We recently asked each of our Board Members and friends to share their reason for becoming involved with Tulsa Global Alliance. Below some of their quotes. We’d like to know your reasons for being involved with TGA. Please share your stories by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by a Tulsan after hosting a Japanese middle-school student in March 2016 – one of 20 students in an exchange program between Tulsa and Tulsa’s Sister City, Utsunomiya, Japan.
In a world plagued by so much hatred and fear and that so often seems empty of tolerance and trust, we are uplifted, encouraged and emboldened by having been part of the experience of this group of young people who traveled half way around the globe to an unfamiliar land to place their lives and well-being in the hands of a family of strangers for five days.
Apart from anything else, there is something very brave about their venture. I can’t imagine having undertaken such an odyssey when I was a fourteen year-old and, as a parent myself, I have much appreciation for their parents back in Japan who, from afar, have placed their trust in us to ensure their child is safe in our care.
It has been such a pleasure to have Shiori as our guest and, even though this has been an all too brief time together, her visit has enriched our family. We have made a connection and established an attachment that will endure. We will ensure we remain in contact with her, we will want to know how her life develops and progresses and we will definitely want to see her again.
Far from expecting these young people and their families to show their gratitude to us as hosts, I feel we should be thanking them for some very timely and welcome reminders.
We should thank them for reminding us that, although oceans, cultures and languages may separate us, on a very fundamental level, there is much that connects us – humanity, humor, goodness, inquisitiveness, gratitude, kindness – the list goes on.
We should thank them for reminding us that we should constantly strive to become better world citizens and to make it a better place for ourselves, for others and for our children.
And we should thank them for reminding us that, regardless of barriers, boundaries or borders, the future lies in the hands of the young, wherever on the planet they might be, and it is our duty to educate and equip all of them to approach that future with openness, positivity and friendship.