern Gas Company Limited, and Saima Huma were elected as Vice President and Treasurer respectively. Azis Hussain and Afshan Subohi were elected as members of the governing board.

The Karachi Chapter hosted a dinner for a delegation of six US journalists who visited Karachi from March 30 to April 3, 2012 under Pak-US journalists Exchange Program, at Port Grand Karachi. Shabbir Cheema and Ann Hartman from EWC also accompanied the visiting journalists. The dinner was attended by alumni members and young journalists, besides visiting journalists.

Contact the EWCA Karachi Chapter


Korea Chapter

Is proud to report the following activities: On April 10, a luncheon meeting at Café Bellini, Seoul Arts Center, was hosted by EWC alumnus Dr. Jang Sil Kim who is a representative of the National Assembly and former President of Seoul’s Art Center.  The luncheon was held for Dr. Nancy Lewis, Research Program Director.  The latter was in Korea to address the 2012 Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health (the EWC serves as Secretariat, Environmental Geochemistry and Health Gwangju 2012 Conference).  Dr. Lewis also met later with the Korea Chapter and the Korea Academy of Sciences and informed the members of the upcoming EWC Media Conference in Seoul and the Beijing Conference.  The following were the attendees:  Korea Chapter Leader Jeong Taik Lee,  Emeritus Professor Wang, Yen Gyun & Wi Sup Song, Professors Shim, Jung Soon, and Young Soo Oh and Senior Fellow Jung Hee Nahm.

Contact the EWCA Korea Chapter


Lahore Chapter

Several significant activities are reported by our Lahore Chapter for this quarter. The outreach activity of the group is ongoing:  the group’s community awareness program regarding the Dengue Fever which continues to affect the community and the group’s fund raising activity, the proceeds donated to a village school for girls. Three chapter members (including the Chapter leader) were actively involved in two musical evenings held with a visiting Indian singer.  The Lahore Chapter engaged in social activities with a dinner invitation extended by the chapter to EWC alumni from Karachi, as well as meeting with Fulbright student awardees who were scheduled to visit US universities.

Contact the EWCA Lahore Chapter


Laos Chapter

The Chapter Leader continues to encourage support for the EWCA Alumni Endowment Fund without much success.  Chanthavong is hoping to ask the US Embassy for their feedback on potential donors that may be interested in supporting the Scholarship fund.

Contact the EWCA Laos Chapter


Mumbai Chapter

The Mumbai Chapter is now meeting regularly every quarter.  The chapter members have intended to fund in some small way a charitable NGO whose activities and purposes were conducive to the interest of the chapter.  The chapter raised money from their own pockets to the NGO that best exemplified the members’ interests and they hope to continue their contributions in the future.  Their choice:  the Nana Palkar Smruti Samiti (NPSS) NGO, provides accommodation to cancer stricken patients and their care-givers in self-contained rooms. Further, the NGO  has treatment facilities for dialysis, medical guidance, lithotripsy, HIV/AIDS,  and tuberculosis counseling.  Charges are nominal and often waived for really poor patients.  NPSS volunteers scour the streets and provide relief for poor cancer patients and their relatives who end up sleeping on the streets while receiving treatment at India’s cancer hospital, the patient overwhelmed, Tata Memorial Hospital.

Contact the EWCA Mumbai Chapter


Nepal Chapter

The Chapter is planning to celebrate the EWC day in May.  We thank the chapter leader Nirendra Maske who met with Nepal’s Minister of Education and requested that the government donate $5,000 US dollars to the East West Center (reminding the Minister that the government’s last and only donation was a few decades ago).  He received a very positive response and encouraged the Chapter to apply for the donation and he would facilitate it with the ministerial Cabinet.  The Chapter will follow up on the application.

Contact the EWCA Nepal Chapter


Northern California Chapter

The Northern CA Chapter Leader has reported on several activities relating to the EWC.  Among them:  1) An invitation sent to all chapter members about the 2012 Beijing Conference.  She is working on getting a Chinese brush painting artist to do a demonstration for alumni at a break out seesion.  2)  To make the world community aware of the EWC, the chapter leader has authored 3 articles on the EWCA Silk Road Trip published in the Beijing Review and the Xiam Museum of Anthropology and  shared with the Chinese editors the EWC’s role in creating a peaceful and prosperous Asia Pacific Region.  3) Reported that her nominee for the APLP program at the completion of her Fellowship, declared her experience at the EWC to be “life altering.”  4)  The Chapter leader has submitted an Abstract for a presentation at the Beijing Conference.  Finally, On March 20, 2012, she sent out 200 member invitation to her CBP group online encouraging them to attend the EWCA reunion.

Contact the EWCA Northern California Chapter


Okinawa Chapter

The Okinawa Chapter reported that the new board members of the Okinawa Chapter will hold its first meeting on April 22 and plans to start a fundraising campaign for EWCA Okinawa Alumni Scholarship Foundation. The Okinawa Chapter already published a book of EWC alumni essays titled “Bridge of Rainbow-Linking East & West. A copy was sent to EWC.

Contact the EWCA Okinawa Chapter


Singapore Chapter

The Singapore Chapter reported that two activities took place in the first quarter of 2012 (Jan-March):

Feb 14-19 – Twenty participants selected from Burma, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand were in Singapore for a two day alumni workshop organized by East West Center SUSI (Study of the US Institute for Student Leaders on Global Environment Issues). The organizer Christina Monroe EWC alumnus and Education Project Specialist invited Singapore EWC chapter alumni to join their students program (Gallery of Solutions) on Friday 17 at the Jurong East Library.

Mar 15 – Artist/Scholar Tim M. Hoffman (EWC 1989-91) a four decade Asia resident American specialist in India-Japan music gave a lecture demonstration workshop at the NUS (National University of Singapore) as part of the annual NUS Arts Festival.  EWC alumni in Singapore were invited to Tim’s lecture recital at the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Association on Friday 15 March.

On an official visit to Singapore Donna Roginski, Inspector General’s office, State Department had two wonderful dinner meetings with Lizen Chen, who lived at Hale Kuahine as a Fulbright grantee, and her husband former Singaporean ambassador to Austria CJ Chen.

Contact the EWCA Singapore Chapter


Sri Lanka Chapter

The Sri Lanka Chapter reported 3 activities for the quarter. 1) The most interesting activity for members was the visit of EWC alumnus, Mary Jo Furgal, from the Washington D.C. Chapter. Mary Jo’s get together with the members was especially heartening for her, as she started the Sri Lanka chapter back when she was a Foreign Service Officer in the country in 1990-1993. Mary Jo continues to provide hospitality to visiting scholars to Washington DC. The Chapter held a reception for her on February 14th at the new US Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission.  Chapter members were treated to souvenirs from the D.C. and Honolulu offices and the Chapter is thankful to Tissa Jayatilika, Fulbright Commission Director, who allowed the Chapter members to use the reception area after hours.  2)  The Chapter was invited to participate in a research project conducted by the EWC and the Pacific Forum CSIS.  The purpose:  to better understand the role of social networking in helping to shape attitudes toward international events.  The message from the EWC led to participants applying for the research project.  3)  Information on the Beijing conference was distributed to the members.  The chapter is currently selecting a suitable representative to represent the Sri Lanka chapter.

Contact the EWCA Sri Lanka Chapter


Tokyo Chapter

The Tokyo chapter is proud to introduce their new Board members:  Vice President Asutaka Yano, Yoichi Hasegawa, Matori Yamamoto and Junichi Umeda (former auditor whose position was replaced by Teruhisa Ichihara).  Other Board members include: Yutaka Harada, Michiko Yamashita, Kazuko Tonoike, Naomi Tonooka, Kiyoyasu Tanaka, Ruriko Kumano and Chie Hashimoto. Mitsuo Kato resigned from the Board as he is retiring to Hokkaido.  The new Board members were introduced at the Chapter’s annual general meeting on March 3rd.  Twenty-nine members attended the meeting including three guests:  Nick Barker, Sandra Havens and Michael Anderson.  After the business meeting, the members were treated to a special talk by Dr. Michael Anderson who was in Tokyo for a special assignment.  His talk:  “Reflections on the EWC Experience and Life as a Diplomat in Asia.”  Dr. Anderson emphasized the importance of direct contact with different cultures at the Center.  The audience drew lots for the EWC memorabilia that Michael brought for the occasion from Karen Knudsen’s office.

Contact the EWCA Tokyo Chapter


Washington D.C. Chapter

Mary Jo Furgal and her husband returned from Sri Lanka and reported on the wonderful meeting and reception at the US Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission Office, hosted in her honor by the Sri Lanka Chapter.  The Fulbright Commission Director, Tissa Jayatilika, graciously allowed the Chapter alumni to use the reception area extending after hours.

Mary Jo kindly reciprocated with souvenir gifts provided by the EWC Washington D.C. and Honolulu offices that was a big hit at the event. The latter shared the message she received from VP Siriwardena describing the great pleasure that her visit provided to the chapter and the chapter’s deep gratitude and appreciation for the souvenir gifts provided.

Contact the EWCA Washington D.C. Chapter